Volume 4 Issue 1

Volume 4 Issue 1

Summer Alumni Edition

5115f2d9f0e80d9d27f69a680149ff9f?s=128

Clocktower Review

August 24, 2020
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  1. None
  2. None
  3. The Clocktower Review Xavier University’s Literary and Art Magazine Volume

    4, Issue 1 Summer 2020
  4. The Clocktower Review, 2020, Volume 4, Issue 1. © The

    Clocktower Review is a publication of Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45207. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ad- ministration, faculty, staff, or general student body of Xavier University. The Clocktower Review considers submissions of poetry, prose, photography, and artwork for publication. Submissions may be written in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, or any other lan- guage that may exist in this universe. Translations are, however, required for foreign language submissions. Submissions are collected by email and must include the submitter’s name, type of submission (poetry, prose, or art), and the title of the piece. Submissions must be original and not previously pub- lished. All submissions are presented to the editorial boards anonymously and are reviewed blindly. Cover created by Andie Parady. All text in The Clocktower Review is formatted in Garamond. i
  5. Mission Statement The Clocktower Review is Xavier’s forum for creative

    outreach which strives to develop, nurture, and celebrate the creative abilities and talents of Xavier’s student body. The Clocktower Review features and showcases original poetry, prose, and artwork of all kinds as made by Xavier University students in order to celebrate and promote the creative work of the Xavier community, and to create a greater and more inclusive environment by allowing voices from people of all different backgrounds to be heard. We work to build and strengthen this community of creative individuals through campus-wide events, sharing news of other happenings off cam- pus, and the semesterly publication of student work. ii
  6. Editorial Team Art Andie Parady Poetry Hannah Schwager Alex Ackerman

    Charlie Gstalder Kathryn Longfellow Prose Alex Ackerman Charlie Gstalder Kathryn Longfellow Hannah Schwager Creative Director Katie Nichols Faculty Advisor Anne McCarty iii
  7. From the Editors: iv We are very excited to bring

    the first Alumni Edition of The Clocktower Review to the pages. We feel it is important to include alumni in the Xavier community, especially in a time when community is proving essential. The theme of this issue, “Detour,” references a di- version, an alternate route. Whether the detour is physical, idealogical, or otherwise, this summer has presented shifts among individuals and communities alike. It is a detour in itself for alumni to revisit their time at Xavier, and we thank them for that. We hope this issue is more than a detour. We hope the intentions of this issue are ones that stay. Love and thanks, The editorial team of The Clocktower Review
  8. v Table of Contents Poetry Daniel Jones Hotel Room as

    Unconcealment They Don’t Call It Transference Campbell Haynes Detour Into Dreams Detour to Damnation Emily Walton Sunbeam Devi Jags Two Religions S. Simonet The Garden of the Gymnopédies Plane Trees Art Sheridan Davenport Gaia: Revive Delaney Mallory Untitled 1, 2 Untitled 3 Untitled 4 Untitled 5 Leslie Lewis Untitled 1 Untitled 2 Untitled 3 Tom Conway No Gas Today Flood Stage Approaching Storm Monica Schweiger Florentine Breakfast 1 35 2 40 7 9 12 37 5 6 17 34 39 8 16 36 11 33 38 15
  9. vi Prose Michael Jerge Tenebrae 18

  10. Hotel Room as Unconcealment Daniel Jones Class of 1998 Even

    night provides glare enough For curtains to conceal, When one cannot deny the roil Of one’s air conditioner, the rolled Thunder’s anger, the brown suit wrinkled With rain. In a corner of the room Where tucked in shadow the briefcase Cannot rest, a mirror reflects Nothing of color but instead the breath, The presence of a ghost Some truth that cannot be quelled. Truth, that green of grass to deepen With the flood, to wilt with drought— A trickster’s prank— Grows weary but refuses to sleep. How the puddles fill, how The front desk scurries, How the darkest hairs cling To the whitest pillowcase, At the beckoning of an elevator. 1
  11. Detour Into Dreams Campbell Haynes Class of 2020 Imagine a

    world without limits. Where dreams become reality. A world of in-between, Where nothing is impossible. Where castles drift on clouds, Illusions run rampant and free, Where ideas become real, And technology lives. A world where death is one stop, Not the journey itself, A land of the spaces We all wish to visit, That we glimpse in the moments That go by too soon, A world of daring knights. Faeries and demons, A world of gods and giants, A world where nothing is false, So nothing is true. A world full of adventure, And daring escapes. A world full of dangers, And all of it new, Set aside, It seems, Specially for you! Can you see it? In the corner of your eye? Can you reach it? Go ahead, try; Yes, now you’ve done it; You’re on your way. Hold on tight, now; 2
  12. This is your day! Don’t worry about me. I’ll be

