she dreamt in tiny fists

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She dreamt in tiny fists. The fever pushed at her eyelids when she kept them shut, and leaked out and over when they were open. Each morning Nathanael came to her with tea and the newspaper and an orange but every afternoon she woke to find the tea cold and the orange so soft and pungent she had to pick up and throw it away, an effort that made her grunt—a wild sound against the curtains.

She didn’t know what day it was, or what time it could possibly be. She only knew that she threw the oranges in the afternoons because of the clock that ticked like loss on the blue wall. Sometimes she threw the orange at the clock, but it was invincible.

Each hour became a cold and wobbly upper arm that no one ever touched or thought about. Perhaps this was what depression was like, she thought, as she blew her wretched nose and spluttered into the sleeve of her dirty nightie, but it wasn’t: she could see that through the waves.

Once, after throwing the orange and wondering for a long time whether it had landed on the air vent where she imagined it heating up and bleeding out onto the floor, she sat up and turned and bent her legs and lifted, and then she stood.

Her head was still on the pillow as she rocked gently there on the carpet. Eventually it met her in its place and together they walked to the corner of the room where the orange lay, nowhere near the air vent, perched on top of a yellow dress she had forgotten all about.

She laughed then and coughed and a purple snake slid past her foot before she tipped herself back in and under the covers.

Nathanael came at night to pick up the oranges and dispose of the bits of newspaper she had used as tissues. One night he had six heads—one night, seven incredulous eyes. Then there was the night that he had one face, and it was beautiful, and she wished she would recover so she could love it better and kiss it more.

That was the night it was over. Suddenly her stomach ached for food; it writhed and echoed with hunger. Can I have some soup, she asked, lightly and without commotion. Nathanael smiled and opened the curtains to the moon.

word by Laura McPhee-Browne

colour by Young Wavey

From the writer: “When I first saw this piece of art, I was instantly reminded of a dream; a feverish dream of the sort you have when you are ill with the flu, and sleep is confused and brief and uncomfortable, with a sort of sick surrealism just around the next corner.

When I have had a serious case of the flu in the past, I remember thinking in quick bursts about things that later made no sense. I remember having no appetite except for relief from the heat and the pain, and I remember feeling like I was going to be sick forever and ever. This story is an attempt at encapsulating how it feels to have the flu, and the dream-like nature of being stuck inside an unrelenting fever.”

people are clay


The thud on the porch means that the newspaperman is now awake as well. The boy retrieves it (i.e. the paper) and takes with him to the bathroom the most important section of the New York Times: the Arts. He finishes shitting in about 3.5 min. but is in the bathroom for at least 26. He has had one hemorrhage from these marathons.

The cover story is titled: “Sgt. Pepper’s New Look.” The boy reads that The Beatles have reunited for a world-tour “with a catch:” they have surgically removed their heads and replaced them with various members of the Rosaceae family.

Details of how this is done safely are enumerated by Dr. Kumari in the Science Section.

As he gets dressed, the boy cleans his circular glasses and checks his Facebook for notifications. Avery wants to see the Beatles live. Caleb wishes him a Happy Birthday.

The boy is convinced his computer is Canadian, because red DNA strips appear below the words “favorite” and “color” [sic]. Sierra, his cousin, was so “inspired” that she got the picture of the four of them inked on the nape of her neck. The girl who wished him a happy birthday was a day early.

It is now 0630h and the boy leaves his house and walks to the subway, which is three blocks away. He nods to the man who works the opening shift at A&M Deli. The 15th Street Subway stop is bizarrely multi-leveled for a station that only services two trains, both of which run on the same track.

A woman sells churros out of a cooler that probably held beer over the weekend, given the smell. The boy realizes he has never once actually looked at the ceiling of this station and subsequently realizes how often he misses anything that is above eye-level.

The G train pulls in and the boy gets in the middle cart, and goes to his favorite seat (which is totally, undeniably, everyone’s favorite seat: the one by the window on one of the old trains).

