All posts by Post Script Magazine

About Post Script Magazine

Post Script is a magazine written, edited, and produced by the Creative Writing Department of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Through our articles, stories, poems, and the occasional lifehack, we have shared some of the things most important to us. There is a remarkable diversity of talent to be found in our students and their work, and we are unified by a common respect for that diversity. The editors and writers that make Post Script possible don’t have an end goal in sight, but instead a vision of a magazine that allows us to explore, learn, and grow. We have ventured into a new medium for self-expression and self-reflection, and hope that our art and the effort that went into this project will encourage, engage, and enlighten readers of all backgrounds.

Something Like Larry

By Emilea Huff

In the morning, I see him. His hands are on the wheel, his voice greeting me as I step into the shuttle. He wishes me a good morning with a smile so endearing I feel like I’ve known him in a past life. There are wrinkles around his mouth, not from stress, but from smiling his whole life— just enough to leave a mark for every passerby to notice. I don’t know anything about this figure with the red baseball cap and the stubble that frames his aged face. I imagine his name is something like Larry, or Wayne, or George.

He could have a daughter— ten years old with pigtails and pressed-daffodil freckles. He could have a wife who spends her time drinking white wine and pasting photos of aunts and uncles and cousins into scrapbooks. Maybe his favorite food is lasagna, with the tiny leaves of oregano sprinkled on top. I have not known him long, but I imagine his younger brother has a wife and child, too. Some happy family that I’ve constructed in my head, all before I’ve even taken my seat.

Maybe he has a ranch-style house with blue shutters, like my own house used to be. The Larry in my head has a pug— not for him, but for his daughter who loves them so very much. He has a laugh that sounds like an engine starting, I imagine, something that makes his wife’s heart thump. He drives a bus because he loves the thrill of being on the open road, but now his brother makes fun of him because he’s going the same route every day. It may be the same route, he says, but at least I don’t work in a cubicle. Now his brother is laughing harder.

I wish I could say know him. I don’t know if he has a child or a wife or a younger brother that works in a cubicle. He is all a mystery to me, even his name. Whoever he is— whether he is Larry or not, I hope the life he lives is something he deserves. Nevertheless, I am determined to make him laugh. Just to see if he really does sound like an engine.

 

Reflections V.1

By Derek Frazier 

Growing up and recognizing that my high school experience is over because I am a senior, creates a looking-in-the-mirror kind of mindset in me. It makes me pause, and look back on the wisdom I have developed over the last four years, and what affected me the most. For me, it was learning the difference between a defeat and a failure.

I have a very disciplined work ethic, and that has bled into my personality as I have matured. If I am given a challenge, I will move heaven and Earth to accomplish that goal. I don’t feel satisfied until I have given it my one hundred percent, even if it costs me mealtime or sleep.

As I’ve grown, however, my self-doubt has almost manifested into a voice, one that I associate with Satan himself. When I did something that I knew I could do, such as brave my fear of heights on a zip line, or make a medical decision at work when a little kid is injured, the voice whispers “you can’t do this,” or “why are you even trying?”

I will not say I’m embarrassed that sometimes I gave into the voice, but I am ashamed of the effects. As someone who still strives to work hard, I melted down when I performed a job poorly. My anxieties would go into overdrive, and start to hammer a massive amount of stress into me. I would start to hyperventilate, pace back and forth, and talk faster than I already do. The voice would start to repeat, “failure, failure, failure.”

Even now, my brain is prone to overthinking. So when the voice got louder I started wondering, “What else can’t I do, what else have I failed to do?” When often I hadn’t failed or done anything wrong. Unfortunately, I am still plagued with the symptoms of overthinking, just not to the same degree.

Meditations on who I am as a person helped me quiet that voice, as did yoga and spending time reflecting in nature. There is something very intimate and enlightening about dissecting the things that make you who you are. It’s like standing naked in front of a mirror and recounting the stories of how you got all your scars. I’m not saying go into the park and everything will get sorted out, I’m saying it helps to close your eyes and teach yourself acceptance.