    fine here. You see, I’ve already been. I thought that was clear. My journey is over, But yours has just begun. It was quite a blast, I had a lot of fun. But everybody grows up, And stops dreaming in time. I’m afraid my adventure is over. I’ve lost the will to shine. What’s that you say? I still have a chance? Maybe you’re right. I just need to grab on with both hands! Thank you, my friend. Now I feel brand new; I’m dreaming again, And all thanks to you! I’ll never stop dreaming, No matter my age. Now I know that only I Can write the last page; For life is a story That’s still going on. Only you can decide What chapter will be your swan song! So don’t ever doubt The dreams that come to you. Go out and find them; Make them come true! Dreams will just be that Until you believe. If this world holds you back, Then get up and leave. 3
  13. When the time is right, Just get up and go,

    Don’t worry about it, I didn’t. You’ll know. When you start to dream Without being asleep, Trust your instincts, Close your eyes, and just leap! 4
  14. Gaia: Revive Sheridan Davenport Class of 2020 5

  15. 6 Untitled 1, 2 Delaney Mallory Class of 2020

  16. Sunbeam Emily Walton Class of 2009 The other day we

    played on the bed in the morning light a sunbeam was on the sheets You reached out your hand to touch it I said “Silly Louie, you can’t hold a sunbeam” And instantly felt guilty not the Instagram “mom guilt” But guilty because I took your wonder Your pure, innocent, fresh wonder And called it silly I am so sorry. I will not be that cruel I will not steal your wide-eyed wonder Because soon enough it will leave you or the world will shake it out of you I will hold off time For both of us Someday you will not want to hold a sunbeam 7
  17. Untitled 1 Leslie Lewis Class of 1989 8

  18. Two Religions Devi Jags Class of 2019 Nothing was the

    same now that the confirmation ceremony was coming to an end I was happy to have my sweet loving grandmother, cross necklace and all, Smiling. Oh, how proud she and my Mom were on that cold school night In my head I realized I no longer had to torture myself through this ceremony of emptiness This hour-long restless time where none of these stories provided Hope Faith Or culture. It was just a routine, a façade. An hour wasted when I would always ask, Why? Why wasn’t there bass guitars, drums, clapping, or dancing? Why could we not express ourselves in vibrant color? Why could we not eat meals like we did at the temple? At least at the temple I didn’t have to be silent. Or did I? all 9
  19. 10 Their confusing tongue and my strained ears pleaded to

    know what was happening every time, but I couldn’t comprehend. So, when I came out of my head, I settled to what Ms. Kavanaugh said to me at ten years of age, “You will have to choose.” Leaving me with, What is there to choose?
  20. 11 No Gas Today Tom Conway Class of 1968 and

    1971
  21. 12 The Garden of the Gymnopédies S. Simonet Class of

    2020 I cannot bear to remember the tassel Of the clematis that ripples in the breeze, Pale in the sunbeam, the gracile Violet of petals, arranged in a frieze At the garden lattice, beside the dappled mint, Beside the crumbling stone, amongst the morning’s Sweet-peas, because it reminds me of the time I spent Quietly abused, in my childhood home; it rings The bell of memory, that surprises Like the silken flash of a woman’s skirt As its embroidery coquettishly rises – And for me, as I sift the dirt Of my existence, the shame of how I have lived, (For I am the horticulturist of time past) Feeling threads of water sieved Through my open hands, at last, I astonish my soul with the memories of its pain. And the violet, tangerine transpositions of air, And the darting melismas of summer rain Watch my stupefied being stare At the lanes of involuntary memory unfurling, Inaccessible until this elapsing present That bring me into the whirling Corners of my being, into the gusts of wind not meant For me but for the clouds of a watercolor sky, For the untimely beauty that echoes, reminiscent
  22. 13 Of glissandos moving like a butterfly, That is existence

