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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Website!

Check out our new space on the web - www.inpreparation.weebly.com - it's pretty cool.

Monday, November 23, 2009

WINTER EDITION

Hello and happy Thanksgiving from In Preparation, the official literary journal/zine/print-thing of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's undergraduate BFA-Writing program!
Hello! How's your year been?
Like it or not-- and we're on the fence-- 2009 is wrapping up, and we're printing one more In Preparation for the 2000-oughts! Please submit your work by Monday, December 7th. We'll be printing during the week of Monday, December 14th, so kindly respect the deadline! (Distribution on the SAIC campus will be split between finals week and the start of the Spring '10 semester.)

Please submit ONLY docs, pdfs, jpegs, and links to videos. (Rest assured, visual artists, we'll ultimately print from your original files)

*
Here are a few sentences of glancing introduction:

Our primary focus is sharing our contributors' work with a large audience. Working with/at/within the constructs and restrictions of a 2-d publication is our level 2 focus. Our only submission guideline is to send the work that you are proud of, for whatever reason that might be. If you're not sure what to but are interested in possibly submitting then by all means, just shoot us email and say as much. Some of out favorite pieces have risen from, what was at the offset, a seemingly aimless selection and collaboration. As we publish under the auspices of the BFAW program, many of our pages are dedicated to text, and the text-based.

That said, we take great pride in the fact that in the last year In Preparation has grown from an issue with 9 poems from only 3 poets, to our most recent issue featuring 21 wholly different pieces/mediums/approaches from 18 very different artists. So, while we do love poetry, we'll seriously consider anything. A special note to all the lovely 4-D artists: our website and online edition can be your home, too!

Our position is that the work we all make has no middle or end, and as such, our goal is to facilitate the contiguous line of conversation that all of our work is capable of, wants, and deserves to have. You made it, we love it, let's share it.

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OK, but some of the more industrious of you that want to make new art, and the others who are still not sure what to they'd like to submit, we have a theme. For those of you uninterested, feel free to skip down an * and start submitting.

Recently, we had the good fortune of conducting an interview with Theo Jansen (http://www.strandbeest.com/, and TED talks) that will be including in this edition. Anyone looking for a springboard for work should check out what he's done and go from there.

Still not enough? Some things you might at look at are issues of evolution (non-human and otherwise, deliberate vs organic, etc), the life and lives of animate and/or/vs non-animate objects (perhaps like strandbeests, where inanimate sounds obsolete), artificial life, etc, etc, ad nauseum. These could all be places to look, and the looser the connection the more fun it'll be for us to fit in. So go forth and fall your apples towards other trees! Or... or far from this tree, or Theo's tree. But maybe still resemble his apples. Or your own apples. Or... something? It's a loose connection.

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Did you read all the way to here? That was really nice of you-- thanks!

For your trouble, here is a link to our (soon-to-be-remodeled) website:
www.inpreparationzine.blogspot.com

And our very sincere appreciation for any of the work you decide to send us.

Best,

In Preparation

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hi ALL!

We may appear lazy and derelict, but looks can be misleading!

See you SOON,

InPrep

Monday, April 6, 2009

Luna Negra - Capitulo 1

Lika López de Victoria

“Santo Dios mio Virgen María de los Angeles!” Paz squeals hit such a high note that they woke the midwife who was nursing a hangover under an almendro tree four miles away. The sharp wails cut in half the numbing calmness of the Hacienda San Antonio, which was particularly quiet that morning, since eighty percent of the workforce was celebrating the Gobernador’s win for a second term as the incumbent on the other side of the Island. Old Capital City received laborers, dones and señoras from all the haciendas with live music, speeches, and kioskos with all kinds of free delicious food, like fried pig skin, shaved ice with dulce de leche, blood sausage and coconut cinnamon custard. Don Antonio, who saw himself as the epitome of fairness, had done a lottery to determine who would have the day off to enjoy the festivities. Luck dictated that Paz stayed working that day. She had been picking coffee overwhelmed by the moist heat of the mid-morning when Luna started to fight her way into life.
“Puta Madre de los Infiernos maldita sea el Diablo!”
The few male workers in the field quickly identified Paz as the source of the obscenities since an unspecified number of them had made her privately scream with desire before she started showing. Rodolfo, the foreman of the hacienda, ran faster than the others towards the animalistic grunts that originated somewhere in the middle of the bushes. All Paz heard were the inconsolable cries of Luna, the noise muted while her belly filled up with salty tears. She wobbled her way through the coffee plants trying to find the closest dirt road, still carrying the bag of ripe pepas de café.
“Aaaagggghhhhh Santo Dios ayudame” Paz tried to move faster but the thin branches of the coffee bushes lashed her in every step. Each lick of a twig distracted her from the burning pain in between her legs. Paz heard her heartbeat in her eyeballs and the roars of Luna’s struggle in each of her screams. All she could see were green spots with some yellow and red and brown. The sea of matas de café opened as if prompted by Moses and the path led to a tamarind tree, under which Paz collapsed on top of the bag of red coffee beans. It felt as if she was breaking from within as she leaked water that smelled like pig’s blood. Paz’s bony hands and feet sank into the thick swamp that formed from the mixture of dark soil and the gallons of saline-smelling liquid that came out of her. Her insides cramped forcing her to push. On her first push Paz saw the face of the Virgin Mary hiding in the bushes and on the second it was a sweet-faced old lady with stark white hair that hunted her altered state. Then it was Rodolfo’s muscular arms with gray hairs opening their way toward her that gave Paz the strength to push a third and final time, spewing into a mound of coffee beans her baby girl, covered in a caul.
“What is that?” Fear assaulted Paz. The thing joined to her through the bluish-red umbilical cord didn’t look like a baby. She had read stories about cousins that got married and had babies born with alligator skin or a rat’s tail, so she considered the odds of being related to the baby’s father.
“Go get the doctor or the midwife or a truck, dale corre, some help” Rodolfo ordered a worker, who left in the same direction he came from. With shaky hands he caressed Paz’s forehead, sweeping her wild black hair away from her face. She remembered when she first was introduced to Rodolfo, how she had been intimidated by his stern expression and his shadow-casting height. His dark bushy eyebrows made every crease of his face noticeable, making him look years older than his actual age of thirty-something.
“Niña, don’t worry, I think I hear the midwife’s jeepeta getting close…anda muñeca, take it, that’s your baby”. Rodolfo’s caramel-coated voice and the sound of the midwife’s heavy steps making her way through the coffee plants calmed Paz. When the midwife finally arrived to the scene, sweating droplets of dark rum, she found the baby in her mother’s arms still inside the caul. Without hesitation she opened the veil with her chubby fingers revealing Luna, her big chameleon eyes wide open and wearing a wise smile on her pruned face. The midwife took her stained white skirt off in front of the pink-faced mother, the worried foreman and the few workers that gathered to take in the event, and placed it on the moist soil between the mother’s legs. She grabbed Luna away from Paz and placed her cautiously on the skirt.
“Give me your machete!” the midwife yelled at the foreman. Rodolfo jumped, but before he could comply she snatched it from his grasp. Taking the machete with both hands, she raised it over her head to gather momentum and in one swift motion she cut the umbilical cord. As the whiteness of the skirt absorbed the bright red blood, Luna, who so far since entering this dimension had not shed a tear or made a sound, quietly cried ginger smelling tears.

Later that day, while Luna struggled with suckling at her mother’s breast, Rodolfo transferred Paz’s clothes from the cheap wood armoire into a half-full wicker trunk. Years before Paz watched as Gustavo filled that same trunk with a few books, a bundle of photos and some clothes before driving her to the Hacienda San Antonio. Once again Paz watched a man burry with clothes the mementos of a life she couldn’t remember into the trunk that belonged to her grandmother. Inside the damp room Paz shared with three other cafeteras, Rodolfo tried to remain stoic and do his job as expected, stuffing stolen silk undergarments and flowy dresses between a moldy hard cover edition of Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda’s Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada, poems nine through thirteen unreadable since humidity made the pages stick to each other. The baby clothes that the cafeteras stole for the newborn rested on top of the bible and a bunch of world history books, including a heavy one about European paintings.
“Tavo’s waiting,” said the foreman in the same reassuring tone he used the times he brought her to ecstasy in the past “an’ you know that if you get in trouble, all you do is send for me.”
“I won’t get in trouble” said Paz, trying to ease Rodolfo’s concern as much as her own. He closed the trunk and sat by Paz, carefully touching Luna’s tiny feet. His down-turned upper lip revealed his resentment toward Paz, for taking away what he believed was his baby, and the wrinkles on his forehead showed his guilt for being the enforcer of laws he didn’t agree with, especially the one where unmarried live-in employees of the hacienda would be exiled to the coast if they decided to keep their babies. It didn’t bring any solace to Rodolfo that many haciendas worked under similar regimens. This was one of the many solutions brought by the el Gobernador for the scarcity of food and resources that was rampant on the Island. Once again Gustavo was driving Paz and her wicker trunk, this time towards the coast and away from the hacienda. Paz saw from the back of Gustavo’s rusty pick-up truck how Rodolfo disappeared into the main house, already missing him and all the men she left behind. She knew she would not miss the lumpy twin-size mattress that made her lower back ache or the hours spent hand washing señora Magdalena’s silk stockings and underwear.
Gustavo helped Paz get settled in the house she lived in years before. He made sure she had some bread, running water and a kerosene burner and lamps. The tall mulato treated her with respect and with traces of love, which confused Paz, making her wonder if this accommodating man, with hair that looked like cotton balls, wanted the same thing every other hombre in her life had taken from her. She began to feel the itch, although it quickly disappeared because between her legs still hurt and bled different from the monthly bochorno. Gustavo finished helping her, leaving her a hand drawn map of the area and a gallon of the “best maví you’ll ever taste”. Maví.
All this mess started the day the son of Don Antonio pierced her skin with his eyes the color of maví. Since then between her legs was always warm and pulpy. Since that day, when he unhurriedly removed her sayo, and sat her on a desk only wearing beads of glimmering sweat, she developed an itch. He put his mouth in the moist place between her legs, scratching her itch away with his appetite. Once the itch dissipated, she was flooded by melancholy; sour tears made watery trails on her face and trickled all the way down to her naked breasts. He kissed her, his lips tasting like ripe sugar cane, and when Paz saw her reflection in his glassy brown eyes, her stomach flipped upside down. Still wearing his white guayabera and cream linen pants, he entered her for what felt like a hundred black moons. Her sweat and his sweat made his shirt transparent, while the smell of sun-toasted coffee beans invaded the bright room. Since that day, Paz had no choice but to melt into the arms of almost every man in the Hacienda San Antonio, because anytime a man looked at her with piercing eyes, her stomach flipped and between her legs dripped wet salve.

