I cling to this scrap because it draws lines, connects shapes. It creates topographies and reinforces terroirs. I let it— I let her, Portia— redeem my father, when I cannot.Read More
I must remember how Miriam sings a song of victory, how Deborah was a judge of Israel, how Esther saves her people, and how Hannah prayed. And mainly, I remember my great-grandma Hannah. Hannah, a Cohen born in Scotland, raised in Russia, died in New York. Hannah, a Jewish woman in the century that was simultaneously one of the most terrible (see: the Holocaust) and most inspiring (see: the State of Israel) for Jewry.Read More
Hearing about life is interesting. It bears almost no resemblance to experiencing it. Hearing about life prepares you for it in the same way that describing wine allows you to enjoy the glass.Read More
I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but we, class of 2017, have grown up. You have forced me to grow up, willingly or not. Dear Dartmouth, thank you. This is not a love letter, nor a hate letter. It’s simply a last letter.Read More
Senior year of high school we were asked to write a “Self Paper.” I stumbled across it the other day. Adrift in my poorly organized Documents folder, I searched “Senior Year,” and was mistakenly directed to that earlier file. The “Self Paper” was as nebulous as it sounds — a way for English teachers to motivate some self-reflection before our days were no longer regulated by bells, carpools, family dinners, and curfews.
If you’re feeling kind, indulge my high-school self in some of her closing thoughts on eighteen years in suburbia — she didn’t expect anyone to ever read this except herself and her English teacher/tennis coach (she didn’t typically write for an audience), but here we are. You can laugh if you’d like — I did, and she can’t hear you now. If you don’t think you can bear it, feel free to skip to the final paragraph.
“As I am now, I feel like a shell. Not hollow, but a foundation, formed from the fused molecules of every event, every minute moment of my life up to this point. The shell is strong, but it is open, ready to be filled with knowledge, with wisdom, with experience. I feel anxious, but excited, ready to commence.”
Reading old writing is like watching an old home video, or looking through photo albums. You recognize yourself in that moment: you on the couch that’s now gone, petting the dog that’s now dead, but in the same house you’ve lived in since you were born. Or, what you believe you remember as an authentic, genuine memory may only exist because after being confronted with a little bit of yourself that’s harder to recognize, you’re forced to confabulate, just a little.
Reading my writing from senior year (the first one) feels a little bit like that — I recognize it, I mean, I typed those words on this same keyboard not too long ago, but they sound impossibly sweet, impossibly optimistic (the next sentence had a Walden quotation, but I’ll spare you). That soon-to-be high school graduate thought that somehow the next four years would complete a proper narrative arc, would deliver answers, closure, adulthood. It was a cute thought. But judge my high-school self as I may, reading my writing from senior year made me realize that I feel uncannily similar to how I did four years ago. Except maybe this time, a little less ready.
For our twenty-eighth issue we present Resurrection. If you like stories and poems about legacy, loss, murdered dogs, and getting caught in the rain, this one’s for you. We apologize for our long absence, but we promise we’re here to stay. In the Jon Snow kind of way, not the White Walker kind of way.
The myFriend vibrates reassuringly, and the smooth electro-voice soothes me: “Do not worry, Jett. You are not alone. We are watching you. You matter to us.” It asks me to rate my Acute Loneliness, and with trembling fingers I press the bright red 8.Read More
The rocks above Jasper. Elle had thought they’d just fallen. Rocks fall in the countryside as bits of construction material fall in the city, and Jasper’s death had seemed an accident at first. Then she’d found Lily. Then she’d found the photograph, the watcher above the bridge just where the rocks had been.Read More
The day they found you the river was cold, slushy and grey and frosted at the edges. Snow hung in the air like time had stopped — hadn’t time stopped? — and the air was sharp in my mouth and lungs and it hurt to inhale, though that may have been the ache in my ribcage, and the sky was high and colorless and clear. An extent into nothingness.Read More
In protests that erupted across the nation following this order, protestors repeated the phrase “Never Again.” Protestors scrawled it on signs, chanted it in airports and referenced it repeatedly online; “Never Again” became a plea for empathy ... While the message of empathy and allyship seeps out of the photo, this message was not what the phrase “Never Again” orginially meant.Read More
I don’t know how big the flood that called Noah was, exactly. I mean, I guess it filled the whole world, which has got to be a hell of a lot of water. This, though, this felt like a call to build an arc if I’d ever heard one, or at least to get out there with the other fools who thought they were Noah, too.Read More
It’s like an ink spill. A whole bottle of ink spills on some old white sheet and the optimist in you says, ‘wow, look at that new pattern.’ At some point later in the week or month or year, you realize your infatuation with the pattern isn’t a sign of its beauty. You put it in the wash, take it out, and realize that ink has in fact, fucked up the whole sheet.Read More
Austin means warm winters, means that seasons aren’t distinguishable. They infest each other, graft onto each other’s decay. Fall rots into a sodden trail of grey highway horizons and road kill that bakes more slowly than usual.Read More
She says tomorrow I quit smoking and she leans sideways against a white pillar, pressing her weight against it and playing with the loose splinters at the porch’s edge. I say Anne, you said that yesterday.Read More
I’m writing about institutional shifts in culture when Dartmouth became coed in 1972. Specifically, I am interested in Dartmouth’s school song, which changed from “Men of Dartmouth” to “the Alma Mater” in 1988 to reflect the presence of women on campus. I have special permission by the Rauner staff to view original copies of both versions of the song. Two weeks ago, I made a historic discoveryRead More
If I were telling you the same old same old Dallas story maybe I’d talk about how the guys and I used to race to school every morning, not outta excitement but because we woke up a few minutes before the bell.Read More
The corral is full of six month-old calves, shades of black and brown. They take turns lifting their tails and relieving themselves on each other, deciding that now, the only time of the day they don’t have access to thousands of acres of pastureland, is the time to defecate. The stench is overwhelming.Read More
In this essay I would like to address a certain myth: great art is said to be timeless and universal, transcending the contingent circumstances of its own genesis and speaking to men across the ages. In other words, the fruits of genius are ahistorical.Read More