CURRENT ISSUE: Winter 2017


It's Dark in a Box Built by the Father

Tell me are you dark?

Is it dark in the box?

Show me. Do you

always have pride

in your work?

You have taught

me well. Life

is a flying pig and

you are a closet.

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Excerpt: The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery's Early Life

From Chapter 6: “Undergraduate Reflections” (1945-1947). Note: This excerpt begins just before John Ashbery’s sophomore year at Harvard (Fall, 1946)

The “strange melancholy” Ashbery felt all summer made him especially eager to “plunge...back into the Harvard routine.”1 “Fiddling” with the Harvard Catalogue, he contemplated courses in Slavic or “ that I will be able to write poems with little Greek quotations at the top like T.S.Eliot.”

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The Perpetual Scam

Joanne wants you girls to know that she’s a real messy bitch: a liar, a scammer. “I love robbery and fraud,” she drawls with scandalized bourgeois affect, flipping her blonde wig with a vigor that threatens whiplash. “And I’m a messy bitch who lives for drama.”

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A star-smeared night, the usual briny and humid haze of the brush country in August, and Dixon was hauling twenty cases of stolen toys up from the Rio Grande Valley.  They were in the bed of his truck under a blue tarp.  He took care to drive the speed limit and flash his blinker.  If the border patrol at the Sarita checkpoint asked, he’d claim a delivery mix-up.  If the guards were white, he’d blame it on Mexicans.

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Chance's Megachurch

"Make some noise if you wanna go to heaven.”When Chance the Rapper uttered this phrase about halfway through his set at Boston Calling, no one skipped a beat, the crowd roaring for everyone’s favorite friendly rapper. Pyrotechnics and massive screens began to roll as he transitioned into yet another immensely catchy and soulful song from his hit-studded repertoire. In front of the stage, beach balls flew and a sea of arms glistening with wristbands bobbed slightly off beat. All eyes focused on Chance. As he ran and jumped across the stage, it was hard not to revel at his fervor and knack for crowd engagement. But if college has taught me anything, it is to immediately transform my natural revelry into analytical impetus. And as a Religious Studies major, I couldn’t help but take a step back to look at the precedent and undertones of Chance’s massive performance.

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Notes from Boston Calling

A Tweeted History of Cage the ElephantSupporting Cage the Elephant was my first taste of hipsterdom. When I saw the band open for Stone Temple Pilots in 2010, I was one of the fifteen audience members who knew the words and stood by the stage. The hundreds of seated attendees who had never heard of the opener could see that I was a real fan.With every step the band took toward mainstream success, I tried to claim them as my own. I broadcasted my excitement for Cage the Elephant releases on Facebook (Figure 1). I refused to take pictures on my flip phone after their concert, fearing I might somehow replace my home-screen photo of lead singer Matt Schultz jumping into the audience.When I heard the single from their 2013 album Melophobia inside an elevator, I knew I had to accept that Cage the Elephant was popular.

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