Paz expected the life on the coast to be difficult since the life on the Island hadn’t been easy when it became a sovereign nation. The little money Paz stole from señora Magdalena only lasted for a month of buying food from Gustavo’s store. There were no jobs, hospitals or schools outside the haciendas, which had become the modern castles of a feudal society. El Gobernador had dismantled the federal structure of the Island, giving the dones the authority to choose among a list of laws to impose on their land. Gustavo helped Paz for a while after her money ran out, dropping by her house for conversation in exchange of coffee, bread and milk.
“You know I’m not going to be able to do this forever” said Gustavo before taking a sip of the café puya spiked with black rum.
“I know, I know, but I don’t know what else to do” Paz made faces to Luna making her giggle a big person’s laugh.
“This is all his fault, el caudillo ese, he led our Island into independence, and for what?” That every other word Gustavo said was accentuated by flying drops of thick spit was a sign that he had had too many cups of coffee on that toasty afternoon.
“How the women loved him…do you remember that choreography he used to dance back on his first election?”
“Hay Tavito, did you forget about the problem with my memories?” Said Paz with the same tone she used to calm Luna’s crying.
“Nena, that you don’t remember is a blessing”
“Maybe one day when I’m all old you can tell me all about what happened on the day of el huracán.”
“Maybe by then I’ve managed to forget.” Gustavo had been trying to forget for the past four years what happened on the day Hurricane Joaquín hit the Island. Around that time Paz’s mother disappeared, so she lived with Mamia, her only known relative. Before the Independence Agreement was signed, the houses in these parts of the coast were valued in millions, but after the exodus nobody wanted beachfront property. Gustavo took the abandoned pieces of land and bought the others for a few hundred dollars from the last batch of people that were fleeing the Island. Paz doesn’t remember living with her grandmother in the same desolated chunk of property she lives in with Luna. She doesn’t remember how the old little lady with platinum hair made a home out of the house she owned by appropriation. Mamia chose the house because it was built by a known architect and it was the only one in the strip that wasn’t made of hurricane-resistant concrete and it wasn’t on the ground like the others, as it was up on two massive hollow columns, like the ones that held highways and bridges. Paz doesn’t remember the relief they felt when discovering on the day of the huracán that the house, though made of wood, was strong enough to withhold the hundred-miles-per-hour winds, and since it was up on columns, the seawater that crept into the mainland didn’t reach the house. Mamia, Paz, and Pulga, a small dirty white stray dog that Mamia rescued months before, patiently waited for the fierce winds to recede. As soon as the calm hit the zone, the three went out to explore the damage. Under a clear blue sky they hiked a mile through uprooted palm trees to Gustavo’s, their closest neighbor. Pieces of wood and zinc sheets were scattered on the sandy road. As they approached the store, Pulga, as if possessed, barked hysterically at the sky that turned dark grey in a matter of seconds and then ran away in the opposite direction.
“Go to Tavo’s, this thing is not over, la calma was just the eye, I need to get Pulga, dale nena, corre!” Mamia yelled as she dashed towards the dog. Thankfully, Paz forgot what happened next. No memories remained of her running under the salty rain with Gustavo, of finding Mamia and Pulga enveloped by the unforgiving wind gusts or of all them struggling to avoid the fluttering debris on their way back to the store. Paz might have forgotten, but Gustavo remembered, how Mamia’s head rolled down the road after a flying zinc sheet decapitated her.

Gustavo’s visits stopped a few days after. Paz went for weeks only eating coconuts and bananas sporadically, making her weak to the point that her breasts shriveled, and she stopped producing milk for Luna. For a while Paz walked, with Luna in a sling, one sandy mile each way three times a day under the smoldering sun to the nearest brothel. One of the girls had just given birth to a dead baby, and her breast still leaked honey-tasting milk, so she agreed to make time to feed Luna. Paz grew restless in her situation, until the day Don Eduardo de Gracia paid her a visit.
“I don’t have fun anymore when I visit Antonio’s. Since you left his hacienda I don’t even want to go over to play the weekly poker game” Don Eduardo whispered on Paz’s ear as he hugged her hello. He was the godfather of Don Antonio’s son, and as such he spent a lot of time in his compadre’s property. In every one his many visits he loved Paz in the first dark corner he found.
“You always lost anyways” Said Paz as she led him towards the balcony.
“Muñeca, what happened to you?” Asked Don Eduardo examining her body as he walked behind her. He look horrified when he saw what living on the coast did to Paz’s body. He used to idolatrize how every part of her body was soft and round, and especially adored the space between her noticeably uneven breasts. After only a few months in the coast, her body was all sharp edges and rough ends.
“What can I say? I’m not eating well, it’s just how it is around here. Tavo helped me a bit, but that’s done”.
“I hadn’t been on the Coast since before the exodus. It’s difficult getting here, the roads are awful, and I even had to bribe Rodolfo into telling me where you were.”
“You should ask your friend el Gobernador to make them better.”
“You know he’s not my friend.” Don Eduardo’s forehead became wrinkled and Paz knew that it pained him to see the direct results of el Gobernador’s rulings. Don Eduardo saw how everything happened and he just watched. He saw how el Gobernador sold everyone the utopic idea of autonomy, filling the hearts of the illiterate masses with patriotism and the pockets of the dones and of his retinue with mucho dinero. The people trusted him; the woman loved his blue eyes with thick black eye lashes and the men envied his cojones, his youth and passion. He spoke to la gente of the Island like an experienced lover talks to his mistress, in a soft, intimate tone, asking for faith in him and in his ways. He hypnotized the masses with speeches about freedom from the oppression of the Big Nation that owned them and convinced everyone that they were mature enough as a country to stand on their own two feet. He persuaded the people to go back to working the earth, encouraged by the dones, because they owned the land suitable for agriculture. The concrete parks that hosted the multi-national companies that supported the local economy were abandoned as soon as the Independence Agreement was signed. Every desperate measure later taken by the power of the government, like the rationing of food items and the shutting down of the public school system, was sold to the hungry jobless people as ‘means to a future that should satisfy both our souls and our blessed bodies’.
Don Eduardo found a new corner to love Paz. He vowed to bring her food in every visit as he loved her from behind, thoroughly enjoying the painful stabs of Paz’s bones against his abdomen. As she licked the void of her absence away he promised that she would have everything she and Luna needed, and then told the other dones about the uncommon beauty that sold her love in exchange for food and other necessities.

Every day around three in the morning, after spending herself selling bits of her love, Paz took Luna for walks on the beach where she told her daughter intimate stories of her business. She told Luna how she felt like the Virgin Mary. The same way Virgin Mary asked Jesus to convert water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana, Paz would convince the dones of las haciendas to grant their wives the wishes she sold them days before. She was particularly proud of the wish she sold to la Señora de Don Eduardo de Gracia. Don Eduardo was a peculiar kind of don because he didn’t agree with the politics of El Gobernador, but didn’t have the guts or real motivation to stand against him. He had a lot to lose, so he calmed his conscience by providing the best school for the children of his employees and never explicitly supporting the government. On the other hand, his wife wanted to be in the center of the Gobernador’s social circle, and the way to get there was to plan an elegant party on their hacienda and invite all the dones and señoras of the Island. Don Eduardo was adamant on his position against hosting such an event until Paz straddled his face the taste between her legs sold him on the benefits of having such a man as his guest. On those walks Luna didn’t pay attention to the smell of saltpeter, or the silvery shadow that the moon cast on the calm sea, she just paid attention to the constant bearing of her mother’s soul. And even though Luna hadn’t spoken yet, Paz believed that her child understood everything that was happening around her; she believed there was no other reason for a baby to have such big eyes that were always open.
There were no schools on the coast, so during the week Luna was allowed to sit quietly in the corner of the living room while Paz sold the señoras the wishes. Dry palm tree leaves decorated the walls of the room with vejigante masks hanging from the ceiling and black wooden saints with guilt painted on their faces. Paz received the señoras wearing white gauze dresses and seashell necklaces, providing them with a theatrical experience for the price of luxuries like ice, chocolate and imported wine. Luna never told her mom, but as soon as any of them walked into the room, she knew what their wishes were going to be by the smell they carried with them. When la Señora de Don Eduardo wanted to host a dinner, the smell of burnt rubber tires that came with her made Luna nauseated, but when she wanted a trip to Madrid it was the aroma of coconut that tickled her nostrils. She also knew when some of them didn’t want anything but to see Paz up close, because they all stunk of garlic. While they examined her eyes the color of molasses, her loud kinky hair, and her aged body dressed in a thin layer of leathery skin, they wondered why their husbands chose this woman to calm their desires. By the smell of the people in her world, Luna could know some of their intentions, sometimes even their wants and needs.
------------------