He overhears a girl say: ‘If I got that done to my head, I would have certainly gotten carnations.’

A smell hangs on the train. The boy cringes at the omitted ‘had,’ but agrees with her assessment. He grows uneasy.

A few stops later, as the train exits the Smith and 9th Street Station, he peers out of the window and looks east as the sun is still creeping over Brooklyn’s horizon. This is the only time of the day that Gowanus Canal could be called something other than repulsive. Kentile Floors in big letters w/ Seraphs looks as though it’s been tattooed on the sky right next to the Chrysler Building.

It was the boy who farted.  He feels centered.  And as he stirred from his dusk-dreams, he looked out at the city’s silhouette, and he committed himself to the idea that for his 17th birthday, tomorrow, he will turn his neck into a vase as well.

word by Jacob Goldberg

colour by Eugenia Loli

From the author: “People, myself included, are heavily influenced by pop-culture. The characters in this story surrender their identities to The Beatles. What happens here is tricky: one thing is that the protagonist loses his sense of identity (one may wonder whether he ever had one in the first place, given its (viz. his personality) malleability; another is that when people so quickly look to celebrities (or preferably artists) on what it means to be Hip, we so often forget what made them “cool” in the first place. It was certainly not their style, but their artistry, and their ability to uniquely express who they are. This overwhelming loss of identity leads to loneliness.”

the artist

Paper Cut

She would look back in later years and ask herself if she had been right. It was irrelevant, quickly became removed from the frame of present life, but, still, she wondered.

Never one to plan for failure, she had certainly positioned herself to be right, that night: she had worn the right dress, invited the right people, ordered the right drink. She had educated herself thoroughly on questions of technique and style. Where necessary, she had asked Paul minimal questions, inquiring about his influences but not prying into his inspirations: she wanted to appear intellectual, perhaps in possession of knowledge unavailable to the simple attendee, but not to flaunt her connection to the artist.

That night, she lingered in front of the pieces known to be masterworks, gesticulated near the controversial (and higher-priced) items, pointed out canvases that she thought friends and connections would enjoy. She lost sight of Paul only a few times throughout the night.

It pleased her deeply to see that he seemed to be enjoying himself, was engaging in conversations with pleasure, losing the usual rigid reservation that bordered on condescension and inevitably settled over him in groups.

In other words, the evening was going well, until she saw it.

She couldn’t fathom, at the time, how it had arrived there, how it had come to be hung on the wall with a little white card next to it, a blurb and a title and a price, without her having noticed, without someone (not Paul, certainly, but someone) informing her of its existence. But exist it did, on a scale more immense than anything else in the gallery: her head, her bare shoulders rising above the gathered party, her face drawn in either ecstasy or a half-sneer of pride.

The other form on the bed, she had to assume, was Paul, sprawled at her knees, legs spread.

He kissed the arm, flung sideways, that pinned him to the bed. He had no face, no skin, no shadows, a collage of bright colours with the outline of a human man. Beside him, she looked like stone.

Other onlookers moved away as Faith stood looking up at it, overwhelmed by unidentifiable emotion. His hand was on her back, he who seemed to prefer not to touch her when he could avoid it. In later years, she would remember thinking he had drunk too much; through the tide of wounded shame washing over her, she had that one petty point of clarity.

He moved so that he was standing in front of her, between her and the colossal painting.

“Is this a confession?” she asked.

He faded from her life, some time after, managed to evanesce though there had been papers to sign and furniture to divide and accounts to split. There should have been a shared existence to break apart but really there was just the painting and then the wondering, occurring at larger and larger intervals in the life that followed him.

word by Charlotte Joyce Kidd

colour by Eugenia Loli

From the author: “I was initially curious about the male figure in this piece. The crime-scene outline seems to indicate that he’s absent, but even if he has already left the bed, his relative colour and movement give him a presence and appeal that his companion lacks.

Where has the man gone, and why has he left? What is it about him that would leave such an imprint behind? Has he left it on purpose? Art naturally demands that we tell stories; it presents us with startling, intriguing, even troubling images and leaves us either to supply our own explanations for what is happening and why, or to remain startled, intrigued, and troubled.