    at its height, its apotheosis, enraptured by the ascent Of the possibility of eternal beauty, that serenely rises, Thoughtless, in the silence after a throng of voices Have vanished, in the transition of sunlight that realizes Itself through the windowpane and rejoices To know what being is, to recapture The memory of clematises bending in the sunbeams To feel a wake of extraordinary rapture And to understand its primordial dreams. *** So long I’ve wanted now, wandering arboreal Groves, or city streets, amid the vapors Of meaning drawn from sensorial Moments immersed in writing-papers, Or beneath the honeysuckle of my garden, fleeing The monologues of memory left undone By listening to operas by Gounod, or seeing The splendid Klimt gold of the vespertine sun, To make the slow ticks of sunlight passing Through my garden or my empty room, Awash with hue in every second surpassing The one before it, into a cathartic bloom, Whose beauty is not that it captures the dance Of my thoughts in a perpetual whorl Or draws from things themselves a faint glance Of meaning whose complexity might unfurl In the sound beneath the archway that lingers,
  23. Or in the suspension of light mid-afternoon – But simply

    is, without the motions of the bell-ringers Whose tolling bells, whose innuendoes give the all-too familiar swoon Of a reverie wrenched with pain. As I walk the esplanade Of my beautiful garden lined with grey stone, I find All the anguish I’ve suffered fissuring its façade, So what beauty there, in the same clematises twined With sinews of time past, intensifies my life Not with splendor, but with the desperate striving To escape my own mind, to flee from the memories of strife That plague me, that I still access in the reviving Of silhouetted objects with furtive meanings. Oh, I cannot bear th thrilling Nacre of morning glories trellising the garden gate, Or even the frieze of flowers spilling Over the bounds of eternal time, ornate With variegated being, because I am so afraid to find in these concrete Ordinary things, a splintered, musical grief That shakes me with the weight of my own metaphysical defeat As if the Gymnopédies were the lingering motif. 14
  24. Florentine Breakfast Monica Schweiger Class of 2020 15

  25. 16 Untitled 2 Leslie Lewis Class of 1989

  26. 17 Untitled 3 Delaney Mallory Class of 2020

  27. Tenebrae Michael Jerge Class of 2015 When he came upon

    the road and the setting sun, he looked out across the rows of grasses and reeds towards the faint horizon. He had walked through acres of marshland back to the highway that he had lost. When he reached the base of the hill he trekked up the grassy slope with a log of sapwood as his walking stick and when he stopped he stood atop an artificial mound with a French sewer drain running through the middle of it. The gravel highway buttressed by rails ran over the mound and ran west down the country. He followed the road with his eyes towards the sun and scanned the fields. The air was thick and the sky speckled with dust and ash the color of turmer- ic. Storm clouds began to gather in the distance, and nearer a single farmhouse with a metal windmill standing next to it. The wind blew in from the east, bending and locking the reeds, the dust particles strung out along themselves, as if tethered to an ether beyond any senses. He held an old Stetson in his hand and wore moccasin boots caked with caliche. The hill upon which he stood overlooked a glade of meadowlands scattered with witch-hazel and snags rotted from smoke and diseases. He glanced behind his back down the paths from which he came, nothing left with which to venture. Then he sat in the yellow grass and sand beside the highway and wrote down with his finger the address of his childhood home in the white gravel. In nights past he dreamt of waking bare in a dark and deep wilderness on the side of a mountain, the light snow falling through the canopies and the wooded clearing where he lay. A blanket of snow surrounding him, pristine, not a trace of animal or human tracks alike. An old campsite marked with etched stone and a firepit dark- ened by an old bed of coals. He motioned his eyes upward and looked through the canopies at the sky. The clustered stars above vibrated alongside one another, specks of meteorites colliding and disintegrat- ing into nothingness. The Big Dipper afire in the darkness. He lifted his head and leveled his body with the turning of the world as a sud- den sharp dizziness overtook him. He held out his arms to catch his 18
  28. balance and opened his eyes to a solemn disorientation. The