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cover Spring 2009

Contact Information

[In order of appearance]

Raychill Winterton “Greeting From Spauce” [page 1]
The Chillest of the Chill is on an important mission through the depths of super space. Her return to earth is unknown.
www.youtube.com/raychillenvideos

A. Martinez (Editor) “Movement” & “Into” [page 2-3]
Alyssa Martinez is finishing her final year her year in the Writing Program at SAIC. She believes only in science, magic, & cats.
nonsource.com

Andrea Mattson “ubahn03jan” [page 3]
A recent graduate of SAIC. Loves to draw, knit, sew, spin, dye, make paper, & use her h&s to make things. Likes sunny days, hates headaches.
cometogether86@hotmail.com

Molly Shea “Rest Stop” [page 4]
“This is Molly, she’s pretty cool.” “Really?” “Yeah- & I’m not just saying it either.” “Oh, Sweet.”
www.mollysheart.com

Emma Furman “Tessellate” [page 5-6]
Emma Furman is originally from Evanston, now living in the city. She likes making & discussing things. She has been practicing writing for a while.

Lane Williams “Memex” [page 7]
Lane Williams was born in Texas. He has been steadily moving northward ever since. He writes words & draws pictures. He currently lives in Chicago.
http://acknowledgeandproceed.blogspot.com/

Ben Bertin “Cake Walkin’ (animation still”) [page 7]
Ben Bertin was born & raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife, four kids & their dog Smiley.
http://www.benbertin.blogspot.com

Elias Van Son “wind and wave obey” [page 8]
the poet was born hooked on theta waves, is a student of natural Love, language, music, & will in all ways smile calmly at spilt milk. - poem is from the forthcoming book LITTLE FEATHER
eliasvanson@myself.com

Mark Schettler (Editor) “OTR translated” [page 9], “608 San Julian St” [page 19]
From Reseda, California, age 23. A Chicago resident since 2007. Undergrad in SAIC writing program.
mark.schettler@gmail.com

Alison Kendall “Treadmill” [page 10]
Alison Kendall is an artist, graphic designer, technical illustrator & marine biologist, currently living & working in San Francisco.
www.lefthandlight.com

Eileen Favorite “The Disorient Express (excerpt)” [page 10-13]
Eileen Favorite’s first novel, The Heroines, was just released in paperback.
http://www.eileenfavorite.com/

Sam Nigrosh “The Art of Storytelling” [page 14]
Co-edits Windy City Dumps & is living in embarrassment. Send money.
http://samuelnigrosh.com/

Lloyd Mandelbaum “Untitled” [page 15-16]
Lloyd is an art school graduate working in monumental bronze sculpture production. He does not ride horses.

Noah Le Bien “hum” [page 17]
I’m alright, I’m living in a mushroom cloud... so far un radiation. My sidewalk sounds like sunflowers, so send me your distances & I’ll get back to you.

Mackenzie Birdsong “Untitled (Weley)” [page 17]
mac was born in america & just loves it there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28123935@N05/

Jeni Crone “The Pause, part two” [page 18]
Currently pursuing a BFA with an emphasis in Writing & All-Kinds-of-Things. First published at age eleven with her poem “Magical Times.
www.nounconfused.blogspot.com

Schylar Stap “Massive Mantra” [page 19]
Born & raised in Los Angeles. Currently serving The U.S. Army. Scheduled for first deployment August 2009 with Infantry Brigade.
songofdoors@aol.com

Matthew Sairio (cover art)
Matthew Sairio can fit $1 in U.S. quarter dollars in his nose at once & is available for parties.

608 San Julian St

massive mantra

anti movement movement
remove men again and again
supression shun
run in circles
run

massive mantra
movement
anti-movement movement
man removed movement
re-movement
movement
remove men
again
again and again
supression
again
supression
shun
run
re-movement
circles run
run
movement
run

The Pause, part two

Eyes dizzy Midwest snowstorm.
A layer of ice is a friction
On the surface of the river,
Clouds skid-mark the sky.

Blistered feet from imagined talking,
Zero displacement in all of the walking,

An intercepted conversation,
The loops and whorls of fingerprints,
Wood grain pressed into a firm handshake.

Strands of syllables,
Further devolved, readable but
Without sound or understanding
Drip an amber sap to fossilize.

Alone, relaxed from hands rigor-mortified,
My fingers arched around the back of my neck,
Face sinking into the down comforter
Feet hanging off the edge,
Quiet enough.Thinking about angles.

Less lonely, thinking about tessellations.
Maps, Constellations and GPS,
A geographer sits at a desk
With only navigatory inklings
And inanimate curiosity.

Letting tea seep in dim lit cold,

I’ve been told that it is not healthy to ask, What if?

Untitled (Wesley)

hum

too dada to die the humming dregs of sleep

banter of youth cough medicine
itchy sheets dirt breaking the sheets and skitter
of dream adolation
adds one more recollection each year

thoughts well they seem to pass willingly or at least together
in a discernible word rhythming
the shifting sands
the blank-white hands of restlessness
numb ordinants run reels of opposing black skirmishes underneath the eyes

call it what you like
the hum sounds unreal

Untitled

The world is too small and our time on it too short to make waves where there are none.

Labels which classify which subjugate and divide what is otherwise whole only serve to weaken the minds of those who use them.

The forces of this life flow and undulate like a plucked string or a breath. we (our consciousness and perceptive faculties) float through these motions which are so stark and precise and intricate in their vibratory patterns they appear to us as this life and this world. as the wave pendulums back and forth between extremes, a central point of balance and harmony is passed through and this still point would be maintained but for the kinetic and potential energy that causes/is the motion. Everything is attuned to/is the motion and everything instinctual wants to/ is predisposed to come to rest at the point of balance - it is the same motion and stillness for all things though different things appear to be on different wavelengths. -

On our social psychological plain of understand and interpreting the wave and the stillness (philosophy(s) religion, and other systems of explanation) it seems at different times different paths, creeds, and stances are more right than others and in some cases they may appear absolutely true or false. these views while known to be more or less correct through reason, are followed because they bring us to points of greater or lesser complacency (closer to that balanced still point). In other words they FEEL right or wrong and that is what makes us believe them. Without the feeling validating or invalidating logical assertions they would just be abstract meaningless symbols. In still other words, everything we believe, we believe because it “feels better” or “seems more right” than the alternatives but the words themselves that are linked to the superior or inferior feelings of stillness are basically arbitrary. What makes words more or less “right” are our individual perspectives that are totally derivative our personal vibrations in proximity to the universal still point. These two points of reference constitute the measuring stick by which all logic and ideas are tested. Proximity denotes meaning.

Logic obscures this inherent indicator of “truth”. Logic proclaims things to be specific ways in broader fields of context than the system can be precise about. specificity like perspective cannot be wholly encompassing (which is why what is right for me may not seem right for you). it partially obscures the aforementioned truth. This partial obscurity or omission leaves something to be desired as though something was missing. This is a pull towards another state of existence (having what is desired). This is a movement in the mind and a disconnect from the natural stillness, balance, and contentment. Such is the fate of any definable form or idea. To be defined is to be discernable from that which it is not. The NOT is absent and therefore mysterious, which prompts desire. Natural undefined truth is fulfilling in its own right and does not spur further searching. The counter intuitive point to all this is that names shroud or mask in the pursuit of clarity but having no names or systems of understanding provides the most all encompassing true vision of what we are all seeking. It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you hold an ideology of any kind it is not the truth you are seeking. – this statement is not exempt.

What group you are a part of or how you see your self can only be a relative assessment and only applicable some of the time at best. Focusing on the ebb and flow of your natural balance with all things will bring you closer to a your “proper” place in the universe than categorizing your self. All philosophies try to find the right way but fall short by championing one path over another. All options are on the table and all things in moderation. The divining rod that was here before anyone tried to pin down the truth and the one that still seems to consistently work better than all the philosophies that have cropped up since then is your individual intuitive sense of balance and proximity to equilibrium.

