OVERNIGHT ADVENTURE BY TIAARA ANDERSON 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 66
KOYAANISQATSI BY ANAMYN TUROWSKI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 66 READ NOW
I hitchhiked to my abortion. I didn’t think it through. Did I want a baby? Did I want an abortion? I filled out the paperwork and said my mother was picking me up afterwards, all I needed to do was call. I figured I’d call the time when I was done and then tell the clinic people I was to go outside. Traffic was bad, my mother hated to park on Santa Monica Boulevard. I had it planned out. It would’ve worked if I didn’t feel so damn crappy afterwards. It was like the worst period I’d ever had. During the procedure I stared at the word scribbled on a blackboard across from me. Koyaanisqatsi. What the heck does that mean, I’d asked the tech. “It’s Hopi. It means life out of balance or something close to that,” she said.
MATCH.COM® BY CLARA JONES 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 66 READ NOW
THE INJURY BY SUNSHINE BARBITO 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 66
THE LAST BEST HOPE BY MICHAEL WASHBURN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 66
RIVER BABBLE BY JULIUS FERRARO 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 66
TIAARA A ANDERSON
I began writing short stories as an assignment in a creative writing class, and writing became my favorite pastime. I realized that many of the stories I wrote helped shape the woman I have become. My stories focus on how non-traditional family arrangements can be seen as positive and not harmful to children. They can be healthy. I write my stories to encourage others to embrace where they come from and to help create a blueprint to where they want to go. Like Willie W Herenton, the former mayor of Memphis, I believe, “Success requires the self-discipline to set a goal and the tenacity to stick to it. Sometimes you get knocked down. But if you stay down they’ll count you out. If you get up you have a chance to win.”
I live in Chicago, Illinois. I attend DePaul University, where I will be graduating in the summer of 2019 with a Master of Art on Special Education. I am a recent graduate of the Philander Smith College with a Bachelors of Art in English.
It’s never been easy for me to get the truth out. An honesty-lump builds in the back of my throat. I’m the middle child of a divorced couple, with two half-siblings and a lot more step-people in my life than the average person. I’ve spent most of my life in my own head, watching and listening and making up story lines that made sense to me. People that made sense to me.
The first time that it felt like someone understood me, they were lying. Lying on paper and on screens in my favorite movies and books. Life happens in a lot of little moments. Warm and dripping with swimming pool water. In line at high school graduation, stomach turning, waiting for your name to be called.
Life happens when we least expect it and in ways we struggle to describe. The first time I wrote, I used a lot of emotion words. Feelings sprawled out on the page, but they didn’t really seem to do the trick. Poems and stories always felt lost. Lost, trying to explain. Trying to spell out what was in my head and heart in wordy and accurate language.
It was a group of writers at a Monday night workshop who helped me realize what was going wrong. I needed to tap into my body’s memory. Movement and bodies are where the truth happens. Stories live in a hand reaching over to pick up a glass. A woman biting her lip. And out of nowhere it clicked. The stories that I loved, I loved because they were full of motion. Fiction and movement. Lies. So I’m learning to write lies into physicality, stumbling into a voice. A purpose.
I’m approaching 20 years old, and so many things and places and people in my life that seemed so forever, are disappearing into memories. Writing is a time capsule. I’m also realizing that we don’t have as much time as we think we do. We count Mississippi’s. We check our phones. And all the time we thought we had to write or sing or dance or to be happy, is fleeting.
It’s all lies anyway.
I am a walker, like the people in the story. I walk everywhere, and in Philadelphia every street I turn on spools up a set of associations, memories, relationships: when these buildings were built, which other parts of the city they resemble, what I have done, said, seen, and felt there, what other streets branch off and how I feel about them, which turns I usually take and which I don’t like to take and which I will today. I moved to Providence and in comparison Providence presents a vacuum into which anxiety and fear flow. The fear is artificial, but the rootless emptiness isn’t. A few weeks before I moved I started paying attention to trees. I took some leaves and pressed them between the pages of books which I packed up in boxes. This was part of a long-term, growing interest in plant life but also an attempt to take something of the neighborhood with me. Writing can alienate and de-familiarize, but it can also be an act of familiarization, of naming and staking out and layering associations. I’ve mostly been a playwright and a critic for the last five or six years, and poetry and short stories are a form of adaptation, as I move out of a community of collaborators (which is, obviously, really important for theater).