In this case, my answer to the picture was to write about the woman in it, who I thought was likely to have her own questions about it.”

dogs belong tied to posts


Meeting in a group on four different occasions means judging strangers to build profiles that, sure, might blind you from getting to really know someone, but the survival reflex- To Judge- also means knowing what not to talk about, something crucial in CABBICY (Controlling Anger Before It Controls You), such as nothing-that-resembles-anything political to Mary, the anti-everything online news commenter who threw a chair at you the time you suggested something about capitalism being bad for the rich, and you didn’t duck; nothing-anything-remotely-close-to-anything-about meat to Sean, the Enlightened Vegetarian, who, after seeing you eat gummy worms, for some reason, called your dad a hypocrite, before apologizing with a medium Double-Double the next class, I’m sorry, but think of the bone marrow; or anything-whatsoever-that-resembles- any-words-in-the-same-dictionary as the word ‘dog’ to Jasmine, who just threatened to light your arm-hair on fire. 

All I’m saying is that not necessarily your dog, just dogs, in the general sense, in my opinion, are happier in the country.
Sure let’s tie the dog to a post so it can roam fifteen feet of land for the rest of its life in the rain!
All I’M SAYING is that some people have dogs on farms, where they’re supposed to be, in my opinion
What do you think: People who lives in mansions are jacked, and people who live in apartments are fat?
Don’t really follow you there… all I’m saying is that, in my opinion, dogs deserve to be in the wild, where all animals are from
Do you know the slightest thing about the past couple thousand years of domestication?
All I’m just saying is that, in my opinion, it’s unfair to have a dog in an apartment, because they should be tied to a post
You aren’t entitled to an opinion in something you have no idea about- this isn’t the fucking weather!

And so went the pre-armhair-burn-threat conversation, finally interrupted by the moderator. Eliza, the anti-dogs-in-the-apartment student, takes offense to the fuck your opinion comment, says I’m entitled to my opinion, whether or not it’s completely unsourced and just for me to feel like I am part of something, and Jasmine’s reply of Nobody is entitled to ignorant ideas gets a laugh from the circle- a rare thing. 

By the sixth class, you were able to guess accents, favourite styles of music.

By the eighth, you knew ticks: Sean’s giveaway ‘I think you’re an idiot’ eyebrow raises, the moderator’s tendency to repeat lines from the therapist on The Sopranos when he felt cornered, And how does it make you feel, Anthony, or Jasmine’s nails scratching her scalp when Eliza spoke, to grind away tension in her skull.

The tenth class means catching things that people try to conceal: Nose-picking, the half-second stares at you, between looking at things behind you (window to your right and the clock to your left), catching this secret examination, some glances building an image to remember you by, puzzle pieces to shape you together, Eliza. You forgot that it also meant your concealed glance had been caught by her- the necessary fact of meeting eyes- your attempt to go planter-Jasmine-moderator, light-moderator-Jasmine-plant.

