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<strong>ISSUE</strong> 04 DECEMBER 2021<br />

SIENNA<br />


an anti-disciplinary publication

antidisciplinary (adj.)<br />

a rejection of the idea of the “interdisciplinary,” as disciplines are<br />

not only interconnected, but interdependent, wherein no system of<br />

thought can contain the fullness of the human experience



Dear Reader,<br />

As I saw the pages of this volume come together, I found myself in awe of the<br />

dimension and complexity with which our featured creators have presented their<br />

worlds to us. As with every preceding volume, the works included in this issue<br />

illuminate the pockets of existence that cannot be found without the vessels of<br />

shared experience–artwork, prose, poetry, film, photography, and even more–<br />

brought forth by our creators. Too easily we look upon the world and search for<br />

the next best thing. On this Winter Solstice, I invite you to consider our world in<br />

all the beauty she has already laid out before us.<br />

—Kate<br />

As we wind down our year, Sienna Solstice approaches its second year as a<br />

journal. In these two years, we’ve had chances to explore the founding question<br />

of our project: what do we lose when we draw strict boundaries between mediums<br />

of expression and exploration? From interviews with artists, creators, and<br />

academics through the countless pieces we’ve received from our community,<br />

we’ve been able to interact with individual projects highlighting the margins.<br />

This issue features computer generated art, music in conversation with neurotransmitters,<br />

photographs investigating the self, and a multitude of other permutations<br />

of mediums. In this dialogue of mediums, we hope you continue to<br />

see the multiplicity of life and our world’s interdependence between the different<br />

disciplines of expression.<br />

Thank you for celebrating with us this Winter Solstice.<br />

Warmly,<br />

Kate & Lea

table of c<br />

06 08<br />

An Interview with<br />

Melodysheep<br />

The Editors<br />

14<br />

To Forget You<br />

To Become No One<br />

Stephanie Alishan<br />

Opening Image<br />

Robert Fanning<br />

The Waiting<br />

Stephanie Alishan<br />

16<br />

Only When I Forgave<br />

Stephanie Alishan<br />

22<br />

Demodex<br />

Morgan Rondinelli<br />

24<br />

Kinetic Tapestry<br />

Aaron Lelito

ontents<br />

10 12<br />

Toronja<br />

J. Villanueva<br />

Paradigm shift of<br />

body recognition<br />

Mina Hyeon<br />

Junhong Cho<br />

Peace Choi<br />

18 20<br />

NeuroKnitting Beethoven<br />

Varvara and Mar<br />

Gagarin in the Trees<br />

Andre F. Peltier<br />

Personified River<br />

Linda Dallimore<br />

West of the Milky Way,<br />

South of the Clouds<br />

Emerald Liu<br />

26<br />

Franklin Carmichael Of The<br />

Group Of Seven Using Duct<br />

Tape For The First Time<br />

Colin James<br />

Song for Standing Bells<br />

Robert Fanning<br />

28<br />

Playmates<br />

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell<br />

Selections from<br />

‘Other Seasons’<br />

Edward Lee<br />

The Tiniest Suns<br />

Maija Haavisto


An Interview with Melodysheep<br />

John D. Boswell, known by his artist name as Melodysheep, is a composer,<br />

filmmaker, editor, and VFX artist whose work has spanned the depths of the<br />

internet and the entertainment industry. Known particularly for his viral compositions<br />

centered around space and the natural world, Melodysheep’s work<br />

evokes questions regarding the interactions of music and scientific wonder.<br />

Pursuing such an ambitious passion like musical science is rare and not everyone really understands<br />

it. What challenges did you encounter on this journey? How did you overcome this<br />

and what advice would you give people who want to pursue something similar?<br />

MELODYSHEEP: The biggest challenge in what I do is in trying to relate the information<br />

clearly, but also impactfully & creatively. The scientific worldview is beautiful, but can<br />

be hard for the average person to wrap their head around, just because of how detailed<br />

and deep the picture is. Cut-and-dry explanations are simple, but creative approaches to<br />

relaying information can be much more stirring and impactful. So it takes quite a bit of<br />

care to figure out the best way to relay the information in a compelling way anyone can<br />

understand, but also with fresh new approach. It helps to share works-in-progress with<br />

people who are unfamiliar with the subject, and get their take. Is the information clear?<br />

And is the emotional impact there? Very important to strike the right balance. And the<br />

music should always support the storytelling, not get in the way of it.<br />

Take us through a step-by-step of where your mind is when you are creating music for science.<br />

How does science translate to a score in your mind?<br />

MELODYSHEEP: My step-by-step process begins with asking: how do I use music to<br />

help convey these ideas? What genres best serve the subject, and what moods can<br />

reflect the knowledge I’m sharing? Once I have a script, I map out crescendos that add<br />

suspension while taking in preliminary information, and climaxes for when you receive<br />

that pinnacle piece of information. The rest is shaping the music into the right mood and<br />

vibe.<br />

On your website you write you “strive to evoke a sense of awe” in your music. How do you<br />

come across evoking those grandiose feelings of awe with such grandiose subjects such as<br />

space and nature?<br />

MELODYSHEEP: I like to let the music take center stage often; too many words or descriptions<br />

can be distracting, and the audience needs breaks to process what they’ve<br />

heard. Music can help steer your mind in a direction while stewing on those thoughts;<br />

exultant music will make you feel inspired, while creepy music will lead your mind to<br />

more questions and imagining stranger possibilities.

