CURRENT ISSUE: Winter 2018

POETRY

On Nothing


I wanted to know there was nothing.

I kept knocking. When I touched
the door with my palm the wood froze.
When I called your name you slept behind
drifts of rain for nine hours.
There was snow in everything I spoke.
Your eyes filled with the green paralysis of
trees, months of wind at our lips.

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NOTES

Editor's Note: Noise

Noise lives a double life. It’s the random fluctuations in the background, where voices and images are born and where they go to die. It is also the car alarm, the lawnmower, the kid crying on a plane where you can’t get away and can’t make it stop. It tends to get between you and whatever you actually want to be hearing. “Noise is unwanted sound,” says the collective voice of Wikipedia’s legion of anonymous editors, speaking from the digital abyss. These pages are home to a silent unwanted uproar. They are dedicated to sights and sounds neglected, to everything that reaches your eyes or ears but still evades notice. This issue of The Harvard Advocate tries to listen.

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FEATURES

An Interview With Maggie Nelson

I don’t think personal writing refers to a genre. I’d like it if people gave up this fetish of “she seems to be speaking just for herself, but the miracle is that it ends up a universal truth!” – on the one hand, good writing always does that, and on the other, trying to get to some universal transcendent shared experience or feeling is part of the problem anyway.

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FICTION

Noon

So many people were being raptured that day, so many having their hearts’ desire. But suicide was becoming quite boring, no longer worth getting rapturous over, nothing to get out of bed for. It was not at all original to climb the ladders of sky, since the stars, and their broken shells, were giving very obvious directions. And there were times when the strange weather simply demanded it. If a midday breeze blew apart a veil of air, you might spy something there as like a revelation; and no sooner marked by its beauty, your neck rests upon the wide bosom of sky.

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FROM THE BLOG

Taking a Dive with Coast Modern and SHAED

The night began with The Star-Spangled Banner and a man in a black Morphsuit. The anthem, sung by concertgoer Kayla M. Salmon, was the highlight of an impromptu talent show hosted by Coast Modern, Tuesday night’s headliner in The Sinclair. This goofy, no-stakes “talent show” was the perfect icebreaker that seemed to forewarn the audience, “Don’t take anything you are about to see or hear too seriously.” And there’s nothing serious about Coast Modern. From Los Angeles, Coast Modern is an indie pop band that sounds like they are from Los Angeles. Their music is an amorphous mixture of mischievous energy and dog-day lethargy. To hear this contradiction, listen to a track from their eponymous debut album released last year. The band consists of lead singer Coleman Trapp and guitarist Luke Atlas - who, by the way, was presumably the man in black spandex.

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FROM THE BLOG

Sinclair Darlings(ide)

When I got there, late last Thursday night, the Sinclair had an unusually low-key energy. It kind of felt like the Powers That Be had pushed back Twain's stage time (they were opening for Darlingside) to do a late-night sound check, or like the venue had been delaying things with a recorded set list but the speakers had conked out. Even with the low audience hum, it was that quiet, and there was that little energy. And having listened to Twain’s label debut with Keeled Scales (Rare Feeling (2017), more info here) a few times through now, the reality of their live performance was awkward; I had been expecting the coherent, and (occasionally) profoundly listenable sound that defines tracks like "Solar Pilgrim" and "Freed from Doubt," and instead found myself struggling to follow along. I'm sympathetic, though; all it takes is a coffee house experience or two to know that it's really, profoundly hard for acoustic groups to command attention, when that attention isn’t already there.

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