Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine, Fall 2021

Fall 2021 issue of Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine, a student-run publication of the University of Michigan-Flint

Fall 2021 issue of Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine, a student-run publication of the University of Michigan-Flint


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literary & fine arts magazine

fall 2021


Definition of qua:

in the capacity or character of : AS

discussing the story qua story


Editor in Chief

Amanda Seney

Assistant Editors

Jina Bhagat

Steven Hrynkiw

Cecilia Warchol

Art & Design Director

Katelyn Stuck

Design Advisor

Andy Deck

General Advisor

Dave Larsen

table of




How Thick is Your Moral Fiber 5

A Parade of Containers 6

Questions for my Absentee Father 8

On His Game 10

My Butterfly 11

Soft Spot 13

Lake Superior Trek 14

Woman and Cloth 17


Faces in Phases 7

Different Direction 12

Journey 15

The Colors Beyond Me 16


Workbook 18


Contributor Bios 29

how thick is

your moral fiber

By Frankie McIntosh


a parade of


By Jessica Dixon

a parade of containers

my mother’s body – out two months early

an incubator – void of human touch

cardboard boxes – filled with objects of importance and need

a lower body cast – itchy, restricting, and hollow

a check box on a form – I AM DISABLED

my body a vessel – cannot contain all of the pain – it has to go



COVID – has shrunk the space in which my body can move and

where it is safe to breathe

I can’t climb out of this container –

this body

much like a Tupperware container

rounded corners


on display for everyone to see


faces in


By Lani Manners


questions for my

absentee father

A Piece Inspired by The Odyssey

By Lauren Hackett


To my father, whoever you may be ––

I don’t remember you

but you surely remember me.

The resignation in my

downcast eyes

when you informed me of your

imminent departure.

The way I clung to your

terror-stricken wife

who you knew would go

mad in your absence.

Tell me, father

would I know your face from

the others now? If I saw it floating

down the street?

Would I have a better understanding

of my own

mannerisms, complexities, shortcomings

if I knew what you were like?

Or would knowing you be like

reading a horrible prophecy about myself

seeing and submitting to the whisper of a person

I will inevitably become?

You are like Odysseus

leaving his family behind

to make a name for himself

which will be chanted melodiously

among men

until it is not.

But no,

I suppose you are not like


because it was not the

brash ocean winds

nor the wrath of the gods

nor the seductive songs of


that kept you from your family.

It was your own will

your own tendency to try and

erase people from your life. Well I cannot be

erased and that is why you will rise every morning

and think of me

And I will never cast a thought in your direction




on his game

By Joe Rinehart

On his game,

He begins in the green plains and blue skies

Searching for water,


And maybe

A new life

On his game,

He escapes from the monsters of the night

He looks for shelter,

Not without putting up a fight

It’s unforgiving


He begins to see the light,

Until it’s time for another fight

On his game,

He is sheltered from the world that surrounds him

The stone of the shelter reaches to heights unknown


It’s time to continue onward

He walks through the red land,


On his game,

He cannot escape,

The patches of fire

But he is superman

He wears a blue cape

Off of his game,

He is stuck in the red land

He is surrounded by new monsters

How will he leave?

He trips and falls

He knows there’s safer times

It’s the green plains and blue skies, beyond the monsters.

the butterfly

By Joe Rinehart

Golden blonde

Singing along

Turned it brown

Then flip it around

Now back to her same old sound

Yeah, those butterflies stick around

Looking at her eyes

It really is my demise

Hotter than some weather in the Bahamas

So tense I could cut it with a katana

She lets me play my songs, now that’s Nirvana

Can’t wait for her to meet my mama

I had to,

Lace up my other shoe because

I was running out of patience for you

Get me a DeLorean

Get back in the car, let’s restart the story and

I won’t tell you you’re worth waiting for

Hang on one minute

I’ll crack you a drink

But only if we’re at the beginning

But pardon me if I go and doublethink

You’re still a treasure like American mink

Golden Blonde

Singing Along

Turned it brown

Then flip it around

Now back to her same old sound

My butterflies stick around



different direction


By Lani



Lani Manners


soft spot

By Joe Rinehart

I saw you on Dixie the other day

I thought about honking at you and just saying hey

But I was on the clock busy getting my pay

I also saw your second man since me

Did some investigating, he looks just like me

Mop top, skinny boned, really large tee

Makes me remember you still have one of my shirts

If I’m not mistaken I think that it’s a sweatshirt

I bet you sleep in it, I bet it’s your nightshirt

I still have some bobby pins and some other shit

Mac shirts and tan hats, you bought all of it

You did love me and you meant all of… cool it man


A Lake

Superior Trek

By Vicky Dawson

I. Old Boat

Old, discarded boat

Weathered hull cracks, into—

Beautiful grey bones.