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 7<br />

What was your experience working with Protocol Labs? How did you foster this connection?<br />

MELODYSHEEP: Juan Benet from Protocol Labs reached out to me directly and expressed<br />

interest in supporting my work. We discovered that our interests were clearly<br />

aligned, and that it could be a natural partnership. With their support, I can focus more<br />

on creating science content for public consumption, and less on working side jobs to<br />

pay the bills. For that I couldn’t be more grateful, and they have been amazing partners<br />

the last couple of years.<br />

What was the research process for the project like? Considering you have a non-STEM educational<br />

background, but a strong passion for the sciences, how did you go about obtaining<br />

the theories you incorporated and how did you decide on which theories to feature?<br />

MELODYSHEEP: The research process was continuous throughout the year-long journey<br />

it took to make the video. It was mostly done through reading articles and watching<br />

lectures, taking notes as I went and continuously tweaking the timeline to make<br />

sure everything fit correctly. There’s really a lot you can learn this way, and when you<br />

get stuck, it’s easy to reach out to scientists and ask them questions; they are usually<br />

happy to oblige.<br />

We have a bit of tradition with every artist we feature where at the end of the interview we<br />

ask them for what advice they’d give to our audience (of mostly college-aged students). So<br />

following with tradition: what advice would you give to yourself when you were our age?<br />

MELODYSHEEP: Keep doing what you love! I never thought this would be my career,<br />

but when you’re passionate about something, you get good at it, and people will pay<br />




Robert Fanning<br />

—after Arve Henriksen<br />

Even Spring’s early work: operose—<br />

throat-stuck.<br />

Dull light<br />

through shattered green<br />

windows of a long-abandoned factory<br />

in a winter city<br />

no-one visits—<br />

a column of sleet<br />

falls through<br />

a hole in the roof<br />

—a slate grey sky.<br />

Something flaps up above<br />

the rusted beams and pillars, broken<br />

chain links, massive iron hooks<br />

on frayed ropes and cables—<br />

everywhere, ghost music<br />

of machines<br />

that once held everything together.<br />

When she comes,<br />

dragging her yellow gown<br />

across grit and glass,<br />

across tufts of feathers and shit—<br />

her voice crackles —at first—<br />

a muted trumpet<br />

in the mist<br />

before throwing herself<br />

open— her impromptu aria<br />

a wide beacon sweeping<br />

over the stone avenues,<br />

the empty city.

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 9<br />

The Waiting<br />

Stephanie Alishan


Toronja<br />

J. Villanueva<br />

When you take a heavy motorcycle, that’s not meant<br />

for offroad use, through dirt trails filled with shifting sand,<br />

mud, and rocks—after some time there comes a sweet<br />

moment when you stop noticing all of those things. Your hands<br />

no longer feel the vibrations on the handlebars.<br />

The arches of your feet no longer feel the pain<br />

brought by the digging of the two spiked footpegs.<br />

And you float on dialed-in suspension as if your weight<br />

meant nothing at all, like I assume it means<br />

absolutely nothing in the vacuum of outer space.<br />

I remember feeling that, as a boy, when I would take<br />

an old beat up Huffy through areas I would<br />

call trails. Through rows of toronja tree labores<br />

and up on top of canal levees is where that hand<br />

me down would go. Whether it was fixing flats,<br />

stealing a grapefruit for lunch, or rearranging the old<br />

bike’s chain, I was able to handle anything. Even the<br />

horse sized dogs, from that one house near the<br />

monte, that would chase me were nothing. Whatever<br />

those trails put in front of me and that bike, didn’t have any<br />

weight at all. Sometimes, when I felt extra brave,<br />

I would stay out there ‘til nighttime and watch the stars appear.<br />

Scattered like grains of salt across the black table that<br />

is the night sky. I wondered how long I would have<br />

to pedal to reach one of those specks of light. As always,<br />

some noise from the void would smack me out of my<br />

stupor, and I would fly straight home. Standing tall regardless<br />

of my fear, tears in my young eyes, weightless on<br />

my pegs. I learned in astronomy class, once, that<br />

the nearest star to us, Alpha Centauri, is

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 11<br />

around twenty five trillion miles away. On a oneto-one-billion<br />

scale of the universe—if the<br />

size of the sun was around the size of a grapefruit and<br />

you set that fruit sun down on the west coast—the<br />

nearest grapefruit would be Alpha Centauri, twenty<br />

five hundred miles away on the east coast. I<br />

still dream of one day getting on my spaceship and<br />

riding to the nearest star where another boy,<br />

on his spaceship, might have a trail for me to ride.<br />

And perhaps, a grapefruit for me to munch on.


