Submissions for Issue 7

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Submissions for Issue 7 are open until April 15th!

Send us your poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction!

Find full submission guidelines here!

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Wordsmith Wednesday: The Evens’ “Cut from the Cloth”

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This week’s Wordsmith Wednesday comes from the song “Cut From the Cloth” by The Evens.

It goes:

“Cut from the cloth, and cut quite severely
Is this my world I no longer recognize
I’m hearing common words, common expressions
But nothing is common in my eyes”

With the world changing dramatically and traumatically over the last handful of weeks, so much that we have always conceived of as familiar is no longer the same to us. Friends and family being pushed out of their homes, people fearing for their lives, and others entirely unsure of what their future, if there is one, in this country holds anymore. And yet there are still those who are pleased with the outcome, pleased with what will inevitably be their own demise.

At times it feels as if we have only been viewing the world through rose-colored glasses and have finally taken them off, leading to the realization that everything we thought we knew about the world, the people of the world, what we thought everyone believed in, is no longer true. In 2006, The Evens were able to articulate the exact disbelief we feel. Simply put, MacKaye and Farina’s lyrics resonate with the lack of familiarity that surrounds us every day now.

– KK

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Wordsmith Wednesday: Nirvana’s “Aero Zeppelin”

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Our words this Wednesday come from a song off Nirvana’s first demo that appeared on their 1992 compilation album Incesticide.

The lyrics from “Aero Zeppelin” are:

“All the kids will eat it up/
If it’s packaged properly”

There were a handful of Nirvana lines I considered highlighting this week, but I settled on these because they seem relevant outside my skull. Kurt Cobain’s lyrics/music/interviews /art/writings were essential to the shaping of my identity from about age twelve to fourteen, teaching me to reject racism/sexism/homophobia/heteronormativity/ consumerism in ways that weren’t stilted or self-righteous. He gave me values to align myself with before I had any idea what that meant. He showed me it was OK to try to be an individual in a society that seemed to always be actively trying to limit your individually in its self interest. Maybe I’m just getting old or paranoid (or both), but I’m afraid adolescents are at a loss for contemporary role models that provide that same encouragement to resist the strong desire to shape identity around the things they have and want to have. There’s money and influence in exploiting a consumer’s insecurities, and who is more insecure than kids? It’s way easier to be a good little consumer, attaching one’s own worth and that of others to brands and products, than to create meaning and value for oneself. Don’t get me wrong, we all consume. Sometimes it’s just knowing when to puke.

Thanks for showing me how to stick a finger down my throat, Kurt.

– NR

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Wordsmith Wednesday: Fugazi’s “Suggestion”

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Wordsmith Wednesday this week features the lyrics to Fugazi​’s song “Suggestion” from their record “13 Songs,” released on Dischord Records​ in 1989. They read:

“Why can’t I walk down a street free of suggestion?
Is my body my only trait in the eyes of men?

I’ve got some skin
You want to look in

There lays no reward in what you discover
You spent yourself (boy) watching me suffer
Suffer your words, suffer your eyes, suffer your hands
Suffer your interpretation of what it is to be a man

I’ve got some skin
You want to look in

She does nothing to deserve it
He looks at here ’cause he wants to observe it
We sit back (like they taught us)
Keep quiet (like they taught us)

He just wants to prove it
She does nothing to remove it
We don’t want anyone to mind us
We play the roles that they assigned us

She does nothing to conceal it
He touches her ’cause he wants to feel it
We blame her for being there
We are all here
We are all
Guilty”

The use of rhetorical question and perspective in these lyrics introduced me to issues of objectification of women, victim blaming, and bystander responsibility well before social media and viral think pieces made the discussion these topics ubiquitous. Hearing the intensity of Guy Picciotto and Ian MacKaye deliver these words, my view of masculinity was directly challenged as a teenage boy. That is the strength of these lyrics: they are straight-forward and indicting yet give implied suggestions on how to undermine the systems of oppression highlighted within them. I owe a lot to these words for helping me consider what it really is to be a man.

– NR

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