The Art of Storytelling

The Dis-Orient Express

While I paced the platform at Chalons-sur-Marne, my backpack was hurling through the French countryside on the Orient Express. It was 1 AM on a cold December night in 1984. Coatless and shivering, I stared down the empty tracks at the wires and dim lights that stretched for miles, thinking of my gargantuan backpack wedged comfortably on a coach seat beside the kind Frenchman who had promised to watch it for me three hours before.
I was twenty. I was Junior Year Abroad Girl. This was not a moment of international intrigue. This was another episode in my version of “Lucille Ball Does Europe.” As I paced the platform, a prickly vanity kicked in and I worked to affect a cool nonchalance by rolling my eyes and looking at my wrist, which held no watch.
A series of false moves and impulsive gestures had resulted in my standing at the train tracks alone in the dead of night. I had arrived at Gare de L’est in Paris that evening just before nine. I was going to Munich to visit my boyfriend for Christmas. That afternoon, I’d wandered the Parisian streets lost, mainly because I’d mistranslated the expression tout droit, which means “straight,” as “totally right.” Every time someone told me to go straight, I went totally right and wound up going in circles. I discovered that Sunday in Paris meant that all the stores and museums were closed. I visited Notre Dame, dismayed by the pacing tourists who pointed at the ceiling in the middle of Mass. I decided to kill time in a café, but when my café arrived in a tiny espresso mug, I downed it in three minutes. A Midwestern girl, I lacked the cosmopolitan entitlement to occupy a seat without ordering something else. Down to my last few francs, I shouldered the backpack and killed time by skipping the métro and hoofing it to the train station.
My visit to Paris had been both a revelation and a disappointment. My high school film-strip expectations were met: the usual landmarks wowed me, as well as the Jeu de Paume and the Louvre. I had the sparkling moments of wonder that I, a suburban girl with eight siblings, was actually face-to-face with the Mona Lisa, and other low moments of feeling overwhelmed by everything I didn’t know. The friends I visited at Versailles, competitive architecture students from Illinois, were too busy with final projects to give me much time. And none of them spoke French. I often found myself alone in Versailles townie bars, speaking my half-ass French with older men who tried to coax me back to their apartments. I wanted an entrée into Paris, but not through the bedroom. However human the scale of Paris, the cobbled streets led to shining apartments with golden lights that struck me as fortresses meant to keep me out. By Sunday evening, I was ready to move on.
When I arrived at Gare de l’Est, the Orient Express awaited with open doors. Let’s clarify one thing. The train was nothing fancy—no wagon-lits or elegant dining cars. The Cold War Orient Express of the 1980s was a regular old train with filthy windows and stained chairs, which merely followed the romantic Paris–Budapest route with a stop in Munich. I trudged down the aisle with the massive backpack strapped to my waist. I hadn’t mastered the art of traveling light.
Contained in that backpack were the accoutrements of my artsy makeover. I’d only recently discovered the wonders of thrift shops. Having worn school uniforms for twelve years—plaid skirts and vests, white blouses with yellowed armpits, v-neck sweaters, knee socks, and saddle shoes—in college I found picking an outfit every day a challenge. Unable to compete with the Kappa Alpha Thetas with their wardrobe expense accounts, I sometimes longed for my Catholic-girl ready-made. When I’d discovered the Unique Thrift Shop in Markham, Illinois, located in a sprawling, abandoned A&P, the long racks of clothes organized by color made me feel like a millionaire. I could afford anything in the joint! I spent hours that summer assembling my Eurotrash look. The collective value of my backpack may have been $40, but it harbored not just clothing, but my fledgling identity.
I carried a box of adapters to accommodate my travel hair dryer, iron, and Bausch & Lomb contact cooker, as well as a four-pack of hot rollers I used to pouf up my short-on-the-sides, long-on-top Flock of Seagulls do. The Oxfam Shop in Dundee, Scotland, where I attended university, had become my new couturier. The backpack held a hand-knit black pullover, a pink-plaid tunic, a purple wool cardigan, a paisley scarf, chartreuse Capris, a pink linen dress, a black cowl-neck velvet dress, and satin old-man PJs, as well as twenty pair of socks, ten pairs of underwear, four Shakespeare paperbacks, tights, strappy gray boots, a handful of bras, and a preppy scarf and John Lennon biography for my boyfriend. Complicated straps of varying lengths dangled from the backpack, which I didn’t know how to adjust for greater support and comfort. I looked like a D-Day parachutist, and it would be years before I understood why Parisians laughed and asked, “Tu cherches le debarquement?” (Looking for the landing?)
Sweating, I plopped the backpack into a seat next to a thin, middle-aged Frenchman who looked like he was fighting the flu. His lids hovered over his dark brown eyes and he smelled like cigarettes. He kindly agreed to watch my backpack and hot-pink double-breasted cashmere coat (a $5 find), while I ran outside to find a phone booth. Since the train didn’t depart for another twenty minutes, I had time to call my boyfriend and tell him my exact arrival time. Our initial plan, detailed in a letter I had written two weeks earlier, was that he would meet every train from Paris on Monday morning. Now that I had boarded, I could confirm my arrival time. I took with me the satchel made from rubber tires I’d bought at Les Halles the day before. It held my money, passport, travel clock, Interail pass, Walkman, ten homemade tapes, my journal, and my beloved Thomas Cook train schedule. In other words, it too weighed enough to herniate a disc.
The station air cooled my sweat and made the lambswool sweater scratchy against my skin. At the end of each track was a pay phone, and I hurried from one to the other, lifting the receivers to discover that not a single one worked. As I turned back to return to the train, I counted the number of tracks, unsure which was mine. A train began to pull out of the station, so I ran after it. I had only been gone for five minutes, but the Orient Express was leaving early! The satchel thumping against my thigh, I ran faster, yelling, “À Munich? À Munich?” A train employee pressed the door open with her elbow and yelled, “Oui!” I jumped, grabbed the handle of the door, swung onto the first step and jumped into the train.
When I finally regained my breath, I snapped open the sliding doors and headed for my seat. I walked through the first car, but nothing looked familiar. Where was the flu-stricken Frenchman? I passed through one car, then another, until I reached the dining car, where a bored girl in a polyester uniform smoked a filterless cigarette. I bolted down two more cars, doubled back, confused. Had I been facing in the direction of travel or backward? I moved faster, steadying myself on the seats as the train rocked. Back through the dining car again and into the next coach. The people looked familiar, but simply because I’d seen them a minute before. I had boarded the wrong train.
I ran to find the attendant, my sophomore-level French flying out the window as I blurted in English, “I’m lost!” When I explained the situation, the attendant shook her head. “We cannot stop the train for you.”
I didn’t expect her to stop the train. She presumed I was a presumptuous American who, in the words of one of my English classmates, “expected to be catered to.” I had noticed that something about me often garnered annoyed looks in Europe. Whether it was my bright pink coat or the mattress-size backpack, I didn’t know. I’d wisely tucked my black beret in my bag, having observed that only old men wore berets in Paris. It was not a great time to be American in Europe. Our nuclear missiles were stockpiled all over western Europe, ready to be launched at the U.S.S.R. should Gorbachev make any funny moves. Reagan’s landslide reelection didn’t help, and the dollar was ridiculously strong (as low as $1.10 to the English pound). So even I could be mistaken for that dreaded class of human: The Rich American.
“Wait!” the attendant said. “This train follows the same path as the other! It will arrive in Chalons-sur-Marne at 12:00. The Orient Express will get there at 12:15.”
“I can switch trains there?”
“Mais oui.”
I took a seat and studied the gospel of Thomas Cook. It was true. The train I’d boarded like a comic action figure followed the exact same path until Munich. If, and it was a big if, nobody had stolen my backpack by now, a midnight reunion was possible! I simply had to remain calm and kill the next three hours. I saturated my brain with Purple Rain and R.E.M.’s Reckoning, read and reread the timetables, and squinted at the dark countryside that looked like Wisconsin with an occasional illuminated château in the hills.
When the train was three stops from Chalons-sur-Marne, I went to stand by the door. Enduring the jostling stops and blasts of winter air offset my anxiety in a fine masochistic fashion. If only my shoulders were weighed down by my backpack! When the train pulled into the station, I hopped off and moved toward the stationhouse with two other passengers. The sight of a couple hugging stopped me. I was too nervous to seek shelter in the warm stationhouse. As the train pulled away, I looked up into the cloudy, dark sky. A minute later another train roared into the station. It was 1:09. I willed myself still. The Orient Express wasn’t due until 1:15. I was learning. Trains never left early. They may leave late, but they never leave early.
The platform clock had long lacy arms that tick, tick, ticked. The couple had boarded the new train, and I was alone on the platform. I started to cut my losses. I still had my passport and Interail pass. I could replace the clothes, sort of. I felt a pang for the velvet dress, which I’d planned to wear to the Munich Symphony. But the loss of the clothes wasn’t what troubled me. It was the sheer embarrassment of having made such a clumsy mistake. I was an amateur traveler. Alone on some French train platform, in the middle of nowhere, it struck me that no one in the entire world—not my parents, nor my friends—knew where I was. It felt as if I could step into some void and disappear. What if I fell on the tracks and was crushed by the train? Who would return my body to my people? My backpack would continue its solo trip, perhaps be detonated on the Hungarian border. What if I were abducted, taken into the black night? The edge of the platform felt like the edge of the world. I may have been connected through rail to hundreds of other destinations, a few minutes from a phone, but it still felt as if I were on the brink of an oblivion that comes with genuine solitude. If a girl stands on a platform but nobody knows she’s there, does she really exist?
The rumble of the approaching train snapped me out of my existential pondering. It was 1:15, and right on schedule, the Orient Express shuddered to a stop. I climbed on board. As I moved down the aisles, I was stunned to find them crowded with people. The air smelled of sweat and piss, and the windows dripped condensation. People slept on the floor because every seat was taken. I moved through one car, then another. Finally I saw it. While French teenagers curled in the aisles, my backpack sat like a fat entitled Yank in the chair. I lifted up the backpack and slid into the seat beneath it. I hugged it; I planted a kiss on the zipper. I had fumbled, but I hadn’t dropped the ball.
The sickly Frenchman awoke and squinted at me. I smiled back, wondering where he’d thought I’d been for three hours. I wished that he had looked out the window to see me standing out there on the platform. He might have thought I was a mysterious time traveler who could snap her fingers and vanish and then, like magic, reappear beside him.