Paradigm shift of body recognition<br />

Mina Hyeon (Generative Art + Writing),<br />

Junhong Cho (Choreographer + Dancer),<br />

Peace Choi (Cinematographer)

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 13<br />

This work is an experiment in observing and expressing how the body is<br />

perceived and how several relationships constantly change in virtual but<br />

‘real’ environments.<br />

Choreographer/dancer Junhong Cho, whom I met on a dance project NAMU<br />

in 2018. This artist’s movements coexist with lightness walking on calm water<br />

and powerful energy when a massive ice wall cracks down.<br />

—Mina Hyeon


To Forget You

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 15<br />

To Become No One<br />

Taken over the last couple years, these works are images of the ‘other’. The other in<br />

terms of another body: a strange physical form or our own form on days we feel at<br />

war within, as well as the other in nature: the all encompassing presence of systems<br />

so much bigger than us. It is within our own vessels we experience the other, it is<br />

within the body we find the husk of what differentiates and connects us to the earth.<br />

These images are not just an ode to the beauty of the earth but of the naked figure,<br />

acknowledging the isolation and despair our residing within them can cause. Intimacy<br />

with the self comes from time with ourselves alone, and peace comes from our<br />

time alone in Nature. When we return to the body: we return to the earth.<br />

—Stephanie Alishan


Only When

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 17<br />

I Forgave


NeuroKnitting Beethoven<br />

Varvara and Mar<br />

Credit: Nabi Art Centre<br />

NeuroKnitting Beethoven celebrates the 250th anniversary of the great composer<br />

Ludwig van Beethoven by re-imagining his music through the creative application<br />

of brain waves and knitting. In a classical music concert, we hear the interpretation<br />

of the composer’s piece by a musician. What if we could also see and manifest in<br />

the knitting processes the musician’s state of mind when performing?<br />

NeuroKnitting Beethoven project re-visits Beethoven’s music by offering a novel<br />

experience of classical music at the interface between neuroscience, music, and<br />

media art. During the concert, we recorded the brain waves of a pianist (in Seoul<br />

we recorded Buddist monk’s brain waves), which affected Circular Knitic’s (our circular<br />

knitting machine) pattern and knitting speed. The first one is composed of the<br />

peaks of attention level, and the second corresponded to the meditation state. In<br />

other words, the higher was the attention, the denser was the pattern. And higher<br />

was the meditation level, faster knitted the machine. And all these processes were<br />

in real-time and took place simultaneously.<br />

For full project documentation see: http://var-mar.info/neuroknitting-beethoven/

<strong>ISSUE</strong> I #<br />

In addition to the affective knitting<br />

with brain data, the performance had<br />

also visuals that represented all data<br />

that was received from the EEG headset<br />

and had thematic videos that were<br />

generated with AI algorithm (Style-<br />

GAN2) and that reacted to the audio<br />

input (music in this case), too.<br />

The project was initially planned as an<br />

on-site interactive performance-concert<br />

that was transformed into a telematic<br />

performance due to Covid-19,<br />

which added an additional twist to the<br />

project. Meaning, the concert, capturing<br />

brain data, and visuals were happening<br />

in the physical space of the<br />

performance with the audience. Knitting<br />

happened in our studio and was<br />

streamed to the performance place,<br />

and at the same time, brain data from<br />

the performance place was sent over<br />

the internet in real-time to our studio<br />

that controlled the knitting machine.<br />

Also, the entire performance was<br />

streamed online.