    otoliths dancing and clanking about in their selfsame solution. Like molecules in a gaseous thermodynamic equilibrium. He motioned towards an evergreen, fingers outstretched, and lurched towards the trunk and hugged it to catch his breath. The heat coming off of him. Out of him. His glow in the darkness like foxfire. He took deep breaths and regained his senses. At the base of the tree was a narrow path covered with brown pine needles and petrified wood. He walked towards the head of the path and grazed a log with his bare calf as he began his descent down the side of the mountain. The switchbacks marked by stones varnished with ancient petroglyphs. And when he came down the side of the mountain he stood in front of a rushing river, the melting snow flowing down from the grykes into the rivverrun. A bridge connected the two banks and he walked towards the center of it and peered down into the bed, the water the color of phlogiston. The moss stuck to a tree logged millennia ago. And when he looked towards the side of the mountain opposite he saw a cloaked woman venturing up the slope, her back towards him as she walked away into the shadows. He heard the lapping of the water on the banks. The soft waves cool against the pebbles, grating past them in a hasty runaway. He called for her but she continued her ascent into the deep snow, the jagged rocks peeping out of the snow piles, and he fell to his knees and he watched her venture out of sight over the edge of the mountainside towards the ends of the earth. He rose from his writing and kicked the sand with his boot toes. The dust lifted and joined their sister particles blowing in the wind. He turned and walked towards the fence and crossed the road. It was an old West Virginia split rail with moss still growing on the wood. One of the timber logs had fallen out of its sockets, dandelions growing near the post holes, and leaving just enough space for him to climb over. He saw very clearly how his entire life had led to this mo- ment, and all after led to nowhere at all. He felt a cold enter him as the skies above him darkened and the light dimmed further. He raised his leg to cradle the fence and stepped over. The boot heels strik- ing the ground and the white weed spores arising to and fro in the wind. He lumbered down the side of the mound towards the prairie 19
  29. fields. The storm was beginning to muster, and the wind

    around him strengthened. In the distance was the remnants of an outhouse. He walked further down the path. The soggy ground had the texture and malleability of a spongey peatbog and the water brackish, heat-red, the color of Oolong tea. Compass and blazing star flowers bordered the edge of the path, and Indian grass switchdanced in the wind. Out on the north were rotating clouds darkening and folding and layering upon one another like frothy mille-feuille. The farmhouse was built on a half-acre of land, surrounded by a ranch, two chicken coops, and further out an archipelago of marsh- lands. It stood atop cinderblocks and aluminum metal panels ran along the ridge of the roof. He walked towards the porch. The mesh on the screen door was torn and the latch wouldn’t quite close all the way. He walked up the steps to the porch and opened the screen door and pushed his way through to the hallway. Sawdust and yellowed newspaper covered the floor, and small nail heads jutted out from wicker boards on the walls. The hush and the silence. He called for someone but no one came. He went to the kitchen. Old china scat- tered across the countertop and green, clay bowls were stacked in the kitchen sink. Large mason jars filled with water dotted the room in an irregular pattern. In the dining room was a cherry wood table stained with Amish varnish. Five chairs surrounded it, and on the underside was an engraving: Jason, to you and your wife on this special day, your Papa. If only they were left to trees. He looked outside through the window in the kitchen. The clouds were darkening, and sheets hanging from a clothesline were whipping in the wind. He went towards the living room. In the corner was a steel, potbelly stove and a pile of waterlogged wood next to it. A coffee table. A couch covered with a dusty quilt. He opened the rusted door of the stove with a fire poker and stoked the remnants. In the stove was a charred Yellow Pages phonebook and a leather bound copy of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He took the novel out and put it under his arms and lifted some wood and newspaper into the stove and lit the paper with a match from a matchbox set atop the stove. He took the novel in his hands and opened it to the bookmarked page and began to read. Then he sat on the couch, placed the book near his feet, and held his 20
  30. head in his hands. … The pine tar on your

    hands sticks to my shirt. It smells of charcoal. The rooves you built dot the neighborhoods. She held the garden trowel and walked towards the gate. There were marks of dirt on her spring dress. The dress was white and embroidered with lilacs and lavender. When she reached the gate, the latch was undone. There was a metal rod that ran down the side of the door, and it had been used to anchor the gate during storms but had since only made a shallow groove in the earth much like a track to help guide the arc of the door. The little girl gave a slight push with her elbow, swinging the gate open, and walked through the gateway. It was early when he dipped his feet into the lake. His father was back at the cabin making breakfast with the groceries that he had bought the night before. He had also bought some earthworms in a Styrofoam Dunkin’ Donuts cup from a gas station attendant a half of a mile from the cabin. —What do you need ‘em fo’? —In’t it obvious? —You ne’er can tell. The water was cold. He felt small bluegill nipping at his feet as he grazed the film with a piece of sapwood. His father had told him to run down to the lake and see if there were men with boats there yet and to run right back before his eggs got cold. There were no men yet, not yet, but he wanted to feel the coldness of the lake before anyone that day, before all that was left was the sound of engines out from the edges. He lifted his feet from the water and ran back to the cabin. When his father woke him that morning, his breath was shallow and even. His father rubbed the boy’s arm with the back of 21
  31. his hand, and in that state of the boy’s rest