*First appeared in Go Your Own Way: Women Travel the World Solo, F. Conlon, I. Emerick, and C. Henry de Tessan, Eds. (Seal Press, 2007).

Treadmill

OTR Translated

On The Road excerpt translated by www.thefreedictionary.com

The gloaming that Rider New York lastly fixed a cold-water flat was the California farewell that I left Selma. I was tidal bore to trace them and copulate them. I strutted along the imprints in the lingering blue October spark of the hollow anticipation for an SP shipment to locomote along so I could yoke the pellet-biting tramps and dip into the strips with them. It didn’t come. I got out on the beltway and gimped a spin at once. It was the quickest shoutingest outride of my get-up-and-go. The road hog was an instrumentalist for a renowned California cowpuncher set. He had a Tampax worn hot-rod and thrust 130 kph. “I don’t drink when I thrust” he said and palmed me a jug. I got hold of a sundowner and handed him one. “What the send for!” he said and drank. We summited Selma to LA in the astonishing rhythm of 4 hours supine--- all over 250 miles. The valley reeled off ahead of my view again. I had shimmied up and down the Hudson Valley and like a shot I was convulsing awake and descending the San Joaquin Valley on the other side of the world. It was mystifying. “Whoopee!” shouted the roadhog. “Say now lookee here, my ringleader had to wing it to Oklahoma for his creator’s inhumation this morning and I got to head up the assembly tonight and we’re on the note for a half hour. Do you calculate I can isolate some benzedrine someplace? I ain’t never gave tongue to a panel discussion across the sea breeze.” I told him to buy an aspirator in any pharmacopoeia. He got sloshed. “You figure you could do the trumpeting for me? I’ll lend you a suit. You seem to jabber a jot first-class American. What you say?” I was down---all the way from tottering Mexican tow cars to trumpeting a push-button roadshow in 24 hours. Why else would I keep on? But he forgot nearing it, and that was satisfactory with me too. I asked him if he ever got the goods on Dizzy Gilespie trifling a trumpet. He whomped his fowl. “That hombre is BANG phrenetic!” We slunk off Grapevine Fade. Sunset Boulevard, “ha-haaa!” he roared. He yammered me off proper in front of Columbia Pictures studio in Hollywood; I was well-nigh in time to hotfoot in and inebriate my unloved aboriginal. Then I scored my jitney pass back to The Five Buroughs.

wind and wave obey

Cake Walkin' (animation still)

memex

12.18.2008
memex

Here we have a “device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility.” It’s beyond microfilm, and the point at which machinery of this type will be unnecessary is approaching rapidly, or at least, as rapidly as it is prone to being perceived.

Hypertext was born of this thought, presented by Vannevar B., one of the Roswell signatories. It laid out the foundation for this text flux you are scanning or skipping, as related issues spring up within the parameters set by context, content is limitless and free of restriction when imagination is activated, much as a circuit, managing the input of any given moment at faster than the speed of sound, free association and mimesis, the practice of art, which is magic.

Depends on who you ask.

Tessellate

“Intelligence is the ability
to recognize patterns.”


I.
Sitting in a rented room
a song comes on the radio
that you sang to me once
when I was dreaming.

In a dream,
you sang a song
that came on the radio
once, in a rented room.

The song that you sang,
sitting in a rented room,
comes on the radio.
I discovered I had been dreaming.

A song comes on the radio.
It was a dream I had,
in a rented room,
that you sang it.

II.
It was a method of explication I had, an apparatus of expression, of heavy-set eyes. You would assume if there were two doors, one labeled “right door” that the other would be called “wrong door”. Or was it “left door”? Can you even believe it? Can you even imagine two doors, in a room, or out of it? Are they mishandled? Are they platinum plaited? Are they at all like your hair? Do they remind of something that smells nice? Something like your mother?

III.
Is this an event? Who are the caterers? How much do you pay for a room like this? Is this cream or white silk, draping the chairs? Where did this salmon swim, when it was alive? How many Daniels and Amys and Rachels and Roberts are here? How could it matter?

IV.
Rickety Fucking Chair.
Rackety Facking Char.
Rack Fractal Chai.
Refracting Choir.
Funeral Pire.
Fire.
Fire.

V.
After you read this,
I thought it was stupid
and burned it up. A million
pieces doesn’t begin
to describe it.
Right? Right.

Rest Stop

ubahn03jan

Movement, Into

movement

moments that pass quietly, invisible
systems, the quiet hum of the bus

I am hundreds of heartbeats


molecular apparitions of all
that happens inside me there
is no pause between breaths

but the breath that is happening


each person a small piece
looking at myself out the window
inside at a book or paper

each a reflection hearts beating
fingers pressing cell phone
buttons eyes follow
the quickly moving sky

outside,

a snow covered lake


a river covered in ice
on which we cannot stand in which
we cannot swim


a full breath


into


standing on the ledge
I hear traffic rush behind
on the freeway, waves
cycling, I face the lake still
circling


with each breath
I am in myself return
to my body become
myself again.

Greetings from Spauce

Dear friends,

As you may or may not know, I’ve been here at the Space Station for about a week now. I’m getting used to sleeping in a “cocoon” that’s strapped to the wall. It’s pretty comfortable! Everyday I put on my MMU (that’s what we call the Manned Maneuvering Unit, which is what we use in... SPACE!), which i then jet on over to the platform where I work on... you guessed it, SPACE EXPERIMENTS!

After I jet back from work, I exercise on a treadmill instead of swimming, as I did back on Earth. Why don’t i swim you asked? Well, up here, water won’t stay in a pool, a bathtub or ANY, yeah i said it, ANY open container; it would simply float up and form a blob. And blobs are fucking weird. Water won’t just sprinkle down either, so a watering can or shower wouldn’t work... and yes I do clean myself. I use a “special” container for my washing.

Eating is fun up here! We microwave food in plastic bags or tubes, and then squeeze them straight into our mouths! My boss really likes to squeeze his into mine, its what we call “swallowing”. We don’t cook over a flame, or have any fire whatsoever! I miss our cozy fireplace, but we can’t have one out here - there’s no chimney! ha!

See you soon!

Love,

Raychill, your “spaced out” friend


modified excerpt from UNICEF text book, “outer space adventures”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Contact Information Feb 2009

Andrea Mattson (cover) - cometogether86@hotmail.com
A recent graduate of SAIC. Loves to draw, knit, sew, spin, dye, make paper & generally use her hands to make things. Likes sunny days, & hates headaches.

Jesse Carsten, "e-mail" - jcarst@saic.edu
Here Lies: Jesse Carsten.
Now Moment-Now Moment.
He was so clever!
He carved into his chest: Abbye. Bevin. Emily.

Chanel Banoza, "an uneventful monday" & "nov. 3, 2004" - chanelbanoza@gmail.com
Leonine & Los Angelesque.

Tyler Sherman, "Summer Starving" - http://kosure.blogspot.com/
Tyler bio ---- Tyler David Sherman is a perfectly decent person. He has written three novels.

Mink Smithsonian, "You Are An Old Man" & "lolzebub" - http://minksmacrodon.blogspot.com/
Larger, and more adaptable than less hardy European mink. Loves a good practical joke!

Ben Bertin, "Untitled (house)" (pencil drawing) - http://www.benbertin.blogspot.com
Ben Bertin was born and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife, four kids and their dog smiley

Jamie Bloss, "I am from the lake" - angrygumball4594@earthlink.net
KSU undergrad in English and aspiring librarian. She likes honest poetry. Jamie likes to read, "...all books, I just like to know things."

Ryan Pfeiffer, "Pound" - http://littletinybirds.blogspot.com/
Splits his time between Arizona & Illinois. Exhibits work in Phoenix, student in Chicago. Interests include synths, scribbles, grapes, punk & beasts.

Rachel Williams, "The Bar" - www.jessica-williams.com
Has kept detailed diaries since age 5. Maintains journalistic practice, though 2 years ago began focusing on work that blurs line between fact & fiction. B.A. from USC Spring '09

Kate Bieschke, "Amtrak" (photo) - katebieschke.com
Kate Bieshke is driven by narrative. She draws from writing & creates a subtext of a fantastical world underneath the guise of the seemingly everyday

Lika López de Victoria, Excerpt from Luna Negra - likam13@hotmail.com
Her life simplified is about duality. English and Spanish. Numbers and Words. Tropical Island and Midwest. Longing and Contentment. Passion and Practicality.

Schylar Stap, "lolzebub" - songofdoors@aol.com
Born & raised in Los Angeles. Currently serving The U. S. Army. Scheduled for first deployment August 2009 with Infantry Brigade.

Alyssa Martinez (Editor)- http://www.nonsource.com/
Alyssa Martinez is finishing her final year in the Writing Program at SAIC. She believes only in science, magic and cats.