Gagarin in the Trees<br />

Andre F. Peltier<br />

The ghost of Yuri Gagarin<br />

floats down the hallways<br />

of the International<br />

Space Station.<br />

The resident astronauts,<br />

cosmonauts, uchū-hikō-shi<br />

salute as he slides by.<br />

They tell him their deepest secrets<br />

while flushing their filth<br />

into the void.<br />

“Dear Yuri,” they say,<br />

“It’s been eight hours since<br />

my last evacuation.<br />

I have eaten two portions of<br />

dehydrated chocolate pudding,<br />

and I spent twenty minutes<br />

on the tread mill.<br />

I really miss morning coffee<br />

overlooking the<br />

Hollywood sign<br />

and the Kiselyova Rock.<br />

I miss lazy Saturdays<br />

in my garden.”<br />

“Поехали,” he replies.<br />

The vacuum of space<br />

greets the spationauts<br />

and the spationauts wave<br />

to Gagarin while falling<br />

27,000 kilometers per hour.<br />

When the falling station<br />

misses the curve of the Earth<br />

again and again,<br />

the spationaut says<br />

a brief prayer,<br />

thanking the engineers,<br />

those great rangers of<br />

the atomic age.<br />

Claudie Haigneré said<br />

her prayers to Gagarin also<br />

and in return,<br />

he blessed her saintly<br />

homecoming.<br />

eases around the trees<br />

in my back yard<br />

and climbs the tallest<br />

to get a better view.<br />

He climbs the tallest<br />

to recall his vantage<br />

point in orbit.<br />

The ghost of Yuri Gagarin<br />

returns to Клу́шино<br />

and reminisces with his<br />

Muscovite brethren.<br />

They recall<br />

the good old days.<br />

They wait patiently,<br />

and they see what<br />

the future<br />

holds.<br />

Personified River<br />

Linda Dallimore<br />

The ghost of Yuri Gagarin

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 21<br />

West of the Milky Way, South of<br />

the Clouds<br />

Emerald Liu<br />

A silhouette reclines in a worn-out retro webbed chair<br />

tracing kinetic shadows<br />

scattered across the abandoned terrace tiles<br />

As the scenery of dusk sets into a jade studded<br />

lacquered night<br />

Lemonade sips leave a fugitive tang on the tongue<br />

knowing the time zone you frequent comes closer to a rising dawn<br />

where dew drops osculate the soft to deep pink petals<br />

of wild camellia shrubs<br />

that brush beside assorti swirls of polka dots on your chiffon dress<br />

as you drink your sweet Azuki shake<br />

gazing over Yuan Yang rice terraces’ liquid mirror surfaces<br />

that reflect abstract fragments of the night<br />

Separately we find ourselves sharing the same celestial scene<br />

as the Milky Way cuts through the Summer Triangle<br />

like a voluptuous barrier<br />

Stimulating a thirst for saline drops<br />

that touch the curve of your cupid’s bow<br />

more intimately<br />

than any simple tangent could<br />

Pressing your lips to the glass’s edge<br />

The venation of its imprint leaves an all too familiar pattern<br />

of taste and touch tied in stardust


Demodex<br />

Morgan Rondinelli<br />

You have mites on your face. Yes,<br />

you. Nearly 100% of humans do. We are<br />

inoculated shortly after birth, by our mothers<br />

or those otherwise in closest proximity<br />

to us. This gift of mites has been given for<br />

thousands of generations, likely since before<br />

we were considered modern Homo<br />

sapiens. The mites are called Demodex,<br />

species names D. folliculorum and D. brevis.<br />

If you take a plastic slide and scrape<br />

it along your nose or eyebrows, and then<br />

put the oils and dead skin under a microscope,<br />

with a good eye and a bit of luck,<br />

you can see these mites for yourself. They<br />

have eight legs, like all mites, which are<br />

technically arachnids, cousins of spiders<br />

and ticks. But rather than thin, long legs<br />

like a spider, Demodex have fat, stubby<br />

legs attached to their fat, little bodies.<br />

They use these to grasp onto a hair, the<br />

rest of their body sticking slightly out of<br />

the follicle. They’re honestly kind of cute.<br />

I know this, not from seeing Google<br />

images of Demodex, though I’ve seen<br />

plenty of those too, but from seeing my<br />

own Demodex mite. We did this as a lab<br />

exercise in my undergraduate Ecology of<br />

Human Parasites class. We had dissected<br />

worms and fish, but this is the lab I<br />

remember most. Dr. Chelsea Wood stood<br />

at the front of the lab room showing us<br />

images of what we should be looking for<br />

amongst our own skin. Then, she walked<br />

around checking everyone’s microscopes<br />

when they thought they had found one.<br />

We all stayed hovered over our microscopes,<br />

only taking breaks to scrape more<br />

dead skin onto a slide, both excited and<br />

disgusted about the prospect of seeing a<br />

mite from our own faces. Suddenly, I saw<br />

legs. Eight legs and a tube-like body. And<br />

then I excitedly bumped my microscope<br />

out of focus. I had likely found Demodex,<br />

and then I had lost it. Carefully, I zoomed<br />

out. I scrolled back and forth and back and<br />