My writing has been published at Anti-Heroin Chic, thINKingDANCE, Philly.com, and Phindie. My theatrical work includes Parrot Talk and Micromania. I’ve been posting short experiments on my website, juliuswrites.com and my Instagram @ferrarojulius
I am a retired scientist who studied animal, including human, social behavior. Since I began graduate studies in the 1970s, relations between dominants and subordinates have interested me. I have conducted research on dominance hierarchies, competition between males for mates, female choice of mates, as well as, access to food and space among group members. Though I continue to engage in some aspects of science (writing book reviews, corresponding with colleagues, maintaining a science blog at vertebratesocialbehavior.blogspot.com, curating a Twitter feed devoted to Social Biology—@cbjones1943), my current interests primarily include my practice as a Knowledge Worker (writing book reviews and poetry, especially) and spending time with my youngest son Luke, and his family.
Occasionally, I write poetry about race, class, and/or gender which has led me to consider power relations among humans, sometimes, between humans and non-human entities such as chimpanzees or robots. In 2015, I wrote about an imagined chimpanzee-human romantic relationship in this magazine (“The Good Consort”), and the 34thParallel Magazine has published similar pieces of mine in other issues. Of course, relationships between animals and humans have a long history in the pornographic canon, and, in mainstream literature, Ian McEwan wrote about an affair between a woman and a chimpanzee as early as 1978. I am a fan of McEwan’s work and look forward to reading his most recent novel, Machines Like Me, about a ménage à trois between a robot and a heterosexual human couple.
As a student of primate behavior and social organization, I have followed media reports of academic and legal arguments for affording legal rights to non-human animals, particularly, chimpanzees. In the 1970s, the Australian Richard Ryder suggested that humans are guilty of “speciesism” by failing to endow non-human organisms equal rights and privileges. This concept has been popularized by the bioethicist Peter Singer who has argued strongly and, to some advocates, persuasively, that non-human animals deserve legal status comparable to our own races.
Though in the United States courts have so far denied human rights to chimpanzees, the Non-human Rights Project (NhRP) and its attorney Steven Wise continue to appeal. Most recently (2017) the US Appeals Court in California decided against NhRP and two adult male chimps, Tommy and Kiko, holding that unlike humans the apes could not be held accountable for their actions.
It seems inevitable that at some future point intelligent machines will have their successful day in court. NhRP argues that chimpanzees deserve human rights because they can walk upright, can learn human language, and are sophisticated tool-users. Indeed, chimpanzees are very similar to humans genetically, as well (though it might be argued by an adversary or skeptic that genes are regulated differently in these two species of primate).
In many respects, some bots are superior to both humans and chimpanzees. Intelligent machines are better: handling tedium; in their sensory capacities; in strength and speed; in their ability to focus; as well as in their perfect and objective recall. Humans remain superior in the expression of empathy; flexibility (eg, responses to unpredictability); and in their acceptability and trust by humans (think, again, of “speciesism”!), but several leading companies are sure to close any remaining gaps.
Like marginalized humans everywhere, robots suffer oppression and systemic biases that only the legal system—and changes in human attitudes, opinions, beliefs, and values—can correct. I can say, with tongue only partially in cheek, that I hope my writing and other writers’ work will revolutionize social and legal systems by promoting inclusion and diversity and by abolishing prejudice against the “Other”. All of us, human and non-human, alike, have much to gain in such a future
I spent my formative years (which for me were my 20s and 30s—really) working overseas. I had contracting jobs that took me to the Ivory Coast, then Chad, then Algeria, then Iran, and then Paris, France. Paris was by far my favorite venue. Each day I walked out of the apartment into a veritable museum which included the Notre Dame. Hence, the recollections and the sadness. And this poem. After my foreign adventures (maybe you can include the US, since by then it too seemed like foreign territory to me) I settled into family and various jobs in telecommunications. Then I retired for health reasons (I was fed up with work and wanted to write.)And began writing.
And published The Mystery of the Big Booger (for ages 4-7), and Land of the Sun, Land without Light (for adults).
Koyannisqatsi is a work of fiction, but there are elements of my life within it. What brought me to the story was a memory of hitchhiking to Palm Springs after ditching school. Samohi (Santa Monica High) was right next to the freeway. It was so easy. But how did I summon the bravery to do such a thing?
It has been four decades now since the end of Ian Smith’s Rhodesia and the beginnings of the nation-state known as Zimbabwe. At this remove, it may be easy for some to forget how few friends the Rhodesians had outside their borders in the 1970s, and how tense and chaotic was the period in which the white-ruled regime met its demise. What Margaret Thatcher once referred to as “this tiresome problem” did not come to an end without its fair share of plots and intrigues.
I am a Brooklyn-based writer working as a financial journalist in Manhattan. My fiction has been published recently in the Weird Fiction Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Rosebud, Adelaide, The New Orphic Review, and Meat for Tea: The Valley Review.
I have written seven books of poems including most recently, American Loneliness published by Lost Horse Press. I have published poetry in Shenandoah, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle, among others.