FALL 2022

Page 24

Vol. 21 No. 1


Erica Brown

Haider Ali

Kate O’Connor

Liam Foese

Luke Schramm

Olivia Shan

Sasha Ross

Will Barry

Yuke Song

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The stitching on the couch cushions is coming undone and the squirrels’ tails are heavy with snow. While you may curse the angels or your parents, this will not stop your dry hands cracking or your body vanishing when you slip on the verglas. If you start to muddle your lefts and rights, reach into the icy water and see how long you can hold your hands down before reaching up triumphantly into warmer air.

How curious it is to meet you here in this time of bodies melting!

Instead of trudging on, perhaps it is best to let us help you scrub the dead skin off with rougher soap. Remember: do not blow your runny nose too much with paper towel. We can offer you softer tissue before you peer into our treks down blustery roads. There’s no use in waiting – the soup on the stove will only get cold.


Kate + The Veg

Dear fall reader,
Flutter Eye by Noemie Trudel
contents 5 Art Dissolve--------------------------------------------Grace Lindquist-----------outside cover ------------------------------------------------------Kasia Seta-------inside cover, 8, 15, 17 Flutter Eye-----------------------------------------Noemie Trudel--------------------------4 Sidedoors-------------------------------------------Emily Hardie--------------------------20 Lifeline---------------------------------------------Erin Springer---------------------------22 Potential--------------------------------------------Erin Spangler--------------------------25 Seeds------------------------------------------------Erin Spangler--------------------------26 Prose Snafu the Cat or, the Hopeful Student--------Adam Benzaari-------------------------10 The Bird House-----------------------------------Daisy Sprenger-------------------------24 Poetry The Light Intrudes--------------------------------Sam Wise-------------------------------6 Footpath-------------------------------------------James Jarret------------------------------7 Blunt Force Verglas-------------------------------T. G. Simon-----------------------------9 Fields------------------------------------------------Kasia Seta------------------------------14 Strip Mining---------------------------------------T. G. Simon---------------------------16 Lost Children--------------------------------------A. R. AlHudaib-----------------------18 Untitled--------------------------------------------Eilleen Grant---------------------------21 Things my Father Gave Me----------------------Gabrielle Cole-------------------------22 Three Steps Forward------------------------------Caleb Fenez----------------------------23 The Length of Stillness---------------------------Robert Shafer--------------------------23 Justification in Solidarity-------------------------Sam Wise------------------------------27

The light intrudes

Oh, impulse

Will the writer of ineptitudes Stare at the sun

And bath in the remnants of servitude And then go down the hall

To bleed with everyone?

Oh, impulse

Will, the priest, hang his hat Next to the dusty prayers

In the corridors of sin to blame And restrain the impulse

That refuses to tame?

Oh, impulse

Will, the painter, drag his brush

Along the sidewalk again

And walk into the morning

Eaten by the clock?

Oh, impulse

Will the tireless bull

Run over the hills

Chasing a bleeding red moon

Like it had before?

Oh impulse

What do you want with my bones

What will cement with the bricks

From the toppled castle in my heart?

Why don’t you take the withered and raving

Why don’t you take the vilified

Why do you take the sanctified?

For you to wallow in their light For you to sulk in their exuberance And diminish in their immensity

Oh impulse

Will the castle you build

Be on a broken mountain?

If I were a sailor,

Could I sail out of your grasp? If I were in the ocean

Would there be words for the surface? And would you appear

In the clouds

Dressed as a soldier in rusty armor With binocular eyes? Sam Wise





















James Jarrett
Kasia Seta


The celtic lilt

the cause of death

just call if you have any more questions, ok?

2am echoing ring my sister’s voice a daffodil wilting

sudden chill

chiseling my name onto paper tombs

my heart rattles like teeth

in that wooden box

provinces stretched like a gutted deer a carnage of sinew




because one needs to be official in these things

because of endearrogance

because you can’t be a pussy

mommy because

the first step

maman fait attention

tout est couvert de verglas

tout est couvert de verglas.


Snafu the Cat or, the Hopeful Student

A little bit before 9h30 on weeknights, Malik usually stopped studying. It did not matter whether he had finished his work or not, and although he did not follow this habit on the daily, notably during exam seasons, it usually allowed him to rest for about an hour and a half, or two, before sleep. After putting the pen down, he would connect his phone to the kitchen speaker and play tunes as he started to cook. Malik did not favor a precise genre but since his early twenties, jazz had become the anthem of his evenings. Bill Evans’ my foolish heart, Charles Mingus’ goodbye porkpie hat and Ryo Fukui’s rendition of early summer complemented his every day.