Mark Schettler (Editor) - mark.schettler@gmail.com
From Reseda, California, age 23. A Chicago resident since 2007, & an undergrad in SAIC writing program.

lolzebub

Schylar Stap

lolzebub

Sadly, there is no depth.
For what is deep that I cannot see
Through an open window, that
peers in at me?
Don't look far now.
Don't look deeply ahead.
lolzebub lurks
beaneath the skin on your nose,
beneath crow's feet
and bloodlines.
Disassemble the unfortunate disguise.
And there the eyes beholding
your eyes beholding
the palm of your hand--
held in the palm of lolzebub.

Enemies are abound.
Bound to being as certain as
lost memories,
unfortunately.

And the big fun
not to be shared.kill.die.
the crying mask.
There is no deafening.
"You will be punished,
Thank God,"
So spoke Lolzebub.

"Sometimes I dont even care about the haves and have nots,
the terror, the oppressors or the oppressed.
I suppress my self
100 % of the time."

An excerpt from: Luna Negra, Capitulo 1.

Lika López de Victoria

An excerpt from:
Luna Negra, Capitulo 1.

“Santo Dios mio Virgen María de los Angeles!” Paz's squeals hit such a high note that they woke the midwife who was nursing a hangover under an almendro tree four miles away. The sharp wails cut in half the numbing calmness of the Hacienda San Antonio, which was particularly quiet that morning, since eighty percent of the workforce was celebrating on the other side of the Island the Gobernador’s win for a second term as the incumbent. Old Capital City received laborers, dones and señoras from all the haciendas with live music, speeches and kioskos with all kinds of free delicious food, like fried pig skin, shaved ice with dulce de leche, blood sausage and coconut cinnamon custard. Don Antonio, who saw himself as the epitome of fairness, had done a lottery to determine who would have the day off to enjoy the festivities. Luck dictated that Paz stayed working that day. She had been picking coffee overwhelmed by the moist heat of the mid-morning when Luna started to fight her way into life.
“Puta Madre de los Infiernos maldita sea el Diablo!”
The few male workers in the field quickly identified Paz as the source of such obscenities since an unspecified number of them had made her privately scream with desire before she started showing. Rodolfo, the foreman of the hacienda, ran faster than the others towards the animalistic grunts that originated somewhere in the middle of the bushes. All Paz heard were the inconsolable cries of Luna, the noise muted while her belly filled up with salty tears. She wobbled her way through the coffee plants trying to find the closest dirt road, still carrying the bag of ripe pepas de café.
“Aaaaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhhhhh Santo Dios ayudame” Paz tried to move faster but the thin branches of the coffee bushes lashed her in every step. Each lick of a twig distracted her from the burning pain in between her legs. Paz heard her heartbeat in her eyeballs and the roars of Luna’s struggle in each of her screams. All she could see were green spots with some yellow and red and brown. The sea of matas de café opened as if prompted by Moses and the path led to a tamarind tree, under which Paz collapsed on top of the bag of red coffee beans. It felt as if she was breaking from within as she leaked water that smelled like pig’s blood. Paz’s bony hands and feet sank into the thick swamp that formed from the mixture of dark soil and the gallons of saline-smelling liquid that came out of her. Her insides cramped forcing her to push. On her first push Paz saw the face of the Virgin Mary hiding in the bushes and on the second it was a sweet-faced old lady with stark white hair that hunted her altered state. Then it was Rodolfo’s muscular arms with gray hairs opening their way toward her that gave Paz the strength to push a third and final time, spewing into a mound of coffee beans her baby girl covered in a caul.
“What is that?” Fear assaulted Paz. The thing joined to her through the bluish-red umbilical cord didn’t look like a baby. She had read stories about blood relatives that got married and had babies born with alligator skin or a rat’s tail, so she considered the odds of being related to the baby’s father.
“Go get the doctor or the midwife or a truck, dale corre, some help” Rodolfo ordered a worker, who left in the same direction he came from. With shaky hands he caressed Paz’s forehead, sweeping her wild black hair away from her face. She remembered when she first was introduced to Rodolfo, how she had been intimidated by his stern expression and his shadow-casting height. His dark bushy eyebrows made every crease of his face noticeable, making him look years older than his actual age of thirty-something.
“Niña, don’t worry, I think I hear the midwife’s jeepeta getting close…anda muñeca, take it, that’s your baby." Rodolfo’s caramel-coated voice and the sound of the midwife’s heavy steps making her way through the coffee plants calmed Paz. When the midwife finally arrived to the scene, sweating droplets of dark rum, she found the baby in her mother’s arms still inside the caul. Without hesitation she opened the veil with her chubby fingers revealing Luna, her big chameleon eyes wide open and wearing a wise smile on her pruned face. The midwife took her stained white skirt off in front of the pink-faced mother, the worried foreman and the few workers that gathered to take in the event, and placed it on the moist soil between the mother’s legs. She grabbed Luna away from Paz and placed her cautiously on the skirt.
“Give me your machete!” the midwife yelled at the foreman. Rodolfo jumped, and before he could comply she snatched it from his grasp. Taking the machete with both hands, she raised it over her head to gather momentum and in one swift motion she cut the umbilical cord. As the whiteness of the skirt absorbed the bright red blood, Luna, who so far since entering this dimension had not shed a tear or made a sound, quietly cried ginger smelling tears.

"Amtrak"

Kate Bieschke

"Amtrak"

The Bar

Rachel Williams

The Bar

I’m standing behind the bar biting what’s left of my left thumbnail & cuticle. This biting angle hurts my hand, so I stop to massage the amphibian-like section in between my thumb and pointer finger. My boss says that calms your brain down. That’s one method of hers. She blew weed smoke into my ears last week, and that worked too.

A customer approaches the bar with an overcompensating swagger and smiles at me. I imagine he drives a yellow Mustang or something with a stick shift. I think about red velvet cake so that I’m not completely frowning. The last time I felt content was four months ago. I start biting my thumb nail again. My fingertip is throbbing fast.

“Hey there! What are you mixing the vodka with tonight, cutie?”

The balls of my feet are starting to hurt big time and I’ll probably get a calf spasm while I sleep tonight because of these heels. My dad once got a calf spasm while leaving a voicemail for a client.

“Either pomegranate, clementine, peach or blackberry sparkling juice.”

He has uneven muscle tone. His biceps are lumpy.

“Well, which flavor do you like the best?”

All guys with goatees ask this question. I already have an opened bottle of peach juice in hand.

"Peach has always been my absolute favorite, to be honest.”

“Honesty. I like that. Well if you like peach, then I’ll get peach.”

I jam a fresh glass into the ice bin, pour in a few drops of vodka, and then swirl the cup as I add the juice. The bubbles almost spill over the brim, but they don’t.

“Is that your signature move? The swirl?”

“That’s right. It makes the drink taste better.”

"Did you do that just for me?"

I pull my dress down a little and scan the room. I wouldn’t fuck anyone in here. The goatee is grinning at me and I hate myself for feeling obligated to answer.

“Yeah, just for you.”

I look down at my hands and see that my ruptured cuticles are bleeding. Blood is speckled on the glass. If I just smile at him, he won't notice.

An octave higher I say, "Here you go, sir!"

"Thanks, gorgeous."

He tips generously, grins confidently, and is gone.

Pound

Ryan Pfeiffer

Pound

Wow these pound O throstle songs
heard while set surround tower greens, make one
thrive for three pence
and a billowing robin
for ones own keepsake

speaking only in grunts
when condescension is brought
among lucent King and Queen
draped in gold purple crimson throne
spotted with horrid thrombus sores
poking holes in equality aloud

You will rank up among monarch, your power
now allowing rant without that vile dither, your power
exceeding the amount of crushed
little bird bones and wasted air sacks
unswelled, no longer flowing upward
or along in a curling mass, no longer
a ballooning cherry bulge.

Save me Aristocratic grey-sayers
My song giver has died and now
the nature of my democrat is dead beside
the blooded bones and frail crimson clouds of feather
no longer flow upward or along in a curling mass
no longer a ballooning cherry bulge.

I am from the lake

Jamie Bloss

I am from the lake

and the step outside my backdoor,
where I’d sit in the late afternoon
light, time flying by in a straight line,
the only way to tell was the number
of cigarettes half put out on the ground.

Watching Titanic on VHS, fast-
forwarding through the nudity with
KT’s mom. The river behind my
grandparent’s house, and its foul smell.

Def Leppard and Van Halen
played all throughout the fourth grade,
my father assembling my Barbie
bike on Christmas Eve.

The timid and calculated steps of the
neighborhood herd of deer,
my great, great grandfather’s violin
that I’d visit in the basement of my

dying great-grandmother, in its own
dry wooden box, slightly resembling
(don’t say it) a coffin.
.
The steps on Coventry Road before
shows, after shows, drinking 40s,
laying on the bathroom floor
and the purple sky at night.

My boyfriend’s dog (a most noble
creature), presenting us with gifts of
dead raccoons and once, a woodchuck.

That bench where we held each
other, but only talked, in the
awakening November night.

The Final Countdown played on an
accordion, my mom and I dancing to
Aerosmith in the kitchen while
she cooked, and harsh words when
I sang the lyrics again in public.

The greasy unwashed cigarette smell,
and the chlorine smell of summer days,
that never quite washes off the skin.