forth, and was able to relocate the mite. I<br />

sighed with relief, though more carefully<br />

this time so as not to hit the microscope<br />

again. I raised my hand and ushered over<br />

Dr. Wood. She looked down the lens for<br />

a few seconds while I waited anxiously.<br />

So often, we thought we had identified a<br />

specimen, but when Dr. Wood checked,<br />

really it was just an air bubble. But Dr.<br />

Wood then confirmed, “Yep! You found<br />

one.” She brought my slide up to her more<br />

powerful microscope to take some nice<br />

pictures. My classmates each took turns<br />

looking at my Demodex. Though the prevalence<br />

rate on humans is estimated in the<br />

upper nineties, I was the only one in my<br />

class to find a mite. It’s a bit of a blind<br />

search to go through random dead skin<br />

on a microscope slide. But finding one of<br />

my own Demodex mites earned me ten<br />

bonus points towards the final exam, so I<br />

didn’t mind. My classmates insisted that I<br />

name the lone mite. We named it Jimmy.<br />

As a biologist, I know there is life<br />

on me and within me, and I mean that<br />

literally. Besides mites like Demodex, I am<br />

home for a multitude of bacteria. They live<br />

in my gut, between my teeth, on my skin.<br />

My microbiome is everywhere I am. The<br />

bacteria in my digestive system are part

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 23<br />

of my digestive system. Like a termite<br />

relying on its protozoans and the bacteria<br />

within those organisms to digest the<br />

wood it eats into sugar, I need my own<br />

bacteria for successful digestion. An infant’s<br />

gut microbiome and immune system<br />

development can be influenced by<br />

whether they were born vaginally or by<br />

Caesarean section, and what initial bacteria<br />

they encountered during birth. As<br />

soon as we enter the world, we are bombarded<br />

with bacteria fighting to make us<br />

home. And all those years later, we can<br />

still see the early signs of worlds colliding.<br />

Demodex mites live in a world different<br />

from our own though. It is a scale of<br />

giant hairs and deep pores. That is their<br />

food, the dead skin and sebum coming off<br />

our faces. And, I don’t know how to put<br />

this poetically, but Demodex mites don’t<br />

have an anus. They eat and eat these<br />

pieces of you and then die full of you, full<br />

of your cells and your being. Until they<br />

explode and now your face is covered in<br />

mite poop. Or I guess, parts of yourself<br />

turned into mite poop.<br />

To my microbiome, I am a great<br />

home. I provide them food and shelter,<br />

and the bacteria in return provide things<br />

like digestion and protection from harmful<br />

bacteria. The same goes for larger organisms,<br />

like my Demodex mites. Some biologists<br />

argue Demodex mites aren’t even<br />

parasites since they hardly affect me or<br />

my fitness, aside from being suspected<br />

to occasionally cause skin conditions, like<br />

rosacea. Perhaps it’s just commensalism,<br />

a positive-neutral relationship. The Demodex<br />

benefit, and I, the human, am unaffected.<br />

Ecological relationships and terms<br />

like parasitism are less clear cut than you<br />

would think. Still, the Demodex mites are<br />

always with me. When I crack open a new<br />

book or when I lie down on my pillow for<br />

a nap or when I snuggle against my cat<br />

or when I put in a load of laundry or when<br />

I reach up to scratch my face, they are<br />

always there. (I bet you’re scratching your<br />

face now.) The vastness of it all makes me<br />

feel a bit powerful though. Suddenly, rather<br />

than a small, lonely human on a vast<br />

planet, I am the world for a small, lonely<br />

mite.<br />

As scientists, we are often taught<br />

to remove loveliness from our work. This<br />

is true in writing, especially. Though there<br />

is creativity in the research process, the<br />

written word must be bland, straightforward,<br />

explicit. Loveliness can be distracting,<br />

so get straight to the point. This<br />

conflict between my two selves, one analytical<br />

and one who wants more loveliness<br />

in the world, constantly meets its<br />

maker. Science is lovely though. And scientific<br />

words can roll with pleasure off the<br />

page and tongue: Pathogen; prehensile.<br />

Osmosis; organelle. Gamete; guanine.<br />

Deciduous; Demodex. Dēmós meaning<br />

fat. Dēx meaning wood worm. In the Domain<br />

Eukaryota. Kingdom: Animalia. Arthropoda,<br />

Cheliceria, Arachnida, Acari,<br />

Trombidiformes, Demodicidae, Demodex<br />

folliculorum.<br />

Science is lovely when I smell<br />

freshly cut grass, or hear the buzz of a<br />

honeybee. With cut grass, you are really<br />

smelling airborne green leaf volatiles, a<br />

carbon-based compound. It’s the individual<br />

pieces of grass using pheromones to<br />

communicate with blades and plants farther<br />

away. Fortify yourself, danger is coming!<br />

Though the messengers cannot run<br />

away or save themselves, grass still try to<br />