II. Sand Skeletons

Along the sun-scorched shores of Lake Superior

Lay the old bones of vessels

Long wrecked and forgotten.

Superior, so deep, so cold, a crypt.

Yet, driftwood bodies burst forth

Emergent, out of a frothy grave.

Little more than grey ribbed curiosities

Scattered haphazardly.

Their sand-smoothed edges

The only remnant the vessel ever existed.

III. Pine Witches

Roots, like witches’ fingers grow.

Poised and pointed, in their crooked pose.

Creep out of shallow sandstone rock,

But, when their trampled fingers crack,

Even old, gnarled pine witches weep.



By Tricia Nadrowski



the colors

beyond me

By Lani Manners

Woman and cloth skeined together and woven closely;

like the lash and brow is to the eye.

They cover the earth with it,

are born on it.

Cloth is fumbled and pushed aside,

the infant suckles the breast.

The bride is netted and laced,

the family is clothed, and the procession begins.

Houses are adorned with it,

beds thickly covered,

we towel and wipe dry.

Aprons circle the waist,

rising dough is covered loosely.

Little girls are ribboned.

Little boys are shoe stringed.

Life ends.

Softly cleansed, kind hands dress us.

A tear falls, caught by a handkerchief.

~ 1999

woman and


By Marion Davidek Sekelsky



It’s your turn. Use this

section of the book as

writing prompts.


Write a story with the first line:

The skeletons sit in the corner.



Write a poem with the first line:

No thank you

Take a photo of something

older than you are

Write a three-sentence

horror story.


Find a photo you like;

now draw it in abstract

Sketch, draw, paint someone

based not on their physical

features, but rather on your

perception of their character.


Two people meet in a train

station. One is on the way to

Chicago, the other is heading

home from Las Vegas.

Tell their story.



What does winter sunlight at

5pm look like against a

cupboard? On a needle in a

vacant house? Against a blank

page on a table?

Write a love letter to an object,

place or person that makes you




Write about how your day

is going right now.

Think of a place where you feel

the most peaceful. What does it

look, sound, smell, feel like?



If the house you grew up in could

tell a story, sing a song, recite a

poem, what would it say?



Vicky Dawson

is a tree hugging nature lover, writer, and writing center

coordinator. She loves writing and assisting writers. Her

poem is based on a six-day backpacking trip she did across

Pictured Rocks with her husband—an exciting, breathtaking

experience she hopes to do again someday.

Jessica Dixon

is a writer living in Michigan.

Lauren Hackett

is an aspiring writer and English educator in the

University of Michigan––Flint’s Secondary English

Teacher’s Certificate Program. She presently works as

an editorial intern at Cardinal Rule Press, and has also

worked for the university’s Writing Center and

student-led newspaper, The Michigan Times. In her spare

time, Lauren enjoys reading, running, and drinking

overpriced coffee.

Lani Manners

is an artist living in Michigan.

Frankie McIntosh (Empress)

is a University of Michigan-Flint student studying Criminal

Justice and Sociology with a minor in Computer Science.

She is the founder of Mifullness (my-fullness) Poetry, a

program that focuses on using poetry for mental wellness

amongst teens in Flint & Genesee County. She received the

Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship from University of

Michigan LSA Hopwood Awards in 2021. Empress is best

known as one of the curators for the “Poet For Hire’’ with

the What’s Up Downtown Flint. She also has an Instagram

account poetrytoldbyanempress and a Facebook page



Tricia Nadrowski

resides in the rural area of Lapeer. Her work demonstrates

the journey she is walking through as an emerging artist.

To fight against life’s challenges, she arms herself with only

a pencil. Although drawing is one of her artistic skills, she

loves creating short stories and producing music.

Joe Rinehart

Joe, in his free time, writes about some of his deepest

thoughts. With a wide collection of poems hidden, the topics

can vary from relationships to difficult circumstances

in his everyday world. Each time a poem is written by

him, it is rich with emotion regardless of the subject.

Marion Davidek Sekelsky

(January 25, 1929 - November 20, 2020) - Marion Davidek

Sekelsky was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. A proud

graduate of Beecher High School, Class of 1947, she was

a lover of travel, culture and art. Marion’s work has been

published in University of Michigan-Flint literary magazines

at various times over the decades. Her poem “Woman and

Cloth” is published here with the permission of her family.

Submit: https://go.umflint.edu/quamagazinesubmission

Email: flint.sil.qua@umich.edu

Instagram: umflintqua

Website: https://blogs.umflint.edu/qua/


Submit: https://go.umflint.edu/quamagazinesubmission

Email: flint.sil.qua@umich.edu

Instagram: umflintqua

Website: https://blogs.umflint.edu/qua/

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