AUG 3, 2020


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Table of Con­tents


Julep Days

Devin Smith - Website | Bandcamp

Oh the bright Julep Days of my youth!
Absurd & rambunctious, uncouth --
     I'd crow like a loon &
     Dance under the moon &
Float like a blaoon to the roof.

Book of Bonnie Roses

Mari Amend - Instagram

Once Again At a Supermarket in California

Molly Bolten - Instagram | Soundcloud

Does anyone else get terrible anxiety shopping at Berkeley Bowl? Maybe it’s that

I’m always by myself and it’s an overwhelming place; maybe it’s that

I don’t understand the layout at all so I’m always traversing the store wondering if everyone is noticing me traversing the store and thinking I’m a dumbass; maybe it’s that

I am in the way everywhere I am; maybe it’s that

the aisles are not all parallel to one another; maybe it’s that

the sheer volume of granola options puts me in a sleep paralysis; maybe it’s that

I’m certain I am in the wrong place because everyone there knows something (everything) that I don’t; maybe it’s that

it’s a paradise but no one is ever smiling; maybe it’s that

like the wild, its indifference is neither good nor bad, just bracing; maybe it’s that

as a woman existing neutrally I am invisible to many naked eyes; maybe it’s that

I am from Real Life but have been dropped into the simulation—maybe it’s that.

Wishing Well Road

Robert Woods-Ladue - Website

A Day At the Bullfights

Will Booz - Instagram

CW: graphic images & discussion of violence toward animals

I was invited by my girlfriend’s family to attend a series of bullfights in Cali the day after Christmas. I don’t eat beef, have Ferdinand (the pacifist bull, not the king or the footballer) tattooed on my thigh, and find animal cruelty to be detestable, so I was conflicted. But my disapproval was no match for my curiosity or sense of social decorum; I accepted the invitation and walked into the Plaza de Toros with butterflies in my stomach.

I cried as I watched the first bull die, but I stayed for four more “fights”. Six bulls were slaughtered that afternoon.

I was expecting to sense some sadism in my fellow spectators, but I didn’t. On the contrary, the crowd grew visibly angry and began to whistle whenever a matador failed to kill a bull quickly and cleanly when the time came. Some violence could be condoned, but anything more was treated with disgust.

I learned that in bullfighting is considered to be closer to ritual than sport; that the audience is meant to appreciate the technique and bravery of the human participants, and to respect and mourn their bovine counterpart; that the bull is meant to die with dignity.

Nevertheless, “brave” is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of a large group of heavily bedazzled men teaming up to toy with and execute a single, outmatched animal.

But that day, watching one skillful matador, I could not help but feel for a short while as if I was watching an expert at his craft commit the most impressive act of human courage I had ever witnessed.

After having his leg gored in his first fight of the day, I expected the man to produce a cautious second performance. Instead he proceeded to stand directly in front of the bull while waving his cape behind his own back; to sidle up to the bull and place the point of a horn between his legs before flicking his wrist; to dodge the charging animal without ever moving more than a foot in one direction. It was half dance, half death wish. The crowd bellowed its approval.

Still, none of the bulls’ deaths struck me as being very dignified. But does any animal die with dignity when it is raised and killed for consumption by humans?

I walked out of the Plaza more conflicted than I had been when I walked in, but for different reasons.


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