    he had told him a story of how his grandfather on his wedding day had to dig his car out from the remnants of a terrible blizzard the night before. The snow had dropped three feet over the course of three days and he could barely make out his car under the snow piles in the street. His headlights and one rearview mirror could not be mistaken. A plowman had ap- proached him from around the bend of the neighborhood cul-de-sac. He rolled down his window and called to his grandfather and asked if he needed some assistance. He nodded his head and said that he did and that he was late for his wedding with the woman of his dreams, that they had met at a St. Patrick’s Day party. The plowman said that no right man in his mind would be caught dead in this weather digging out his car for a woman and that he didn’t believe him. His grandfather opened his coat and showed him a black tuxedo and he said how many men have you seen out today digging out their cars in a rented tux, and his future wife doesn’t wait for any man. His father kissed his forehead and told him he’d wake him fully within the hour. … –Evening stranger. He looked up from his hands and through the screen door. There was a woman standing at the edge of the porch and behind her legs were two children. The girl carried in her arms an old Army footlocker and the boy kept his hands in his pockets. They each wore ripped parkas of different colors, the seams ripping and the down insulation poking out of those seams. –Mind if we come in and set down beside you? He looked over them what he could see in the darkness and the edge of the firelight. He nodded and told her to come on through. –Much obliged. The woman walked towards the door and the children fol- 22
  32. lowed her. The girl walked with her arms cradling the

    footlocker as if it were a giant glass egg and the boy put his hand on her shoulder so as to guide her and keep her balance. The woman opened the door, the children behind her, and stood in the entrance of the house. There were three wooden rocking chairs in the corner, the painting chipping away from their age. The woman went to grab the chairs brought them to the children. The boy and the girl sat, laying the footlocker beside the chair at her feet. –Sure is a helluva storm just now, in’t, said the woman. The man nodded. –Sure is, he said. Almost thought I wouldn’t come on through the pass. I counted nigh on thirty trees feel straight over. Dead ones though. And I swear I saw a lightning bolt almost hit one right in front of me. Biggin’ I’d ever seen. –What? The tree? –Both the bolt and the tree, I suppose. She smiled. Her dimples like charcoaled sketches in the ambi- ent light. –Yep, helluva storm. You look lost, mister. Where you head- ing? Are you heading towards South Bend? –Yea, looks like it right now. Where y’all heading? You sure y’all ain’t the ones who is lost? –We’re just headin’ north right now. Followin’ the interstate as it comes to us. She put one hand on the back of each child’s neck and brushed their thin curls. –This here is Elisha. And my other sweet angel is Abigail. 23
  33. –How’d you do? The boy leaned forward from his mother’s

    hand and offered his hand to the man. He smiled and shook the boy’s hand. … There was a field about an hour from their cabin, where he and his father would go to pick wild blueberries. They would carry with them wicker baskets lined with flannel sheets and tan gardening gloves. His father wore rubber boots and a turtleneck, the same one that his father wore when he was a boy. They would walk to the field in the clearing of a low valley on the western side of the mountain, through the pines and wetted bogs, until they stood at the edge of the field on a hill of siltstone. The bushes dotted the field in a pattern as if they were morels and other mushrooms sprouting after a dew-spell. His father combed the boy’s hair with his fingers and placed his hand on his shoulder. The boy looked towards the sky and smelled the air. Gedankenexperiment: is the pitter-patter of rain on this field a form of free speech? … –We seen you when you went up that small hill down yonder, she said. On the other side, that is. We thought you’d might’ve known summin’ was a-blowin’ on the top of that there billow. Hand to God it looked like you had summoned this here storm. You sure are sweatin’ quite a bit, and this here fire you been stoking give the beads a reddish hue. The man looked uneasy. He took his hands and folded them upon one another as he leaned forward and spat into the fire. It made a sharp hiss and began to crackle again. Then he leaned backwards away from the fire. –Yes, ma’am, he said. I looked around the fields and didn’t see 24
  34. nobody except for this here house so I decided I