To me, failure isn’t a bad thing anymore, its an opportunity to improve, to accept that you didn’t do it right. It’s not an ugly “F” written in sharpie, it’s the universe’s way of giving you permission to try again. It’s okay to cry and admit that whatever it is you’re facing in life might just be a little too much for you. Just don’t give up on yourself.

That is defeat, that is letting something beat you. The red pill versus the blue. It’s the mental decision to give up and let that voice feed off you.

When I was younger I studied martial arts, and I had a very serious Sensei. He would always tell us that we weren’t trying hard enough when we were putting our everything into the forms and repetition of movement. Looking back, I see the point he was trying to convey about a lack of mental discipline. Karate was more than repeating a kick or a punch, you needed to look past him and prove that you could do it.

But it hurt nonetheless. And after deciding enough was enough, I gave up on karate, convinced that all dojos and martial arts were like that. And now I regret that decision very much. I have trained in other styles of martial arts, and self-defense since, but I regret not proving myself to my Sensei. I wholeheartedly believe that decision is where my voice of self-doubt started. If I had stayed and practiced Karate under a different tutor perhaps things would have been different. That was my first defeat.

I still have anxieties about whether or not I can do something, crippling as they were prior to my self-reflections but not as often as before. I learned to close my eyes, take a breath and clear my mind so I could enjoy a few moments in peace. If I had given into the self-doubting voice. I would never have been a writer. I would never have gained the self assurity that I will become a paleontologist, or dissipated my fears of being a terrible father one day.

This isn’t a statement of triumph, or a claim that I’m better than anyone, this is a reflection on the greatest chapter in the reflection of my life to date, and a hope that it inspires others to do the same.

 

More Than Living

By Elizabeth Mcfarland

I want to make art even more than I want to breathe,
I want to promise everyone I am enough,
That I will turn pain into prose,
And hurt to Haikus.
That I will be good entertainment for the masses,
Like the Classics.
Please,
I will carve stories into my arms with green fluorescent ink,
if it meant I could be art.

Test me,
I beg you,
I will do anything

I would hear the gasps in the hospital room
like a symphony,
after I realized it could be done.
The notes,
all different tones,
would hit me like a freight train,
shattering glass all at once,
like a car crash,
please.

Maybe that is inspiration enough?

Just tell me I did it well,
That I exist,
give me a slot in the list of the classics,
the Fantasticks,
I want to know what it is that they have
that I don’t.

I wonder if it is the feeling of being turned inside out.
Of dissolving and becoming
All at once.

I really don’t care how it feels.
Even if it’s like dying,
Or like bliss.
Does it really matter?
I just want to feel it more than living.
I want to be art more than living
too.

 

They’re Never Really Gone

By Nathan Retherford

Mother woke me up at about 8 AM to check on the garden, she had her thin green plastic gloves on, and her sun hat that frayed slightly at the edges, and she had a smile that said Have I got an adventure for you today Darcy. We went to the flowerbed right beside the front door and there was an eyestalk growing from the ground. It was Great Aunt Leontine’s (and I know it was hers because it kept searching the window for the little trays of cookies she would leave out, and my brother and I would steal, when he still lived here). I had no idea who buried her there, but Mother seemed pretty content and fed it and the veins along its side sort of convulsed in a seemingly pleased way when she did. This is probably because my uncle who lives in South Dakota planted Grandpa and last Christmas he sent us a card with a photo of a leg squirming out of the earth with the caption “Me and the Old Man, still kicking!”.

That night after everyone went to sleep I had to look out my bedroom window and Leontine’s eyestalk had grown out maybe another quarter of an inch and was peering around the front of the house in a very lumbering way. I saw the tips of her manicured fingers wriggling slightly in the dirt and I guess it really is like Mother said, that they’re never really gone.

