ISSUE 1 // POETRY
visual art by Deanna Lee, Olga Alexander, Erlin Geffrard, Sofia Villena Araya, Darin Smith, Steven Westbrook, Ira Joel Haber, and Robert Henry
"Bird perches in the strings of flesh
and sings of the dead.
What we all do."
"Poems. Death objects. The eternal deathlessness
of death. Something like a fevered night drip."
"If she could speak, you’d be surprised
to know she has no comment at all
on her current condition, but cares deeply
for the enormous and REAL obscenities
that threaten our actual existence.
She wonders and worries often
about our civilization..."
a soliloquy and a persona poem
"This skin is a universe born,
melanin galaxies gleaming
under black mustard seed sky..."
an autobiographical poem
"In lieu of the festivities I lay out twenty dollars for a séance.
I’ve sucked a lot of cock and had my share of deathwatch but..."
"I enter time like someone entering
you: I want to write about what’s left over
from St. John, I want to eat the leftovers of Sor
Juana Inés de la Cruz, surprised in first person..."
a free verse poem
"...time packed in that wound like bodies on ships..."
an elegy and an ode
"As wind dries ocean to rock
we carry fragments of memory in our fault lines.
We hold faith in fingertips, rosary of fallen loves,
we carry cinder blocks to build floodgates,
to hold up walls, to fight wildly against doubt..."
a mixed art collaboration
"We’d be damned if we’ll give up a third
of our lives to nothingness as do old men
in the square who say they do not dream."
"Otherwise, everything was going
as planned: New marine animals with syrup
in their wings & the sea’s organs lit up
like tiny moons, choreographed with a libretto."
a lyrical personal narrative
"One day my mother will kill my daddy. She will tell me he is not your father."
VISUAL ARTIST BIOS:
Olga Alexander: “Feminine Transcriptions” consists of fragments of old sewing patterns given to me by an anonymous seamstress. The patterns indicate sizes and seams and are used as metaphors for the body. They are also used as metaphors for a personal space that is fluid and ambiguous. Re-contextualizing sewing patterns in this way, allows me to create a dialogue that ultimately investigates my perceptions about identity and space as I make my way in a world that is constantly in flux.
Olga Alexander is a native New Yorker who creates installations and mixed media work. She is interested in perception and fragmentation and how these are articulated in science and technology.
Sofia Villena Araya is a Mexican-born, Costa Rican artist. She currently lives, works, and studies in San Francisco. Her background includes a ballet education at the Academia de Ballet Clásico de Costa Rica (2000-2010) and violin and music at the University of Costa Rica (2000-2010). She majored in visual arts at the Idyllwild Arts Academy, California (2010-2011). In 2012, she continued her education in painting and art history at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Erlin Geffrard: Born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida (into a Haitian family of Baptist and Voodoun religion), my childhood was confronted by an identity crisis, largely made up of environmental and spiritual conflicts. I grew up in one of the top ten most dangerous counties in America. The racist identity of the south combined with the violence in my neighborhood made me just another black person in the south. However, at home I was taught to stand in perfect posture and have pride in my motherland, which was the first black-led republic of the world. This gave me experiences unique to West Palm Beach and exposed me to an idiosyncratic vantage of ethnicity, human beings, and cultures around the world. I finally see the world as a rainbow, and in order to face these subject matters I’ve created an art persona.
"Kool Kid Kreyola" is an ongoing project created by artist Erlin Geffrard, illuminating the inner workings of one painter's mind. Ordained at age 19, this fifth generation Voudon priest struggles to understand his divine title, dealing with issues such as Hollywood's depiction of zombies, their creation of race culture, and dumb fat Americans. These are all combined in the form of visual art such as painting, film, video, live performance, audio paintings and other media forms. The representations that are given to the public are meant to be understood in a fine art context.
Darin Smith: “The Planner” is one piece from a collection of cultural explorations from artist Darin Smith. The artist created "The Planner” from researching the intersection of cultural ceremony and body decoration. These pieces also elicit elements of the artist and their mental health. In this work the artist creates a visual identity for his anxiety in planning through the lens of cultural groups' ceremonial and traditional body decoration.
Artist Darin Smith is a metalsmith and fiber artist from Michigan. Smith received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from Eastern Michigan University in 2013.
Since presenting a final nine-piece collection entitled "Cultural Explorations through Metal and Fiber Body Decoration," Smith has been working freelance on projects and navigating his new environment in Oregon.
Steven Westbrook: These collages are a part of a series focusing on the juxtaposition of the real and surreal: how individual perspectives can exaggerate how the mind sees what would normally be mundane. They all tend to share a theme of the human in the face of a greater world they themselves projected. This world is often overwhelming. This world is often personalized, making it all the more heavy.
Steven Westbrook is a poet, artist, photographer, and former creative writing tutor who is currently an undergraduate at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has previous work in Torrid Literature Journal, Instigatorzine, Squalorly Literature, The Cadaverine, and upcoming in 491 and Rose Red Review. He was a second place recipient in Columbia College Chicago's Young Authors Competition.
Robert Henry: Photos kept in a box for many years. Opened and placed side by side.
Robert is a sculptor and designer from Atlanta, GA. He currently lives and works in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, NY.