    might as well reach it before the storm hit. Seemed about as good an idea as any. He placed his elbows on his thighs and his chin on his balled hands. As if he were in agony or a repose beyond recalcitrance. He relaxed his hands and formed a cup with them and wiped his eyelids. The woman watched him as he muttered some inaudible psalm under his breath. Then he balled his hands again and returned his compo- sure as the wind and the lightning cracked the cheeks of the house. –I have to say, mister, said the woman, that this storm should pass within the hour even though it’d be a blower. When it passes we’ll best be on our way. Their eyes seem heavy. –Well, he said. You can certainly stay here if you want. Seems to be abandoned, and I’d be dead to rights if I let y’all go out again into that wasteland. –That’s kind of you, mister, but we don’t want no trouble. –What’cha got in that there locker, hun? He pointed with his chin towards the girl. She cradled the metal box with her small arms and clutched it towards her chest. She didn’t answer, and she stared into the fire waiting for the moment to pass. –Abigail, go on and open your box and show the man what you have. Go on, it’ll be alright. She gently released the box from her grip and placed it on the ground. It was covered in dust from the outside and she took the sleeve of her jacket and wiped the dust off from the lid, revealing the spray painted black lettering. 25
  35. PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA U.S. ARMY FORT

    BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA 0-1592731 She unhooked two padlock latches and lifted the lid. It made a creaking noise from the rusted out levers and hinges. There was a brown, compartmented tray with lining paper layered atop a velvet underbelly, and the lid was lined with a crinkly bamboo tacked in an orthogonal pattern. In the tray were salt and pepper shakers, a slinky, a full manila envelope tied with a string, a deck of cards wrapped in a magenta rubber band, and an old beat up road map of Ohio pinned with yarn and bobbies. The girl lifted the envelope from the tray and untied the flap and removed a stack of black and white pictures, some with men and women, some with horses and landscapes. She laid them side by side one another in one of the trays and placed around the edges a white frame to hold them in place. –She found this on the side of the road, said the woman. The footlocker, that is. Just settin’ there like someone knew a courier would come along. It’s a small one, for sure, but that don’t make it any less of a haul. The man looked at the woman and then her daughter. She motioned him with her hand and he rose to move closer towards her. She pointed to the pictures. In one of the pictures were painted horses and a man with braids and feathers in his braids. He stood cradling the neck of one of the horses, his hand stuck in time combing the loose mane. The horses were painted with handprints and they eyes lined with charcoal and indigo. In another was a family of four and they wore steel toed boots and jeans ripped at the knees. –Her gran’mama gave her those pictures. They go all the way back to the time before the Civil War, right around the time when John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry. They say our family had moved out of West Virginia to the west towards Tennessee, right near the 26
  36. Forks-of-the-River in Knoxville. They had absolutely no money and the

    daddy was a drunk schoolteacher who just quit. Mama said that the boy got up one day and headed west out down the Mississippi and into Texas. Never heard from nor seen him ever again. –They traced it that far back, he asked. –It’s claimed. But I suspect it’s only in memory. Or the histo- ry of memories that passes between us. It opens. … Her white shoes gave out from under her and she slipped into the mud. Ribbons were pinned to her shoes with bronze brooches in the shape of bees. One of the brooches had cracked in half from the fall. Her knee was scrapped, and there were small tears streaming down her face. She lifted herself from the mud and regained her sens- es. The smell of pine tar. Of turpentine and resin. She walked further from the gateway down the path. A creek with a faint high humming and branches immersed in the shallow water ran concomitant with the path. She walked towards the creek and grabbed hold of a tree root peaking above the soil, and with her dominant foot forward she wadded into the water. It came up to her knee, and the water cooled her wound and the mud with spats of blood washed away down the current. The water soaked her dress and she grabbed hold of that self- same root and lifted herself out of the creek. She sat in silence save for the water near the foot of an old ash tree and curled into a trunk hole to dry. Perhaps there were birds cooing above her, perhaps not, but in the cool air she felt the world slipping, and she closed her eyes, and fell asleep. … The man nodded his head as he heard this and understood. –That make it so, he said. But memories are part of history, ain’t they? Whether they be true or not. They cain’t be separated no 27
  37. matter the circumstances. –Memories can be, but the pieces cain’t.