warn their compatriots. The mental image<br />

of these floating pheromones is both<br />

heroic and sad. The distant grass is only<br />

expecting insects, and time to prepare a<br />

defense, not an all too nearby gas lawnmower.<br />

Their efforts are futile, and they


too will soon smell of freshly cut grass.<br />

The buzz of a honeybee brings to<br />

mind their complex social structure. There<br />

are numerous rankings and jobs within a<br />

hive, the most basic division being into<br />

female queen, female workers, and male<br />

drones. But even deeper, workers have<br />

countless jobs, from raising young bees<br />

to doting on the queen to cleaning the<br />

hive. All members are geared, or at least<br />

all the female workers, towards protecting<br />

the queen and the longevity of the<br />

hive. This makes sense if you look at their<br />

genetic makeup. Unfertilized eggs, only<br />

one gamete, develop as males. These<br />

drones have two goals: eat and mate. On<br />

the other hand, fertilized eggs develop<br />

as females. Worker females, sister bees,<br />

share far more genetic material with one<br />

another than biological human siblings.<br />

Sister bees are 75% related, to our 50%,<br />

so they are even more inclined to protect<br />

one another.<br />

Scientists rigorously debate if altruism<br />

exists. Like sister honeybees, nearby<br />

blades of grass are closely related, so it<br />

makes sense that they would try to warn<br />

their cousins. If I can’t survive, maybe you<br />

can, and you will carry on our common<br />

genes. Of course, grass does not have<br />

a brain. No blade has ever thought this<br />

through. It’s simply that those historic<br />

grass blades who warned their cousins,<br />

passed on their genes. Bees do have<br />

brains, but I highly doubt they run a probability<br />

calculation when feeding their<br />

queen. This is all merely a statistical game<br />

for scientists to play. Many scientists assert<br />

that there is no such thing as true<br />

altruism, that all acts of care stem from<br />

this game of still trying to ensure the longevity<br />

of your own genes. Whether bees<br />

or grass or humans, it is a selfish act. We<br />

must expect an act of care in return. I help<br />

you, you help me. But I don’t buy this for a<br />

minute. Maybe we are sometimes unconsciously<br />

helping blood relatives for this<br />

reason, but that can’t be the only reason.<br />

And help transcends families, species<br />

even. Dolphins have been known to circle<br />

and protect human swimmers from nearby<br />

sharks. Surely, our genetic relationship<br />

to dolphins is distant enough that it’s just<br />

out of compassion. I will even settle for it<br />

being curiosity. What could the dolphins<br />

possibly expect in return? Even among<br />

organisms less developed neurologically,<br />

care must be innate.<br />

Sometimes in science we are inclined<br />

to remove loveliness from the<br />

world. We can lose the forest for the trees,<br />

so to speak, and see only trees trying to<br />

ensure their genetic survival. Or only the<br />

species diversity makeup of a forest. Or<br />

only the chemical structure of a yellowing,<br />

fall leaf. Science is lovely though. The<br />

unwavering presence of Demodex mites<br />

on my skin provides an odd form of reassurance:<br />

I am never alone. There will always<br />

be a mite munching on me, helping<br />

recycle the cells I shed, probably until the<br />

day I die. I merely give the mites food and<br />

a warm home. They give me a constant.<br />

Isn’t that just a more obscure form of altruism?<br />

Maybe only to a poet.

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 25<br />

Kinetic Tapsety<br />

Aaron Lelito


Franklin Carmichael Of The Group Of<br />

Seven Using Duct Tape For The First Time<br />

Colin James<br />

Tuesday was essentially a washout.<br />

Can’t say enough about<br />

those student volunteers.<br />

I just sat there dreaming<br />

in vernacular strokes.<br />

From the side rhetorically,<br />

I may appear thoughtful.

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 27<br />


Robert Fanning<br />

What’s left of every word is bone and shell.<br />

Etched husks, wind-hewn, deserted instruments<br />

we ring with breath. The body’s empty bell<br />

brims. A tunnel of hum, we rim and spill<br />

through syllables, skimming lines to animate<br />

what’s left. Every word. Bones, shells,<br />

feathers, wave-worn stones. This windfall<br />

hour. The song you hold this moment’s<br />

wearing breath. The body’s empty bell<br />

resounds the notes, vessels cast to spell<br />

what’s missing. Unveiling the whole in fragments.<br />

What’s left if the very world is bone, a shell<br />

drained dry. Your voice divines, a word-drawn well<br />

to reach the remnant sea. To swell the absence<br />

we ring. With breath, the body’s empty bell<br />

flows through interstices, fills every hull<br />

and carapace. Toward nothing. Toward resonance.<br />

What’s left of every word is bone and shell;<br />

we ring with breath the body’s empty bell.


