Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz

Act One — Scene 1

(The Present. Allendale, Michigan. GVSU campus. Evening. The sounds of crickets and intermittent, raucous voices are heard over the house speakers through an open window upstage. Lights up on BRENT, a bearded grad student in his mid-twenties with sleepy eyes, considered by his friends “a man of few words,” and TORI, an extroverted first-year undergrad with ADD and a manic sense of social justice — they enter BRENT’s apartment chatting amiably. The room is well lit with a headache-inducing fluorescent glow. In downstage center, a small wooden desk is flanked by two chairs. A neatly…

Photo by Stephen Leonardi

Orual’s face is grotesque. In C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, beauty is never in the eye of the beholder. The contemporary reader’s desire for equality demands a character who finds Orual beautiful. That character never materializes. Compared to Psyche’s inner and outer beauty, Orual is a “swollen spider” (315). People worship Psyche as a goddess (32); the man Orual loves ceases to think of her as a woman (148). Psyche finds the object of her love (183); Orual’s love consumes everyone she touches (315). The beautiful Psyche is lovable; the ugly Orual is unlovable. It appears to be…

Photo by Efe Kurnaz

In A. J. Ayer’s “Demonstration of the Impossibility of Metaphysics,” he argues that all metaphysical questions and propositions about the nature of reality are in fact pseudo- propositions. By “pseudo-propositions,” Ayer means a sequence of words that assumes the form of a coherent sentence but is actually meaningless.[1] The content of a proposition is considered meaningless when it is neither empirically observable (i.e. perceivable through the five senses) nor a prima facie proposition. In order for a proposition to be prima facie, it must be intuitively self-evident: tautologies, pure definitions, and basic truths of mathematics and logic are some examples.[2]…

Photo by Glen Noble

In chapter 1 of R. V. Young’s At War With the Word, he contends that the past 30 years of hostile criticism directed at the New Critics has been ideologically motivated (xi). Young calls the attack, a “campaign of disinformation,” which attempts to discredit the New Critics’ methodology in favour of a radical form of literary activism (4). With a disparagement of the New Critics comes a leveling of literary works to the status of ordinary texts (20). Contemporary literary critics reduce literary texts to cultural relics that contain either politically desirable or undesirable material to be fashioned by the…

If the Book of Job were ever dramatized in its entirety, it would undoubtedly be one of the longest and most tedious productions in theatrical history. This is due in part to the lengthy and highly repetitive speeches that form the majority of Job and convey the book’s primary message: God’s people must live by faith, even when they don’t fully understand God’s will. But Job’s literary form as a closet drama indicates to the reader that Job’s characters may not be the only focal point of discussion. The dramatic crux of the book, namely, Job’s misfortune and ensuing despair…

Photo by Jonathan J. Castellon

Jade Mitchell loves her phone more than me. We sit across from each other in a booth at Kleiman’s café. She texts while I watch. Jade has many “guy friends.” Today, she’s texting Brian because she finds him more interesting. I don’t blame her. I suspect Brian is silly and immature. He’s perfect for her. I’m Jade’s slightly older, foolish boyfriend, who’s holding onto her — for some inexplicable reason. I watch her face light up and flush dark pink as she receives a new message.

I don’t mind quiet moments with Jade. Actually, I prefer them. If it wasn’t…

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goodbye megan

these are my last words to you but it doesnt really matter what i say though i wish things had turned out differently but they didnt turn out differently because youre not aware of anything outside of your blissful life and im not saying your life is always blissful but to me its artificial so im closing the windows and pulling my blinds and its late afternoon and i want to be alone and i dont want to think about you but i want to see you so im holed up in this room thinking about you and…

Photo by Luther Bottrill

Brett’s lighter flickered in the still darkness of his dorm room. Underneath white sheets I lay beside him, our bodies propped up with pillows stacked against the narrow bed frame. The bong water rolled. Lifting up the bowl, he inhaled quickly, filling his lungs to capacity, and after several seconds, breathed out a long trail of smoke into a large Vornado fan, propped up on the bed, and aimed at the partially opened window nearby. Smoke drifted out into the cool night air. Brett passed his travel-size bong to me.

We had the room to ourselves. Brett’s roommate was out…

Photo by Randy Kinne

Jade Mitchell loves her phone more than she loves me. We sit across from each other inside Kleiman’s café on GRSU’s campus. She texts while I watch her (sexting, yeah). My generation doesn’t need conversation, often self-absorbed, checking our phones when we’re bored, yeah, that’s a given. But it’s a ghostly world when I talk, and no one listens.

“Jade,” I call out from what must be another dimension in her mind.

There’s no reply. She’s lost in her own world happily texting. Yeah, she doesn’t need me. She has plenty of “guy friends.” We have nothing to talk about…

Photo by Blake Barlow

— A pale and skinny girl,
Who sits across from me,
She texts her friend without a sound;
I calmly sip my tea.

Her green eyes dance across her phone:
I watch her face turn red.
She texts her friend while I’m alone,
A ghostly world I dread.

Her dirty blonde hair caught my eye
One night at Ryan’s dorm:
So young and naive, foolish, high,
I kissed her; she was warm.

And now I hardly speak to Jade:
“Well, hey, um, Jade,” I say,
“So, how goes school, I mean, twelfth-grade?”
“What?” says Jade. “Go away!”

The coffee grinder…

Brook Johnson

Creative writer, Essayist.

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