When you told me: ‘I’m scared,’
and I just said, ‘okay’.

The flattened grass where we
had laid on our backs watching
the blue light of the moon.

The mixtape made by friends, and five rows
of studs worn low on the waist, gathered from
friends, or ordered off the internet with our
parent’s Visas and Discover cards.

My stolen copy of The Catcher in the Rye,
steamed up car windows when we had
nowhere else to go, and the Payne’s Grey and
Hooker’s Green of my mother’s watercolors
(and also of her eyes).

"Untitled House"

Ben Bertin

"Untitled House"

You Are An Old Man

Mink Smithsonian

You Are An Old Man

You're old, & you're eyes are glassy. They're weathered and preoccupied. You have a wife - had. You had a wife. There were kids, too. One's dead and the other's an ingrate bastard. A real bastard, you like to say. A real one- you never married his mother. That bitch. Your son. Henpecked shithead, too pussy-whipped to ever the bring the grandkids with him- your grandkids- or act like the man you raised him to be. Your son, the coward. Your caretaker. He bought you a rascal two years ago for your birthday, used, & you don't use it unless you have to which isn't often. And godamnit ain't no one gonna make you use the damn thing, either. You have a walker, and a cane. There are no tennis balls on your walker, & you only use it for getting around the house and even then only since your surgeries. You like to take walks, snow on the sidewalk or not. You laugh at all the dog shit in your neighborhood. When the snow begins to melt, is when there's the most of it. Trash, too. You chuckle & stagger along, wondering how many different dogs it took. You shuffle around the block thinking of the people that threw their trash on the ground.
You keep your pill bottles in the kitchen, & taking them each morning gives you something to do. Generally, you take as much time to complete this regimen as possible. You remember the times you sat in train stations for hours on end with nothing to do but stay awake. Had to or the cops would kick you out into the cold. You'd do this by doing only a few things, slowly. Walk to the bathroom, walk back. Sit. Walk to the water fountain, then back. Sit. The window; sit. This time, you don't bother remembering where you were headed so early in the morning, or even the names of the person or persons you were going to see. That train has left the station, as they say. And anyway, you're just trying to remember how to extend things.
You shower daily- you have always really enjoyed taking showers, even since you were a kid, even since you've been an adult. Now you sit naked in a white plastic lawn chair when you shower, & let the water cascade down your shoulders chest, your stomach. You let it land softly in your lap, & run down your legs or pool up in the sagging seat of the plastic chair. You do not always have the courage to get your hair wet.
You're an old man, & the scars from your youth have all been absorbed- lost in your wrinkled skin. But not the scars from all the goddamned surgeries you've had on you these past few years! You're building up quite the collection of those! Damn doctors. You remember the saying, "taken to the cleaners," that your health problems make up "quite the laundry list." You laugh, but then stop, because the joke is corny & you didn't even really make one, anyway. Just thought some things. Like you always said: bad luck, & poor execution. You, & your surgeries. You laugh, but feel it in your eyes this time. Ah, fucking procedures. The last one took out part of your colon, and now the cancer's back, in your esophagus this time. You aren't going to see those damn doctors anymore. You heard somewhere that if you live long enough, you get cancer. Kind of like nature's population control. Screw the doctors.
Early in the afternoon you like to take a nap in your bedroom. Sunlight spreads out across the room- the walls, your bed- and you nap, or else lay there, awake. Then you get out of bed, and sit in the other room, the room with the windows. Out your windows are rooftops & treetops. There are also powerlines, exciting, anonymous powerlines, connecting the whole world. Your storm windows are new, relatively new, new as of a few years back, and they keep the house very quiet. The sound of planes always gets through, though, thank god. You think about the people on these planes, wonder if any of them are people you've known. You're reminded of people you never knew by all the strangers overhead. Ah hell, make it this far, everything reminds you of someone. The punchline is you never can tell how much these memories are true to the people you spent the time with. It's a pretty good game, you think, seeing how many different versions of a single person it turns out you knew. Maybe they were sick, or drunk, or didn't pay attention, or else were more important than you remember, more than passing faces. Just keep remembering until you like the person, is generally the rule you play with.
And your daughter, your dead, dead daughter. No one or no thing is coming to get you because you played your cards wrong & you lost. Big deal. Hey, that's a good one! Things aren't so bad-- you might have a cat. Instead you have these things in your home, their solitude, all these damn dusty things. They're someone else's- they must be. Confusing but familiar. Like traveling when you were a kid. Maybe you didn't know the whole city, but you knew where you were standing. You knew North, South, & where you were staying, too. Knew where you'd been, and that's about it. You'd have fun trying to figure these places, or else not worrying about it one bit; glad to be standing somewhere. Well that was then. Dumb fun for a dumb kid, but it beats setting down wondering how the hell you came to have a porcelain black jesus with a broken nose, and three kings come up to his ankles over there on that end table. Who bought you that, anyway? How'd all this crap get here? You wonder what-the-fuck's going on around here.
You try to place these things, try making one thing lead to another, but suddenly you're having a rough go of it. You wrestle with the memories now all around you. You know they're yours, you know they belong somewhere. Things aren't adding up, and holy crap is this what it finally feels like to actually be lost? Ha! Wait, when did you get out of the shower? You did shower...? Hold on, weren't you just in bed? Right, yes, wait, well when was that? Goddamnit, how long have you been sitting here? Couldn't be that long- sun's only just dropped off. When did-- it must just be, you- ah hell. You're confused, you accept this. You're very confused.
Yeah, well, certainty is for fools & liars anyway, right? haHA! You try to comfort yourself with this. You set your eyes West, out through the window, from your chair. Somehow, your body is trembling, but your keep eyes steady. Out the window, certain in their intention. Your eyes are glassy, and weathered, sure, but they're steady, goddamnit- unwavering. You're fighting the shaking in your body now. You almost didn't notice. It's everywhere; your whole body shaking & awake, you're in it, you're fighting it. For what? You let go. You remember dog shit in the snow, and laugh.

Summer, Starving

Tyler Sherman

Summer, Starving

It's summer wherever I am,
and I'm hot and sweating
from it.

Salt melts when it's that humid;
into a queer syrup in the bucket
in the basement.

As you love me, I'll drink it.
Sticky spiteful, with constituent
additions of

non-sustaining elements and
I'll accept them through the
quenching hot

with wet—however concrete
saline, body wrongly.

november 3, 2004

Chanel Banoza

november 3, 2004


a year ago. you would have found me hand in hand with a daisy trail of four. surprisingly tramping the damp grass & mud in silver ballet slippers. laughing because the lights at the carnival made everyone seem red. i'd be wearing a blue blazer which i'd pretend smelled like aftershave & cigars, but really it just smelled like me because i bought it at a second hand store. we'd all be, us four, in pajamas pink & blue & dainty. only stopping at the carnival on a break from a sleep over. the lights, like shine, attracting us. we ran. getting more gazes then we assumed. thinking we'd just blend in. but we radiated. how could anyone miss us. us-the poster girls for happy. everyone observing as a lesson how they too could climb out of the dark corner, & out of their black clothes to play.

today. i've got an oversized jacket. & i'd rather spend time watching carnivals on the screen from under a blanket. & the jacket still smells like me, but that is only because under the blankets, pressed against my skin, peering out from under to watch the four little girls running through the carnival is the owner. & he smells like me, & i smell like him. i must no longer pretend.

an uneventful monday

Chanel Banoza

an uneventful monday


downtown can be quite charming in that early morning dew. the bums & crack addicts dwindling down into shady cracks before noon sun burns them alive. the foggy sunrise reminds me of some poem i read a long time ago, saying sunsets look that amazing because of the shitty air we have...i mean, but in a more poetic manner. & besides the point...i think it's true. the buildings are dressed up in christmas lights & it reminds me a lot of the Its A Small World ride at disney land, & we went into a parking lot & circled 20 times. it felt like rides. i was warm, & awake from jolty coffee from mcdonalds & bisquits. good ones.

he looked nice in his earthy turtle neck.

Dear Tony,

Jesse Carsten

Dear Tony,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carsten_Jesse Emil
Date: Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 9:56 AM
Subject:
To: Alyssa Martinez



Dear Tony, I think there is no light in the world but the world. And I
think there is light. My happiness is the knowledge of all we do not
know. George Oppen.
*George Oppen, The Selected Letters of George Oppen (ed. Rachel Blau
duPlessis, Duke Univ. Press, 1990)



--
inpreparation.blogspot.com


Windows Live™: E-mail. Chat. Share. Get more ways to connect. See how it works.

Cover

Andrea Mattson

Cover

Monday, February 9, 2009

Now Accepting Submission for March 2009

credit: Matt Sairio

In Preparation is now seeking submissions for the March 2009 Issue, which has the theme of travel/movement and related things. The image above will be the cover of this issue.
The deadline for submissions is March 1st.
Please see submission guidelines on the side of the page. Look forward to reading/viewing your work!
Alyssa and Mark

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Contact Information - April 2008

Jesse Carsten
jcarst@saic.edu

Jeni Crone
jcrone@saic.edu
nounconfused.blogspot.com

Naomi Rhema Edwards
convexexile@yahoo.com

Mac Katter
mkatte@saic.edu

Alyssa Martinez
digsynova3@yahoo.com

Andrea Mattson
cometogether86@hotmail.com

Marit Rogne - mrogne@artic.edu

Tyler Sherman
kosure@gmail.com
saic.edu/~tsherm
kosure.blogspot.com

Wendy Spacek
wspace@saic.edu

The End of Symbiosis

Jeni Crone - jcrone@saic.edu
nounconfused.blogspot.com

The End of Symbiosis

Tonsillitis-inflamed silence,
Snow-heavy branches threatened
By every exhale,
Thoughts calcified and consequently confettied
Under untied shoes,
Shoelaces tripping over feet today,
Blizzards dripping to echoes
Of the phone call made from the
Last existing pay phone.

