Editor’s Note

On Nighttime

“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”
—John 1:5

“Thou also makest the night, Maker Omnipotent.”
—Milton, Paradise Lost

In the following pages, you will read about a couple that saves for the trip of a lifetime, a world where things have stopped decomposing, a woman prepared for the end of the world on a bright, sunny day. You’ll read a letter to Ginsberg’s ghost, find love in wontons, discover what Hamlet does when he isn’t on stage. And you’ll read the true stories of a brain on a highway, a woman borne by a man, of dressing meticulously for Mass.

This book, with the notable exception of Brian Doyle, was entirely written, edited, designed, photographed, and painted by BYU students. Some worried this might date the book, or localize it, or make it forgettable. But here we have something that captures the way art blooms like a rose in the desert, the way it stays up howling in the dark. I never worried.

This book was made in the nighttime, in the basement of the humanities building, by a large and talented staff. We read hundreds of submissions and picked the ones that made us worry, dream, wonder. We stayed late eating pizza, discussing line breaks, and removing commas. We stayed late making something you could put on your bookshelf and admire. This should be read at night, when the sun is knocked out and even the moon is off hiding. When you can’t sleep. When you don’t want to sleep. Read it cover to cover, or start with the author you know. Start with the poetry, the art, the back of the book. Read it and put it on your bookshelf, some rich darkness amidst the light.

When I was a freshman writer, I wanted only to be published in Inscape. I believed it was the best creative writing at BYU. And these many years later, I still believe. Shoot out the lights, find a dark corner, and off you go.

—AT, January 25, 2016

 

Editor’s Note

 

“The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way . . . To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, —all in one.”

John Ruskin

Here we have the taste of the moon; a chickadee with a bullet in its wing lain to rest on flowers, flowers that will try to breathe the wild world into your lungs; here we have thirst like a freshly burnt home; corn dogs warm from the deep fat fryer; an image of your father that you’ve never seen before; here we have Jesus and leopards lying in parks; a dead woman’s braid before her burial, her bobby pins that you will weave onto your daughter’s glowing head; here we have a garnished zither; a knife that you’ll grip tight, tighter; here is a canyon, your lover is on the other side, look down, look up, look down again; here is a cave’s mouth; here is a brown hand that you slip dollars into; a bandaid to patch up the world.

Here are pearls from the bottom, to make the world a little more bearable, a little more delicious, a little more aurora borealis.

January 2018

-Meg McManama

Acknowledgments

Thank you Adrian Thayn, my BFF/AT always, for the bounty of Communal dinners, vaulted conversations, and for being genuinely dope. Thank you (Dr. K)ylan Rice, for looking like a model but still being smarter than the rest of us. Thank you John Bennion for your sassy (saucy?) remarks, for being in the inner circle, & for your gentle guidance as I navigated the Inscape waters. Thank you Megan McManama, my InDesign guardian angel, for your gentle, reassuring, beautiful presence. Thank you Sophie Lefens, for charming every room you float through with your pretty laugh and stained lips. Thank you Kanye West, for Kim 2.0 & for being the most important artist of our generation. Thank you Adam Edwards, for your patience and diligence. Thank you Kalie Garrett, for your elegant examples of limitless talent and impeccable taste. Thank you Logan Havens, for being a soulful and benevolent human being. Thank you B3njamin Combs, for being a star. Thank you Rebecca Lindenberg, for so gracefully allowing me to publish my personal hero. Thank you Hadley Griggs, for understanding Yeezy, and for heroically saving this issue from certain catastrophe. Ditto Zach Power, for being an arbiter of taste and utterly, utterly useful. Thank you Luke Bushman, for supporting my reign. Thank you Mark Strand, for your cheeky comments and your generous words of encouragement. You will be deeply missed by many. Thank you Craig Arnold, for being the very kind of poet we all aspire to be. & thank you Matt Olson, for being the very kind of human we all aspire to be.

Staff

Editors:
Chief ………………………………………. Lauren Bledsoe
1st Assistant ……………………………
Adrian Thayn
2nd Assistant ………………………….
Adam Edwards
Fiction ……………………………………
Sophie Lefens
Poetry …………………………………….
Zach Power
Nonfiction ………………………………
Megan McManama
Print ………………………………………
Hadley Griggs
Faculty Advisor……………………….
John Bennion

Staff:
Luke Bushman
Camilla Dudley
Chelsea Holdaway
Collett Loosle
Heather Moon
Brittany Rebarchik
Justin Shaw

Editor’s Note

If you become the aliment and the wet, they will / become flowers, fruits, tall branches and trees.

Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone
Walt Whitman

… do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? / … Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. / Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:16–20
King James Bible

You’ve no doubt come for something. Why else would you be reading this now. I’m certain you’ve picked up this book looking for something. Maybe a small meal, or a slight repreive, a poem, a large cat for the lap, widgets, wonder, an orphan to minister to. Isn’t the mind always reaching, at the very least for breath. Haven’t you felt alone at least once in your life.

Weeks ago, I placed each pear on the page, one by one, like any writer or artist would do, each young, each shriveled, each melting, each crooked, each green, each cute, each brown, each irregular, each typical pear. I looked at each of them, and all these pears from one tree spoke to me in the kind of way that only several hundred pears can speak to you, with their faces, with their bodies, with what they are. Doesn’t language always come from the inside out. Does that make it the closest thing to our hearts, issued from the lungs.

The other day, I was in the back room of a barbershop making language portraits of visitors. I had an easel and a stack of printmaker’s paper. I invited each person into the room and they sat down. He looked at me. I looked at her. Each shared something, and I tried to capture that, tried to tack it down on paper and then hand it to each entirely present person. Sometimes I felt I had done a service, other times I felt that I needed more time, a whole day, five more minutes, wait come back, I only just began to understand you. No doubt we were both looking for something.

I realized, afterward, as I was packing up my easel and papers and stools, notebook, pen, and such, that I had been working with these people, and elsewhere with these pears, and even a few weeks prior on a self-portrait, and it all came to me at once: how was it that all this portraiture had happened so close together, how was it that it had not occurred to me until it had accumulated, here in the dead hours of the night as I drive home through the canyon, how is it that we had been given a whole collection of pears, of poems, of fictions, essays, interviews, and what was yet to come of it, what discoveries were to be made, what could be found in this issue, what would we miss until it grew a little more, until we looked a little closer, until we lived a little longer.

At times, I lay in bed and hope I’ve no doubt been alive for something. I’ve looked thoroughly in the face of each day that has come into my room, and, on rare occassions, the day is in the room just long enough for me to capture it.

December 2016
Zach T Power