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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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

massive mantra
anti-movement movement
man removed movement
remove men
again and again
circles 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)


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


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).


OTR Translated

On The Road excerpt translated by

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)



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.


“Intelligence is the ability
to recognize patterns.”

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.

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?

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?

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

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


Movement, Into


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


a snow covered lake

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

a full breath


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

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!


Raychill, your “spaced out” friend

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