    The pieces themselves are necessary, but they ain’t sufficient, though they be essential in an’ of themselves. And you might say to yourself what is that? What good does that do? Reducing them to their qualities. One you have the things themselves. Second one is the state of those things. And the third one is the time of the two things themselves, the rules of the passages and slices. He listened to her and looked at the girl. The boy had mo- tioned closer to his sister to get a better look at the pictures. Then he took the deck of cards out of the tray, loosened the rubber band, and removed it from the shell of the deck. He walked over to the man an sat Indian style near his shoes. He laid out five cards in a straight line face down and shuffled them amongst each other and rearranged them in a straight line, face down once more. He motioned towards the man to cover his eyes with one hand and reach for a card with the other hand. –And those are the pieces needed to make a memory, said the woman. Same is true for a game. Ain’t that funny? The same basic elements needed to make a memory are the ones needed to make a game. They say that men are born for games, that ever’ chil’ knows that to play is better than to work. Elisha here makes games a reality from his memories and his understanding of the world. I suppose the thing between a memory and a game is the dream itself. He wants you to pick a card. He hovered his loose hand over the line of cards and he reached for one and turned it faceover. –Can I look, he asked. –Yes, said the boy. He lowered his hand from his eyes and opened them. It was a five of clubs. The boy turned the other cards faceover only to reveal 28
  38. Jokers atop of enormous unicycles. –You tricked me, said the

    man. The boy shook his hand and he said that he didn’t trick him because he was the one who choose the card amongst his own agency. That it was only him that he abandoned and betrayed. –This here house in the midst of nothingness ain’t no excep- tion, said the woman. It’s here almost in solemnity, a fixed point in this swirling storm. There used to be trees scattered through these parts. But almost ever one of ‘em gone. Ever one of ‘em that the good Lord put on this here green earth is either charred, diseased, or lost fore’er. I wonder sometimes if there are other places like this, or if this here is the only one. … When it was dark she opened her eyes to the starry sky above. The air was cold in the hollow tree and the mulch and lichen soaked and clung to her dress. She rose from her slumber and set foot past the liminal space. Darkness impenetrable. She reached for a branch but none came. Her heart skipped as she tried to balance herself with the turning world. The moon appeared in the distance, and the silver light floated down from the heavens. Her eyes met the ground and a trail of scattered blueberries upon the ground. If only my brother were here… … –But the dreamer mashes those three things amongst his inner most heart, she said. The trajectory of those things swirling between the wish and the thing gives way to the world itself. We cain’t seem to trace the individual positions to some remote terminus or origin. The thread runs bare only insofar as there is a thread at all, and the closed nature of the system leaves much to be desired. My gran’mama told me that if one were to head up north on Interstate 75, just outside of 29
  39. Cincinnati, the town of Lebanon, Ohio would greet passersby with

    a silly American heartland assemblage. To the left would be the Treasure Aisles Flea Market, adorned with billboards advertising daily sales from rugs to Pitbull outfitters. To the right the Solid Rock Church, with its artificial pond overshadowed by its almost comically 25 foot tall Jesus statue welcoming parishioners with outstretched arms. Past that are the rows of truck stops and Ford maintenance facilities for the transportation industry to continue its saunter through the crossroads of America. But there are other parts to this spectacle, too, not readily seen, not readily transfixed. In a warehouse not far from the exit ramp lay thousands of tiny, dormant robots designed to automate itself and act as a fulfillment center for the Kroger brand. For now, the warehouse serves as a sleeping symbol of the world to come. Once, the Ohio Valley was the bastion of steel and automotive manufacturing, the iron dust and the wind swirling the dust from the Bessemer processes coagulating amongst the mountains along the Ohio River. Now most of that hard labor has vanished only to be replaced by algorithms and neatly skilled mathematicians. He reached for his brow. –I can usually tell, he said, when my heart is weak. This is one of those times. It gives out on me, and I’m left with a strangeness in its place. And I am left sitting in the midst lying about myself. The woman sat there staring at him. The fire had died down and the coals crisped and cracked with the last of the dying embers. The children moved closer to their mother and as they did so the floorboards creaked and moaned with the passage of their feet. The man gave out a low breath through his nose and sat pensive. He thought that in the darkness of the world were orbs of light scattering in random vectors past one another in a chaotic frenzy without sem- blance of order. That the mazes of his ropey veins and their tangent lines preserved enough to make flesh and clay alike. Outside the wind had ceased and the clouds began to part, the gray light streaming over the land. 30
  40. –The storm seems to have stopped. Can you hear it?