My codependency spectrum
Accentuates the ultraviolet clinical catalysts typecasted as conflict.
An arthritic feeling sweaters the cavity that is
Rotting to a hollow disillusion
Graphed and climbing up the y axis.

Graffitied in vacuous tunnels of self-help brainwash,
The defiance that rusts me all the way down the fire escape,
Presses my cheek against the window of you
Walking barefoot at the scene of a broken light bulb,
Wanting to ask you to thread tree roots through me or
Simply to coexist.

A Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua and Sylvia Plath



Jeni Crone - jcrone@saic.edu
nounconfused.blogspot.com

A Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua and Sylvia Plath



Confusion over how

Ornithologists and Pilots are two different species
is worth pondering, but 

The thought does not return

A continent to Elizabeth Bishop.



The middle of the day was 

A broken dinner plate.

Saturday slipped from

My hands, of accumulating layers of 

Chicago-winter and turpentine.



Describe water without words, without the wet, cold, hot, rain,
liquid, etc. words.

Umbrellas used to be made out of words, your words.

Watch the negative space that seems to grow bigger around the red suitcases,

The red amplified, 

The liquid charcoal sipped through a straw

Sinking to the bottom to absorb it all.



On the Brown Line, bricks and metal,

Transparent skin and melting snow,

The sum of the velocity of the train

And the propulsion of my thoughts,

Windows are never 

Safe to use as mirrors.



What if on the smallest sub-atomic level we were 

Only made of sound? And

Death is only recognizable by missing someone’s voice,

Watch the negative space grow until everything heard inversed to invisible. 



No one makes a t-shirt that says, 

“I spent 4 days in the psych ward and all I got was hospital socks.”



Try counting ten, nine, eight, backwards

Next time you lose yourself. Say a prayer

To St. Anthony.

the Underwater Powers

Tyler Sherman - kosure@gmail.com
saic.edu/~tsherm
kosure.blogspot.com


the Underwater Powers

Whiling away the hours
The underwater powers don't

Keep a floating head
Above the waters.

Despite the strength
Of lighter gasses

The rising turgid sludge,
It passes down the line

The weight and meter
Of the feeder, upriver

Like jingling keys
Along greased splines.


The weight that has
Been meted out was

No equity. And hence
Propound the piling

On top of ready piles,
Ready piles on the ground.

It's all around here
Now. It's ailing, aiming down.

Stay Strong Friends, Spring is on the Way

Tyler Sherman - kosure@gmail.com
saic.edu/~tsherm
kosure.blogspot.com


Stay Strong Friends, Spring is on the Way

Snow,
Browning Grass
that they put in
before the final thaw.

Everyone re-closing
the storm windows
this morning,
because the wind's cold.

Go walking,
easing, down the iron
fence tops—stalking,
while Weather's

torsion's tearing
us apart.
Balance loosing
bearing. Take heart!

3:16 Wellington to Euston

Andrea Mattson - cometogether86@hotmail.com

“3:16 Wellington to Euston” 2008 Mixed media on paper.

California Mornings

Alyssa Martinez - digsynova3@yahoo.com

California Mornings

Thick on dry bread
sticks to the roof of my mouth.
Mint tea dissolves
stickiness to swallow.

Making One’s Mark

Tyler Sherman - kosure@gmail.com
saic.edu/~tsherm
kosure.blogspot.com

Making One’s Mark

Parking lot, after lot
After lot.

Somehow they say to me:
"We are your sons and daughters.

Our expanses are your legacy."
Every day they say to me:

"Brush off your snow."
Before the stain sets.

The body is hushed

Mac Katter - mkatte@saic.edu

The body is hushed

Cicero lays flat
You see houses and a church
But I say you cant hide a prairie
Dress it up all you want

The vast battalion of grass
Waits under the road
Like a landlord, flabby-armed
With a wooden spoon

A cats paw stuck to the rug

Mathematician

Marit Rogne - mrogne@artic.edu

Mathematician

You mustn’t stay up
my mother said when I was a child,
you do all your growing when you sleep and
now I’m done growing and I can’t sleep
because now that I’m done growing
what will happen
when I sleep?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Contact Infomation - March 2008

Naomi Rhema Edwards - convexexile@yahoo.com

Alyssa Martinez - digsynova3@yahoo.com

Wendy Spacek - wspace@saic.edu

At the Thought of You

Naomi Rhema Edwards - convexexile@yahoo.com

At the Thought of You

I took bittersweet all the way down
To where the wall and the water
Grind together as flesh
And the gut-rot of fish
Makes heavy the air

The lake spits burst pods
Of algae against the breakers
The rock wreathed in black strands
Glitters with fish hooks

And I think how the hands
Wane in their sockets
And the nails bleach
Or go dark with blood

Light through waves
In dull spectrum spread
And splayed

The face shrinks to a relic
The eyes sink down
And I don't remember
And gentleness

Empty jaw of concrete takes
The fisherman and his quiet
'There it goes, swing low'

In is cold weather

Alyssa Martinez - digsynova3@yahoo.com

It is cold weather

Our sources are limited
and I am soundly asleep.

There is no god but
I am one of
a million gods.

I am not a god.

I am this one in a million.
I am one of millions.

In god I live
and soundly sleep.

Our resources limit to
fear of God, this
fear and living god.

God is on and only
of a million.

I am only a million
of millions. I am
godless in living. I am
sleepless in god.

I am only
millions of gods and fear.

The Small Light

Naomi Rhema Edwards - convexexile@yahoo.com

The Small Light

White feet in low tides
Beheaded by light
Salt-withered

And will we ever see
That cloudy man o' war
Take the shallows?

Mussels clasp rubble
A plastic fork snared
In red algae

We laugh at wet skin
Tinged by spreading dusk
The purple of guts

A small and burning light
That we only see later
From the balcony

We say, look at those kids
Chasing the last waves
Before the still night

Combine

Wendy Spacek - wspace@saic.edu

Combine

2.

I put a box
in a box
in a huge
box.

In city.
On continent,
but if

these words
were made
so we could be
specific then

why can't I say
what
I mean
when
I mean it.

1.

The layer of wind
on
the window pane.

The water
on
the water.

How do I tell
what
I am to be
when
I am to be it.

Things that go in the trash. (A List)

Alyssa Martinez - digsynova3@yahoo.com

Things that go in the trash.
(A List)

Banana peels. Used paper towels. Burned incense.
Nail clippings. Receipts. Used matches. Finished
chap sticks. Used light bulbs. Material scraps.
Dust. Sand. Boogers. Broken electronics. Small
paper scraps. Tampon wrappers. Food scraps.
Health insurance. Ugly rocks. Polaroid boxes.
Film canisters. Bad photos. Old photos you don't
want to look at. Old pasta. Hair from bathtub
or drain. Hair from haircuts. Draino bottles
(empty). Things you forget to recycle. Bottle
caps. Spit. Used condoms. Broken condoms.
Feathers. Toe nail clippings. Old paint tubes.
Old CDs. Broken CDs. Scratched CDs. Leaking
batteries. Used non-rechargeable batteries. Plastic
bottles (when you have nowhere to recycle them).
Phlegm. Pieces of string (usually short).
Torn nylons. Bloody bandaids. Pieces of flesh
(for various reasons). Rusted earrings. Shattered
glass. Uninteresting toys. Old underwear. Dead
pens. Broken brushes. Empty body product containers.
Dead glow sticks. Dead light bulbs. Broken dish-
ware. Vomit. Moldy food. Tupperware with moldy
food in it. Cracked tupperware. Broken hangers.
Expired condoms. Finished packets of birth control.
Over-steeped tea. Stained underwear. Stickers
that have no more adhesive. Stickers that no longer
apply to you. Q-tips (dirty). Seaweed. Leftovers.
Ends of candles. Old conversations. Used gauze.
Ice cream containers (empty). Used ice cream
containers with frost bitten ice cream in them.
Unlockable locks. Dried henna. Mud. Old crowns
that fall out. Dead bugs. Broken mirrors. Broken
or otherwise used guitar strings. Cat puke. Dirty
diapers. Things that were stuck between your teeth.
Dryer lint. Belly button lint. Coffee grounds.
Plastic containers merchandise comes in (the kind
that is impossible to open). Demolished dance
shoes. Rusty or otherwise unusable nails. Broken
hookah parts. Dating games. Cigarette butts.
Butts of pencils. Used swifer clothes. Orange
peels. Yogurt tops. Empty tooth paste containers.
Wrapping paper (ripped). False eyelashes. Cloth
with grease on it. Containers with grease in them.
Broken bike parts. Dried out air fresheners.
Allowances. Animal droppings. Things on the
beach shore. Passed Exams. Past. Mold. Liquefied
potatoes and otherwise inedible food. Broken
glasses (for eyes or drinking). Books on sex.

To be continued.