By the next week, when I had to go back to school (it was Christmas break, and when I asked Mother why we planted Leontine in the winter she said a woman as strong as her could grow any time of the year) her hand had shot out of the ground enough to wave goodbye as I got on the school bus, and sometimes Mother would show her my homework and spelling bee awards and get those signs of positive reaffirmation and she would say Darcy Dear, I am so proud of you. And for a while, piece by piece, Leontine was there, her nose took root not too far from the window and we would let her smell the casseroles and pies and other things we made and her eye would dilate as if to say Thank you.  

But one day I came home from school and I got off of the bus and Mother was there, crying, and Father was holding the weed-eater behind him, and the whole front of the house was covered in little specks and splatters of blood. I tried to ask what happened but it was pretty clear that there was no getting Great Aunt Leontine back now, and that tomorrow they were going to come with a big backhoe and put her somewhere else. Somewhere she could Rest In Peace.

 

A Letter From Our Chief Editors

Hello everybody! We were nominated to take over Post Script, a magazine that has been up and running for three years now. We have both been published writers, section editors, and now, we are co-editors-in-Chief. It is so amazing how far we have come as people, as a magazine, and as a community. We can’t wait to head start this year!

There will be a few changes to the magazine in the upcoming issues. We have chosen four sections for our writers to write for: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and a What’s Happening tab. We have also opened up our magazine to Barbara Ingram School For The Arts as a whole instead of solely the writing department. The biggest change, however, is that we will be uploading content as fast as our writers can churn it out. There will not be four issues throughout the year, but rather smaller ones each time our editors get their writers’ pieces to us.

For our Barbara Ingram audience–if anyone is even slightly interested in participating, please ask us about joining our team! Another thing that the two of us will be implementing this year is a stronger sense of community. In order to achieve this, we will no longer be assigning editors based on genre, but on commonalities and complementing characteristics for effective teamwork. We believe this will permit the writers and editors to grow together in comfort, method, and communication, creating the most efficient work environment that we are capable of attaining. Additionally, we will be hosting community-building get-togethers after each round of publications for everyone involved! Post Script exists to serve as a platform where we can share our stories as BISFA students and as human beings. We are all part of each others’ human experiences, so why not have the most fun and rewarding human experience possible?

We are so excited for all of the amazing things we will accomplish this year, and we thank you for coming on this journey with us!

With love,

Maddie Lynn and Amelia Lowry

It Started with a Coffee

By Julia Pryor

I didn’t know your name, but I didn’t need to.
With brunette, shoulder-length hair parted to the left and chestnut colored eyes, you stood behind the counter with a crooked smile.
“What can I get for you?”
You looked young, could only be a few years older than I, which surprised me considering most of the baristas looked to be in their 20s or 30s.
I told you my order and handed you a twenty dollar bill.
“There ya go.” You placed the change into my hand before I dropped it, the change falling onto the counter with a series of ear-piercing clanks. We both went to grab the change causing our hands to awkwardly collide and fumble together. I pulled my hand back at the action and waited for yours to move too before I grabbed the change myself—two quarters, one dime, and two nickels. I dropped the change into the tip jar, which prompted a smile and a “thank you” to pass through your lips.
I waited patiently by the counter as you attempted to blend my drink, stopping halfway to look to me and say, “Sorry for taking a million years to make your coffee. I think the blender is broken.”
I laughed, “It’s okay, I don’t mind.”
I watched as you rushed around behind the counter and chuckled at the blush of your cheeks after you tripped. It was obvious you were still getting the hang of this, and I was glad I had gotten the chance to witness it all unfold. Watching you was like watching a baby learn how to walk for the first time; failing most times, but still getting back up and trying again.
After minutes of blending the coffee, accompanied by sighs full of frustration, you poured the mixture into a plastic cup and piled whipped cream on top. Your eyes flickered to the door as an elderly man slowly walked through, depending on his walking stick to stay balanced.
You looked to me one last time and smiled before walking to the cash register to greet the man and take his order. I smiled back and walked to a different counter a few steps away from where the straws and napkins were. I felt a sense of sadness for having to leave you behind as I turned towards the exit. Taking a sip of my coffee and being satisfied by the taste, I yelled, “thank you” before walking through the door. I heard a faint “you’re welcome” on my way out and knew it was you. I smiled.