He was a rather mediocre cook, but his diet was quite healthy. Pasta, rice, fish, chicken, and vegetables were all he really needed. He did not think much of food and his maigre appearance confirmed this indifference. His late sister always used to dictate an appetite on him, which lasted until his early teen years when he almost mechanically ate three light meals each day. Nutrition represented a mere necessity, a consequence of every day’s continued progression. However, after dinner Malik would usually drink tea which, unlike food, he took some pleasure in making. His favorite kind was a peculiar blend of mint with milk along a modest selection of spices, sometimes cinnamon but usually ginger. The odor consistently attracted his cat, Snafu. He would always jokingly tell him, -Tomorrow you shall have some tea, just wait one more day.

If school’s fatigue remained moderate, Malik would read while he sipped his tea. But tiredness from his studies often took a toll on his ability to focus that late at night. Almost gruesomely, he would turn on the television and play diverse installments of sitcoms or documentaries. Snafu seemed to prefer the television. The gray feline would sit by Malik’s thigh, and fanatically focus on the screen for half an hour, that is how long it took for Malik to find sleep.

Oftentimes, Malik would pass out on the couch. Snafu really did not appreciate that for some seemingly egotistical reason. It was probably a territorial dispute as the couch was where Snafu sat while Malik was out during the day. Despite these border tensions and the typical pretentiousness of domesticated cats, Snafu truly seemed to understand anguished Malik. When he came back from the university, Snafu would slither around his roommate’s legs, Malik smiled. But the despair could not be cured by mere touch. He was a post-graduate student in physics and had been living in the city for well over a year. He liked the neighborhood and his tiny Plateau apartment, the same way a prisoner felt attached to a cell and window. Physics was a passion of his but knew that life was more than going


back and forth between a few classes and a cat. Every day, dullness felt more and more like sorrow.

That October night, Snafu laid down on his lap while Malik smoked. He asked Snafu,

-Will mornings and nights ever be richer than this mundane everydayness? Will love and laughter ever rise from the dead? Will I ever be onto something? Look at me, rambling to you Snafu, as though I were Iona from that Chekhov story. Snafu glanced profoundly at Malik and climbed on his stomach. A few moments later, after Malik finished his cigarette, Kino went back into the apartment and sat on the couch waiting for his roommate to come back in. Almost magically, Snafu spoke.

-I understand, you are unhappy.

-What? How did you? But! What?

-I know, I know I’m a cat, we should not speak but I may explain.

-Wait, I mean, what?

-But you’re-

Snafu interrupted him again.

-Yes, I am much older than you think. Also, that Chekhov story is titled Misery.

-Wait so how old are you?

-You adopted me when I was about 5, in human years, then you started to care for me, having lived on the street for those first 5 years I didn’t speak proper English of course. I could understand a good part and meow some words here and there but nothing too fancy. My first week here, I noticed you pressed on that red button to turn on the TV.

Snafu briefly demonstrated his remote-control skills before finishing his explanation.

-While you were at the university during the day, I would watch television and with some time and dedication I picked up English.

-How long has this been going on?

-It depends, what you mean, this is my first time speaking to a human, but I’ve been mumbling along with the TV for quite a while. I would say that I have gotten fairly decent at it.

-Indeed, you have. And I have gone mad.

-You are lost in despair, and this is an interposition from the above, the omens.

-What do you mean?

-It need not be clear, very few things are. You are unhappy and may I ask


you why?

Malik calmed down, sat on the beloved though disputed couch. Again, almost magically, he answered with the honesty of a prophet.

-Indeed, you have. And I have gone mad.

-You are lost in despair, and this is an interposition from the above, the omens.

-What do you mean?

-It need not be clear, very few things are. You are unhappy and may I ask you why?

Malik calmed down, sat on the beloved though disputed couch. Again, almost magically, he answered with the honesty of a prophet.

-I find happiness to be a fantasy or even an insult. What could possibly be enough for happiness? Physics, history, and everydayness prove this to be the case.

-Thus, you desire despair, sadness?

-No honest heart consciously seeks anguish or misfortune.

-Then why the disbelief?

-I find happiness to be insulting to you, them, and I. Souls are oceans for which both the storm and the sun create the sublime depth.

-I am afraid you shall be obliged to bear with me. What is it you are so deeply attached to conveying? Snafu asked.

-You, wise cat, define happiness!

-I shall not do so until your perception is released.

-Have it your way! Just as you are, I am full of wounds but persevere. My childhood was a nightmare of darkness and humiliating memories worthy a beaten stray dog. Adolescence, a solely unfortunate sequence of buses, trains and the death of a beloved sister who once allowed for my mother’s early departure to be compatible with the present’s constant. And then, my early twenties were spent between libraries and the bloodstained front. But after it all, today I speak to you, with words of modest hope, along a morbid smile. That very notion of hope, my beloved cat, is at the root of my belief in a woundless and bloodless tomorrow, henceforth, impossibly composing the defined notes of happiness. And that is my perception. It is hope which paves the way, and an unreachable possibility of happiness which leads us.