Playmates<br />

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell<br />

assume waver and full<br />

baring of parts sufficient to avoid<br />

unnecessary friction,<br />

don’t forget to describe<br />

the protuberances:<br />

albedo pop-up a crop, fresh<br />

no listless or tangible function,<br />

even the defunct to belong<br />

to an intimate and acceptable<br />

definition,<br />

fragments and components<br />

to be objects in themselves,<br />

a catalogue<br />

of orbits and a diverse range<br />

of ends,<br />

reparation to be conducted<br />

within a scope adequate<br />

to avert cascading<br />

snow or wet sand,<br />

dynamics of loose material,<br />

graze of use,<br />

sidewind and bones<br />

angst upon marble,<br />

voluptuous and insular -<br />

a frill and a thrill<br />

festooned with toggle switches,<br />

emerging<br />

from high life<br />

in milk and honey,<br />

striking the hatch<br />

A Day Refusing To End<br />

Edward Lee

<strong>ISSUE</strong> <strong>IV</strong> 29<br />

The Tiniest Suns<br />

Maija Haavisto<br />

it starts by introducing tiny crinkles<br />

on the tops of cookies<br />

some dislike the effect<br />

while others make them<br />

crack intentionally<br />

the ridges spread into faultlines<br />

and continue opening into sinkholes<br />

at that point it’s much too late<br />

you might lose a limb or two<br />

but you don’t even care any more<br />

you’re too busy staring at the static<br />

it’s easy to get lost into it<br />

the intricacy of the blooming pixels<br />

you’re static and it’s not funny<br />

but you laugh anyway<br />

tires pop, eyes pop<br />

once you ...let’s not go there<br />

look mom! no limbs! no head!<br />

the spherical limb fully severed!<br />

no body! no me! just static<br />

that goes bzzzzzz<br />

like a swarm of angry bees<br />

no one’s driving this bike<br />

(but bees! so many bees!)<br />

as it heads into a ditch<br />

where unmanned bikes tend to go<br />

that is where I’d go look<br />

but yeah, there’s nothing to be found<br />

the circuits still bubble up sparkles<br />

and you could stare at them<br />

all day, I think you do<br />

I think that’s where you’ve been<br />

all day<br />

orbiting the tiniest suns<br />

Edward Lee<br />

Another Day, Another Chance

Aaron Lelito is a visual artist from Buffalo,<br />

NY. In his photographic work, he is primarily<br />

drawn to the patterns and imagery of nature.<br />

His images have been published as cover art<br />

in Red Rock Review, Peatsmoke Journal, and<br />

The Scriblerus. His work has also appeared in<br />

LandLocked Magazine, EcoTheo Review, About<br />

Place Journal, and Alluvian. He is editor in chief<br />

of the art & literature website Wild Roof Journal.<br />

See more of his work on Instagram @runic_ruminations.<br />

Andre F. Peltier (he/him) is a Lecturer III at<br />

Eastern Michigan University where he teaches<br />

literature and writing. He lives in Ypsilanti,<br />

MI, with his wife and children. His poetry has<br />

recently appeared in various publications like<br />

CP Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Version<br />

9 Magazine, About Place, Novus Review,<br />

Wingless Dreamer, and Fahmidan Journal, and<br />

most recently he has had a poem accepted by<br />

Lavender and Lime Literary. In his free time, he<br />

obsesses over soccer and comic books.<br />

Colin James has a couple of chapbooks of poetry<br />

published. Dreams Of The Really Annoying<br />

from Writing Knights Press and A Thoroughness<br />

Not Deprived of Absurdity from Piski’s Porch<br />

Press and a book of poems, Resisting Probability,<br />

from Sagging Meniscus Press. Formally<br />

from the UK he now lives in Massachusetts.<br />

Edward Lee is an artist and writer from Ireland.<br />

His paintings and photography have been exhibited<br />

widely, while his poetry, short stories,<br />

non-fiction have been published in magazines<br />

in Ireland, England and America, including The<br />

Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths<br />

Knoll. He is currently working on two photography<br />

collections: ‘Lying Down With The Dead’<br />

and ‘There Is A Beauty In Broken Things’. He<br />

also makes musical noise under the names<br />

Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures<br />

Fighting, and Pale Blsond Boy. His blog/<br />

website can be found at https://edwardmlee.<br />

wordpress.com<br />

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell (he & him) is the London-based<br />

peddler of cardboard solar systems,<br />

playable gardens, boxed cats, poetic FAQs and<br />

bad fables about the ugliness of eating. His longer<br />

projects include a verse response to NA-<br />

SA’s Golden Record. He also writes videogame<br />

criticism for places like Edge, Wired and Heterotopias.<br />

One of these days he’ll realise that<br />

this was all a terrible mistake. Any day now.<br />

Emerald Liu is a Sino-Belgian writer who has<br />

previously written for The Millions, Drawing<br />

Matter, and Far-Near amongst many others.<br />

Her poetry has been featured in group art exhibitions<br />

in Antwerp and NYC, you can find her<br />

poems in Verses Magazine, Superfroot, Giallo<br />

Lit, etc. She is currently the Poetry + Prose editor<br />

of Asians In The Arts.<br />

J. Villanueva is a Chicano writer/poet from<br />

deep south Texas. When he is not agonizing<br />

in front of his computer, he is building and riding<br />

his motorcycles. He currently has work(s)<br />

forthcoming in Alebrijes Review. He is currently<br />

an MFA student at the University of Texas-Rio<br />

Grande Valley. You can follow him on Twitter @<br />

Jay_theaztec.<br />

Linda Dallimore is an emerging composer and<br />

flutist hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. She<br />

loves writing music for orchestras and chamber<br />

ensembles. Her music explores textures,<br />

colours, and often draws inspiration from personal<br />

experiences, the environment, and social<br />

and political topics. Linda’s music has<br />

been played by the New Zealand Symphony<br />

Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Albany<br />

(NY) Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia<br />

Orchestra, Ensemble Klangrauschen,<br />

B3:Brouwer Trio and the Aspen Contemporary<br />

Ensemble. Linda completed a Master of Musical<br />

Arts in composition at Yale School of Music<br />

in 2021, studying with Christopher Theofanidis<br />

and Martin Bresnick. As an alumna of Berklee<br />

College of Music, Linda majored in composition<br />

and flute performance. She is a member of the<br />

Composers Association of New Zealand and<br />

represented by SOUNZ centre for New Zealand<br />

Music and APRA AMCOS.

