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The dangerous self that piles on vampy clothes and tattoos.
DOROTHY CHAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 29

DOROTHY CHAN

I was on a flight back to Arizona, paging through an issue of Vogue—Rihanna’s on the cover, and the story’s about an editor meeting RiRi for the first time—they discuss fashion, and Rihanna piles on the risqué clothes for the editor to don. The editor notes RiRi’s cute button nose, her half-cackle laugh, and the overall poise and elegance mixed with edge that she personifies. But of course, the editor can’t forget RiRi’s style: sexy and androgynous, colorful at times and all black everything at other times, and feminine mixed with the right touch of masculine. Rihanna dresses the editor, who finally settles on an outfit that makes her feel confident…until the cab driver tells the editor she looks like a doctor…

This over-the-top persona of not only Rihanna, but also the popstar (in general) fascinates me. It’s a self-fashioning that eventually turns into self—the kind of self that is represented in numerous twenty-first century millennial ways: personal style, social media, media presence, etc. It is also the type of dangerous self that piles on both vampy clothes and tattoos. The week I read the Vogue article, I recalled Miley Cyrus getting “Rolling Stone” tattooed on the soles of her feet. I wanted to capture popstar in the modern sense. I also wanted to capture something of a Vuk Vidor’s Art History effect: for instance, Warhol Owns Pop, Mondrian Owns Geometry, Picasso Owns the Century, etc. or perhaps AnOther Magazine’s version: Burberry owns the trench, Prada owns ugly, Céline owns the next big thing, etc. My version of the Vuk Vidor effect is summarized in this poem with “Popstar owns the Bra”. This associates the popstar persona with one article of clothing, or perhaps even the lack of that item. This association becomes fast and easy, and is evoked with the lines, “She tells me that if she’s wearing a top, she doesn’t wear a bra, but if she’s wearing a bra, then it’s just a bra if that.”

I am poetry editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review. My work is published in Plume, The Great American Poetry Show, Cha, Vine Leaves, decomP.

34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 FEMALE JESUS DOROTHY CHAN ODE TO EVE ENSLER CYNTHIA CLOSE WAR IS OVER! WAR IS OVER! MOSHE PRIGAN ONLINE DATING AIMEE PARKISON SHADOWLAND NANCY AVERY DAFOE AMANDA LYLA ZAIM WHAT MADE YOU ASK ME TO DANCE ROBERT EARLE THAT TIME I DRUNKENLY HIT ON YOU RACHEL NATBONY COTTON’S POINT PAUL DRESMAN



LYLA ZAIM

Everyone has their own way of escaping. Traveling is what I live for, and the main reason why I’ve become the person I am today. I live in Toledo, Ohio, on the way to getting my BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at the University of Toledo. I’ve also studied a year at the University of Brighton, in Brighton, England. lylazaim@aol.com

PAUL DRESMAN

Cotton’s Point is a coming-of-age aria in an essay about the region, its Native and Spanish colonial elements as well as the later Anglo developers with their glad-handed schemes and visions. In 2006, my translation of Jesús Sepúlveda’s book of poems Hotel Marconi was published in a bilingual edition by Cuarto Proprio (A Room of One’s Own) Press in Santiago, Chile, and a second edition in 2012. Along with the self-published selected poems, The Silver Dazzle of the Sun (2003), I have continued my work in the essay form, often combining lyrical with expository writing as in Paper, Trees, Fire, an essay that appeared in Writing on the Edge from UC Davis, or the more historically oriented Astor, Astoria and the Problem of American Wealth that appeared in Square One from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

CYNTHIA CLOSE

A natural ability to draw was my ticket out of suburban New Jersey, and the window of escape from the suffocating atmosphere of a perfect 1950s nuclear family home. I was the first to make it to, and through, college. It was desperation that drove me to succeed.  I am contributing editor to Documentary Magazine, and art editor of a new, monthly, literary and art journal, Mud Season Review. My work has been published in various anthologies including The Best of The Burlington Writers Workshop 2014. cynthia.close@gmail.com

 