-Tell me about hope.

-To define it one must understand that very few things are ours, maybe kindness, hope, laughter, or love. All independent goods are mere subsets of these virtues.


Snafu ecstatically replied, -And you do name them to be virtues! If hope and virtue live, lest joy die.

Silence prevailed, darkness invaded the room, Malik woke up on his couch while Snafu laid on his lap, snoring, with somber hope forever alive, keeping the dullness of the everyday well into the abyss.

Silence prevailed, darkness invaded the room, Malik woke up on his couch while Snafu laid on his lap, snoring, with somber hope forever alive, keeping the dullness of the everyday well into the abyss.


Adam Benzaari


Here, not there

Acceleration on point

Track the magnetic field

It is simple

Very simple

Big in radius

It is made of metal, You put it inside the hole

Remember, it has a thickness to it

And this is hollow inside

A magnetic field pointing downward

To the hidden region

Warmth radiating

Pulsating like a star

Acceleration, acceleration

I calculate the rotation of Your curve

In red and put it here

Two ends

One positive on the left

One negative on the right

A magnetic field between these two halves grows

At this time

Steady expanse

Sudden collapse.

Kasia Seta

Kasia seta

Removing layer by layer it makes sense doesn’t it there is less expense and what is more important in the end?

What else to do with well-rounded Appalachian hummocks. The mountain top cropped nibbling further down past the surface mounds into the succulent deposit. There is no real health concern.

Once the hill is retooled, the time is ripe for regrading and revegetation.

If you cannot handle the overburden fill the valley with spoil.

These razed beds are more fertile for frequent grazing the argument goes.

Strip Mining
Kasia Seta

Lost Children

I try to not let my mind travel far

When I see pacifiers, I think about the children that I lost

And have to hold my mind back again

To not think about the future

Table for one

Apartment in the building next to my sister’s house

I make dinner for two

Just for myself

You talk about loneliness

I tell you it makes me feel less whole

I still wake up late and stretch my arms across space

That never was there

You talk about loneliness

And it makes you feel less whole

I worry about the future and the silence it will bring


The ceilings I’ll spend nights with my face pointed to God, I think there’s something that I’m missing Good friends on the next block still in high demand

And I’ll think about the children that I lost

Pacifiers reminding me of another life

I forget how to exist gently, just move through world

No memory of the other side, but if death is here Then the offer is good

Pass the time of my life waiting for the bell to ring

Table for one, yes madam

It’s just me

No children

A.R. AlHudaib 19
Sidedoors By Emily Hardie

that winter was cruel she took the light from your eyes every morning i would shiver when you entered the room when spring bloomed tears spilled so plentifully i took you to the orchard and you were so pale i held your hand we gathered colourful fruits longing for that effortless vibrancy reminiscent of your eyes all those months ago i watched you silently hugging the basket of fruit close to me i told you i loved you and all at once spring became summer as the sunshine returned to your sweet eyes the next day we had breakfast together and you told me to stop talking because i was making you laugh while you were eating the juice from the orange slices dripping down your chin was the same colour as the leaves which fell from the trees that autumn i wanted to tell you but maybe you wouldn’t remember after all, you didn’t see the smile on your face such a pretty smile that day when you were just so giddy i’ve never seen orange the same way


things my father gave me

Alanis Morrissette. A frightfully bad temper. The ability to clean a house the way nobody else can. The Black Keys. The script he wrote in college (he doesn’t write anymore). Midday outings to Ikea for the seventy-five cent hot dogs. The Catcher in the Rye. My first bike. A bad hairdo, when my mom went on a work trip over the weekend. Florence + The Machine. A fascination with F. Scott Fitzgerald, for all that’s worth. Bloody toenails (he used to cut them too short). Long silences on the other end of the line. Loneliness too big to deal with. Friendship, most of the time.

Gabrielle Cole

Erin Spangler, ‘Lifeline’. Materials - abortifacient plants (like queen Ann’s lace, yarrow, rue, etc), sand, wood, resin. About 30 x 12 cm.



I was sitting cross legged, a second ago, now look, I’m a melting pool, -pot-, thinking about love, (for this whole spot), and that time I called, 911 because, I thought the phone was off, funny how it goes, when bodies, disappearing, and your self’s a part of, everything

Three steps forward *** the length of stillness ***

the mouth opens to speak holds-time-still-expectation what to do with absence?

(it is there)

the ocean is forever found, tomorrow

or the other side of time where?

the thirst of salt calls me forth

Speak! not me what? not me ***

Caleb Fenez
Robert Shafer

The Bird House

Maisie Zanger lived in a bird house. It wasn’t as if she necessarily WANTED to live in a bird house, but through a series of unforeseeable, not all together terrible, but neither quite preferable circumstances, she found herself living in a bird house none the less.