colour by Aryz
words by Liam 

The Death of Chivalry


I remember the earth. I remember when oceans were blue, and you could buy a woman dinner without having to split the bill. I remember before water ran black, when you could roam the streets at night, gazing at stars. I remember the end of the world. You’ve been told it collapsed with the nuclear reactor, those companies, that kitten, but I remember that it died with chivalry. I remember objectively, and I understood the fall completely: What was the point of living if it wasn’t to protect something? The earth had protected us with oxygen, gravity, and water for thousands of years, just as we had protected our women, keeping them safe like delicate flowers. We understood that women were strong, and deserved our respect, these tough, delicate flow- hold on that’s contradictory let me try again: In a time of text messages and technology, we had strayed so far from what was natural: The wind and water the earth had given us; lessons our ancestors had shared with us, those morals that told us what was true, untainted, passed down by our fathers to us from a time when things made sense: A man did what a man did, came home to dinner, kept real problems to himself and the bartender, or shot himself in the face: Things were working: Women acted like women, and everything worked perfectly, in the past: “Dating” a woman meant what it really should: To protect and provide for them, these strong, delicate flowers, being delicate but really strong and intellige- Sorry okay confusing I know last try: Things made sense. People today: walking into newspaper stands because of texting, finding ‘love’ in the club: They’ve lost touch with purity, as our oceans did. I’m not sure how much to blame each person- the system is a big thing that trains everyone to act, sure- but we were the only generation who acted free of the system, with independent ideas. Everything was better when lines didn’t overlap, and you didn’t need to understand how it worked: Your wife looked up to you, and you didn’t ask why. You could knock some sense into a kid, because they needed discipline. You were there to protect your woman from the evils of the world, because they needed protection. Sometimes, for example, you bought her dinner. Ask me if she ever paid for dinner. The answer is no: Men were strong, rational protectors, and so we didn’t need someone to pay for us. The world was together, controlled and pure. You really got to know someone in dinner dates, where you paid, and brought the prepared version of yourself, saying things you had seen on TV or that people had told you, your father, mother, teachers, friends, things that you didn’t understand but it didn’t matter. You avoided awkward conversations on who you were, and how you felt, because the point of talking to people was to make them feel comfortable. You saved those times for when you were really intoxicated. And now- look at what we’ve done. I remember the earth. I remember a time before we tried to convince people that women were our equals- I mean how do you protect someone who is your equal- how do you show power, and buy them dinner? I remember a time before the death of chivalry, when we lived on planet motherfucking earth.* 

words by Liam Lachance

This is satirical. 

colour by Diego Panuela

Leaves & Branches

4fd725e02e93dda6a65e345b539a1c2dFlywheel, clutch disk, crankshaft. Breaking it down to understand why it worked the way that it did. No, not how. Fan belt, rocker arm, alternator. You will itemize the parts, yes, all of them, for the project, with a brief description of their function, yes, every one, and how they affect the engine when it is running- it’s the logical place for us to start the class. Wise words from Telford, AUTO 1102A. Breaking down a family photograph to figure how odd shapes fit. Black palms smudged a hand-drawn draft of the 2010 Camry 2.4 litre, fingerprints smearing a tin hood, near a dent from the past winter. Bent, imperfect. Her mother out for the weekend, the garage cold, a window might have been left open, or the furnace had stopped working, but she wasn’t sure, and who was to blame her.

Her friend left when the heavy work was finished. Alone, with cylinder separated, she considered how their tastes were so different, seeing that their brains were formed under similar variables, having grown up in the same neighbourhood- over two fences- with similar families- alcohol holidays, massive debt- leaned on the same desks- MPS, NGDHS, The Gonq- and dated the same guys- straight white drunks. Twice, they dated brothers.

She liked Buzzfeed, her friend: Reddit. Maybe that was it. Her friend liked Vine, her: Youtube. Her: Gmail, Dropbox, Wikipedia. Friend: Yahoo, iCloud, Google. Mac? PC. Samsung? iPhone. Identical wiring soaking up different images and words to influence different tastes. She dropped the box wrench. She played out the thesis, considering how it explained her friends’ preference for pubs (from watching Arcade Fire and Chvrches videos) while she preferred the club (Drizzy VEVO).

Separating fan belt from crankshaft pulley, she compiled a list of things she had learned from the internet in 2013:  

1. Haters own keyboards 

2. Miley Cyrus invented grinding

3. People are happy on Facebook

4. All Americans own pistols

5. All gay people are white

6. All black people can dance

7. All hipsters rock beards

8. “Québecois” means “Franco-Québecois”  

9. “Anglo-Québecois” means “quiet”

10. Traveling makes you intelligent

11. Lizard people are a legitimate concern

12. Over 6,000 Québecois-white-tailed-deer were hit last year


She put aside the blueprint and tore out a new page


Things Learned Independent of The Gonq Buzzfeed Wikipedia Facebook Youtube Friends & Parents



words by Liam Lachance

colour by Naran Jalidad