ROBERT EARLE

Flannery O’Connor said that if you have lived to twenty-five, you already have enough material to last a lifetime as a writer. That’s true, but I don’t always use life models for my fiction because, well, I just don’t. I write about whatever interests me. I have published more than 70 stories in print and online literary journals, two novels The Man Clothed in Linen and The Way Home,  a book of literary criticism Tuppence Reviews, and the book about my year in Iraq Nights in the Pink Motel. robertearle@wordpress.com

MOSHE PRIGAN

My story stems from the unique and intense situation, almost impossible to solve, in which for about 70 years of political and military conflict my country Israel is engaged: about 11 wars and thousands of clashes and near-total-escalations in between. I’m truly tired and fed up and I am thirsty for peace, for normal life. My horror stories are published in Tales from the Shadow Realm, an online magazine, and Genesis SF Magazine. mosheprigan@gmail.com

RACHEL NATBONY

My favorite things are cappella music, iced coffee in the dead of winter, and drivable lawnmowers. However, above all, writing is my true soulmate. I am a senior at University of Delaware, with a major nobody understands, including myself, honestly.

NANCY AVERY DAFOE

Shadowland seemed to fall across an open field like that gift of a single line Annie Dillard suggested “drops from the ceiling” when my grandson discovered his shadow for the first time. The poignancy of the moment was particularly acute because I had lost my father, mother, brother, and aunt in rapid succession before the birth of my first grandson, and I happened to be thinking about his new life in the shadow of the deaths that came before him. I have been teaching English at high school and college levels for 16 years. I have published two books on teaching writing, Writing Creatively, and Breaking Open the Box, published by Rowman & Littlefield Education, and I have a third book, a cross-genre memoir and poetry book, An Iceberg in Paradise: A Passage through Alzheimer’s, published by SUNY Press. Two excerpts from my plays appear in an anthology entitled Lost Orchard published by SUNY Press. dafoenteachingwriting.com
nancydafoebooks.com

AIMEE PARKISON

Photographs are frozen in time while life is constantly in motion. A photograph is forever, but its subject is constantly changing outside of the frame..  I have published three books, and my work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, Hayden’s Ferry Review, So to Speak, Nimrod, The Literary Review, Unstuck, Feminist Studies, Mississippi Review, North American Review, Quarterly West, The Cossack, Cimarron Review, Santa Monica Review, Other Voices, Crab Orchard Review, Fiction International, Seattle Review, and Denver Quarterly. My most recent book is The Petals of Your Eyes (Starcherone/Dzanc 2014). I work as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing—Fiction in the English Department of Oklahoma State University. aimeeparkison.com

It is not only form or style that makes me write, but the discovery process of the inner self.
JOANNA JEANINE SCHMIDT 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 44
My mother and I have this special connection.
MARI CASEY 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 43
I tried to fix my head, hang out with people, stop writing for a bit.
POLINA SIMAKOVA AKA AGRIPPINA DOMANSKI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 42
I am a writer because writing keeps me sane.
NATASHA NOAH 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 41
I write to stay alive, to feel human.
MILENA PETROVIC 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 40
As is frequently the case, I began this story with a vague concept: in this case a story about sex.
LIZ FYNE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 39
Thoughts of gender, identity, and expectations. And Adrienne Rich poetry.
REBECCA DIMYAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 38
The poems are about the competition, jealousy, frustration, friendship, loss, and joy that all bands experience.
JOE DE PATTA 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 37
When it all falls away we find ourselves still alive, and so we continue.
JOSHUA DULL 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 35
I’m an artist because it allows me to be free.
SHANNON MARIE KELLY 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 27
Words are the only tools that I even remotely know how to use.
MOURA MCGOVERN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 25
Most of my poetry deals with gang violence and the impact it has on someone's life.
KANISHKA LAMPKIN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 14
I write because I’m good at it. Sure, I dress up good too.
ETKIN CAMOGLU 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 30
I want to discover, to explore what I don’t know yet.
TANIA VERHELST 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 32
When music beat me up and threw me out of the car I began to write.
DAVE MORRISON 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 01
I like a poem that blows itself wide open at the end.
SUSAN WHITMORE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 31
 THE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 34THPARALLEL@GMAIL.COM