Now, there are many different types of bird houses. There are those little bird houses that are merely decorations, more wind ornaments than true ornithological abodes, and then there are those boxy but charmless things that, while plenty roomy, have about as much attractiveness as a big box store descending upon the outskirts of a national park. But Maisie Zanger’s birdhouse was neither of these unfortunate varieties. She had the good fortune to end up in not only a rather sizable bird house (fortunate, not least of all because despite being some what twiggish in appearance, she was, still, a full sized human woman), but also one that defiantly had class.

If the birds minded their unexpected homo Saipan companion, they at least put up a show of indifference. Indifference, in the case of your common wood sparrow and blue jay is no less noisy than one might expect, but Maisie didn’t mind at all. In fact, she rather enjoyed living in the bird house. At first she had feared that it would get old quickly; but as the days past, she found herself not in the least bit tired of her new dwelling.

There was a slight sense of discomfort however, faint though it was. This discomfort (an “anxiety,” if you were to put so fine a psychological point on it) wasn’t to be counted amongst the garden-variety concerns: boredom, loneliness, lack of sustenance for brain and body. No,

Maisie Zanger was troubled by a more an existential, creeping sort of fear, that by living in a bird house, she would inevitably become a bird.

This fear used to wake her up in the middle of the night, and she would raise her spidery fingers in front of her face, asking herself it they looked any birdi-er than they did yesterday. And her r ever spinning mind would proceed to wonder whether or not it even mattered. “And if I were to change, would I even be able to notice my new found ornithological state of being?” She query herself with her already papery voice growing raspier by the day by general disuse. She had no answer to this question that bothered her, and only the soft rushing hush of the tree branches above her head would eventually lull her back to sleep.


During the day, Maisie would occupy herself by counting. Her birdhouse had an excellent view of the entire neighborhood block, and though it wasn’t really anything too special of a neighborhood block (a bit suburban, a bit rundown, but also a bit nice in its own inexplicable way), there was an entire world of rich happenings if one only took the time to observe.

First she would count rather silly things, like the cracks in the pavement, and the number of cars that went by in a morning. But as the days went on, and descent from the bird house seemed less and less like to Maisie, she started getting more complex in her counting. How many squirrels ran up a tree in the same time it took for the blue sedan to travel from one end of the block to another? (5) How many pebbles could she spot in the span of holding her breath? (24, but the number increased every day) How many children with red hats walked by? (an alarming number of 7 one day, and then a shocking 10 the next, settling down into a nice even lull of 3 the following, before Maisie got bored of that particular observational track). She invented new

ones as quickly as she grew bored of them. The one thing that Maisie did not count were the days.

Every so often, the bird seed feeder would be hoisted down, no doubt by the owner of the bird house, refilled, and then hoisted back up on a complex pulley system that Maisie had thought to herself early on in her stay, resembled a sort of dumb waiter that one might find in an old fashioned mansion. This amused her so greatly for at least a couple days, that she couldn’t help but picture herself and the birds who stopped

such a mansion, and the owner of the bird mere servant. Even so, Maisie instinctually

careful to hide in the shadows when she steps coming to refill the bird seed.

bird seed! The most delicious morsels of chewy fruit things and smoother oily thing or others that were all together abdelectable! No wonder Maisie felt like the lady manor house. The rain water that collected in the roof was sweeter than any wine, and the sound of the trees, rustling along the block was to Maisie’s ears, the most delicate of string quartets: an inexplicable melody that she would never grow tired of. Such was Maisie’s satisfaction, that she very quickly forgot why she was in the bird house in the first place. But it didn’t matter. The bird seed came, and the rain sated her thirst, and even after a while, Maisie almost completely stopped worrying about what her indefinite stay in the birdhouse was DOING to her (on a moral/existential/ontological level). After all, it felt silly to worry amidst such luxury.

Justification in solidarity

Justification in solidarity

Oh undulating sapphire sands of expanse

Carry my body through the night

Oh saddled mule your eyes are thick

With sand and living.

Bear my weight, and I will bear your sorrow

Oh long death, free my youth

The smells of the market

Have long fleeted, here in the desert

Where only sandstorms suffocate the senses

A land with repent.

Let us erect a monument

For the stars

Let us endure the unforgiving core

Let us endure the innermost desolation.

Let us trudge on from dawn to dawn

With the sand clogging my skull Stuck in my nostrils

Let us reach this promised land.

Oh saddled mule

Should I deliver this message

Or bury it in the sand?

Should I abide

And pretend

Is everything justified?

‘Potential’. Materials - dirt, roots, rebar, resin. About 100 x 100cm.

‘Seeds’. Materials - dozens of varieties of vegetable seeds, fake fingernails, soda pop tabs, paint, resin. It’s about 90cm tall, 45 wide.


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