em ▴ pa ▴ thy

By Aevin Mayman

em ▴ pa ▴ thy n. 1. The way I look at you when you smile / The way you never smile, so this is like a blue moon / the real kind 2. Us in your basement, 2am: as in we both need to stop feeling / stop giving 3. Why I know your tears apart from my own: the rain / Your bottle of not-vodka / Under these stars¹ / that neither of us can see 4. Distance / I cannot let you go, / the string that binds our / souls together, / it is not something tangible / Not something that anyone can see. / This star dust / This burning bond 5. Something only I feel burning / Not love / more than friendship 6. The way I want you to come back / how I want to pull you back / like maybe if I think hard enough the wind will bring you here / Back in this basement² / At 2am / Away from 7. The edge

Synonyms: I’m here, tired, trying, not to let go

¹hope.

²safety.

Praying by Your Bedside

By Summer Finkelsen

The bathroom mirror dances with me
When I wash you out of my mouth

Her reflection sings a
song of triumph
lovestruck trills of infatuation
which wither into sadness

and into an emptiness
that collapses in my ribs.

Words about you and what you did march out of my mouth
and stomp on anyone who tries to reason with me.
I know.
This isn’t healthy.

Because of you.

You have me in your freckled arms,
watching the T.V flash violet fractured light.
You trace your name on my side
as I fall heavy and away from you.

But,
tomorrow you will be with another.
Stroking her barbwire hair and
you bleed
as she falls asleep.

You tell me,
you are no good for me.

Your whole facade is based around this.
And trust me,
I believe you.

But that doesn’t forgive the thoughts
tinkering in my head
screaming like a wild boar
at 4 am
when you are fast asleep
with someone else.

Someone that’s not me.
And I’m not jealous of her
or her hair in between your fingers.
I’m jealous of you
and the freedom you have
to do as you please

and
having me
still begging on my knees

The Last Voyage of The Coca-Cola Bottle

By Nathan Retherford

Too often we yearn for even a drip
Of that nostalgia-juice to enter our mouth-galaxies,
Until we are shouting “Where are the space invaders?”
Or our sugared up heads can’t handle any more
And collapse like origami in reverse.

And what five year old didn’t want to be an astronaut?

We held our ray guns too high and thought they were
Sunbeams–at least until we learned to recognize the glint
Of cheap plastic, anyway.

Or remember when we saw light outside our window
And were desperate children gripping our sheets, waiting
For an encounter of the third, fourth, or eleventh kind?
But besides, when you learn that planets
are mostly gas, the real fun is taken out of it.

Or when we thought we could offer the earth salvation with heart?

Or when we set our phasers to stun and froze indescribable
Green men into victory statues?

Or when the monsters were under the bed instead of in them?

Or the last voyage of the coca-cola bottle, coating the stars in fizz?

A Conversation I Worry About Far Too Often

By Sara Malott

Of course I love you,
and of course I will miss you
to the moon and back,
but I can’t stay here.
There’s nothing left for me;
nothing at all.
I want to go away and make new memories.
Why?
Momma, this town follows me around like a disease.
I really need to get away.

I am scared of getting stuck.
Like a little oak tree in a forest of oak trees,
I don’t want my roots to get too comfortable.
I think the longer I stay,
the harder it will be to go.

No, I’m not sure where I want to go.
I want to write,
and I want to have kids to tell stories to,
but I don’t want them to be raised here.
To most of the people in this town,
I’m just someone’s niece
or someone’s granddaughter.
They see my last name and they know who I am.
It’s like a title
that wasn’t meant for me.

I see the old guys at the football games.
Graduate class of ‘73
They talk about old Coach Hammer
like they just had his class the other day.
They never leave.
Why would they?
Their whole lives are here.
This is all they have to hold onto.

I will never be just here or just high school.
That’s why I have to go.
I might come back to visit though,
because as much as I hate to admit it,
this town raised me.
These people made me who I am.