Maija Haavisto is a poet, novelist, medical<br />

writer, artist and disability activist. She has had<br />

17 books published in Finland, including the poetry<br />

collections Raskas vesi (Aviador 2018) and<br />

Hopeatee (Oppian 2020). In English her poetry<br />

has appeared or is forthcoming in e.g. Cosmospen,<br />

Topical Poetry, Littoral, ShabdAaweg Review,<br />

Asylum, Eye to the Telescope, Shoreline<br />

of Infinity and Kaleidoscope. Find her on Twitter:<br />

http://www.twitter.com/DiamonDie She<br />

also has poetry readings available on YouTube:<br />

http://www.youtube.com/user/DiamonDie<br />

Mina Hyeon was born in Seoul, South Korea,<br />

and spent years in the States. Her early experience<br />

of diverse cultures became a seed for<br />

her to understand the world better. She has<br />

loved playing video games and reading sci-fi/<br />

detective novels since she was seven years old.<br />

Enthusiasm in understanding humans and storytelling<br />

led her to major in film&theater, and<br />

after years of field experience, she started her<br />

MFA study in multimedia at Korea National<br />

University of Arts. Working in the XR industry<br />

as a co-founder/producer of GiiÖii immersive<br />

storytelling studio, she won awards at global<br />

film festivals such as SXSW with her XR projects.<br />

She is developing her art in the theme of<br />

a ‘multiverse traveler,’ which aims to seek the<br />

potential of the virtual environment as a physical<br />

space and an extended sensory receptor of<br />

ourselves using AI, XR, generative art form.<br />

Robert Fanning is the author of six poetry<br />

collections, including four full-length collections:<br />

Severance (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2019),<br />

Our Sudden Museum (Salmon Poetry, Ireland,<br />

2017), American Prophet (Marick Press, 2009),<br />

and The Seed Thieves (Marick Press, 2006), as<br />

well as two chapbooks: Sheet Music (Three<br />

Bee Press, 2016), and Old Bright Wheel (Ledge<br />

Press Poetry Award, 2001). His poems have appeared<br />

in Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah,<br />

Gulf Coast, THRUSH, Waxwing, The Atlanta<br />

Review, and many other journals. A graduate of<br />

the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence<br />

College, he is a Professor of Creative Writing<br />

at Central Michigan University. He is also the<br />

Founder and Facilitator of the Wellspring Literary<br />

Series, and the Founder and Director<br />

of PEN/INSULA POETRY, a site for Michigan<br />

poets. He lives with his wife, sculptor Denise<br />

Whitebread Fanning, and their two children.<br />

Stephanie Alishan is a London-born Armenian<br />

artist and writer working primarily in film,<br />

photography and immersive installation. With<br />

a background in Veterinary Science, Alishan’s<br />

work is rooted in the physical form: desolate<br />

contorted bodies and immense natural landscapes.<br />

Exploring themes of intimacy, sexuality<br />

and loss, her work centres around the need<br />

for confession, especially in terms of the female<br />

experience. Having exhibited work internationally<br />

between London and Guatemala, Alishan<br />

produces work in a variety of traditional media,<br />

always pushing the limits on what can be<br />

achieved through solely analog materials such<br />

as film, photographic emulsion and projection<br />

integrated with her writings. @stephalishanstudio<br />

Varvara & Mar is an artist duo formed by Varvara<br />

Guljajeva and Mar Canet in 2009. Often<br />

duo’s work is inspired by the information age. In<br />

their practice, they confront social changes and<br />

the impact of the technological era. The artist<br />

duo has exhibited their art pieces in a number<br />

of international shows and festivals. Varvara &<br />

Mar has exhibited at MAD in New York, FACT in<br />

Liverpool, Santa Monica in Barcelona, Barbican<br />

and V&A Museum in London, Onassis Cultural<br />

Centre in Athens, Ars Electronica museum<br />

in Linz, ZKM in Karlsruhe, etc. Varvara (born in<br />

Tartu, Estonia), holds the position of Assistant<br />

Professor in Computational Media and Arts at<br />

the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology<br />

(GZ). Previously she has held a position<br />

at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Mar (born in<br />

Barcelona) is a Ph.D. candidate and Cudan research<br />

fellow at the Baltic Film, Media and Arts<br />

School in Tallinn University, focusing on AI and<br />

interactive art. Link: www.var-mar.info

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