    He shook his head. –Alright, now. Let’s go. Elisha. Abigail. We best be on our way. The boy returned the deck of cards to the tray and the girl sorted her photos and stacked them one upon the other. She placed them back into the envelope and tied the flap shut. Then she lowered the lid and latched the padlocks shut. She lifted the locker into her arms, and the boy helped to guide his sister towards the door and their mother. She opened the screen door and the children walked past her. –Sarah? She looked over her shoulder at the man before she went to go, revealing a bee brooch clinging to her lapel. –I know you think who I am, but I cain’t even know myself sometimes. There are nights when I close my eyes and think of my past, and cain’t wrestle it. The shapeless forms in my closed eyes come to and fro, and I cain’t touch them through my reach. I wish they were made right again. –I know who you are, Jason. And I know you cain’t. The road don’t rise, it bends. It’ll arc again. The story is told. Now rest. Somewhere never traveled in the early morning hours I have seen salt fields glistening from the rising sun. They were streaked with soft gray lines, soft noise, like fingers dragging in a current. As if someone had reached over the bow of a wooden boat in that long ago. Ethereal chrysalis cells bright enough to sing. Tintinnabulum. In those first minutes, I walk barefoot in the grass and the darkness not knowing where I am walking. I am walking away from the rocks along the edge of the road in the grass and the air from the sea pushes me towards I know not what. And as I walk I smell the salt in the air 31
  41. and the seaweed and I reach out in front of

    me, trying to stop the locomotion, the wind being too strong for my legs in front of me for a railing in the darkness, the sinews in my neck slowing my breath- ing, but there was no railing. There was only the darkness and small droplets of ink spraying in a circle by means of some centrifugal force I could not see. The same is true of the droplets of light, the leath- ered and grainy orbs like tiny basketballs hovering and skating along a path there and then not skating along a path much like a folded band. I have seen their work for I have heard their voices and more. 32
  42. Flood Stage Tom Conway Class of 1968 and 1971 33

  43. Untitled 4 Delaney Mallory Class of 2020 34

  44. They Don’t Call It Transference Daniel Jones Class of 1998

    I believe they call it transference To mark the wild churn of the aircraft engine And notice the disintegration of one’s life, The din of children Who will soon know you as a visitor Of a wife who will lust for other men On account of your turbines and gears and Close friends who will acknowledge You as machinery. To feel one’s life as if it hurtles Through an expanse, Becomes one with firmament Vapid, vaporous sky Its failure an angry fuel Carving white against the air; To grind beyond the comprehension Of those you might wish to love But around whom you cannot wrap Such immaterial wings. 35
  45. Untitled 3 Leslie Lewis Class of 1989 36

  46. Plane Trees S. Simonet Class of 2020 The silhouettes of

    plane trees, bractiform Arouse the garden wall and acquiesce To morning glories’ stunning nakedness Glazed with the dew of yesterday’s rainstorm The minute stillness, as the sun unfurled Held this moment in a cherished palm Disclosing its extraordinary calm To a sodden, unalterable world, Whose iridescent beauty faintly shone In all existence, giving April rains The expression of a sonata’s strains Who glimmer at my window there, alone. Yet though the springtime leaves its tender note, Disquietude remains the asymptote. 37
  47. Approaching Storm Tom Conway Class of 1968 and 1971 38

  48. Untitled 5 Delaney Mallory Class of 2020 39

  49. Detour to Damnation: (Immaculate Conception Part 2: This Time It’s

    Personal) Campbell Haynes Class of 2020 I’m bored of being forgiving And saving you all From now on, I’m done, Don’t care if you’re saved or you fall! Forget the Garden of Eden, This time, I think Satan was right! Who cares about Heaven? I’m gonna rage day and night! I’m the Son of God First name Jesus Yeah, that’s right It’s J to the Shush! Who cares about saving? I wanna rule! Leave kindness to the saints, I’m gonna be cruel! I can’t stay dead, I’ll be reborn So never be sad, Let’s party, not mourn! Let’s live like Judas! Anything for money. Then walk off into the land Of milk and honey. Yeah, I’m holy Come on, I’m Christ! So come at me haters, I’ll leave you sliced and diced! Who needs Heaven? I want a kingdom on Earth Give me Frankincense and Myrrh, 40
  50. Cause that’s what I’m worth! My father created you all

    Meaning I should be the king Therefore, as my first decree We won’t ever stop partying! I’ll have Mary Magdalene, And other disciples in my crew, This time it’s personal: Immaculate Conception, Part Two! 41
  51. The Clocktower Review Xavier University