turning back the pages
Since 1997, Union Board's Canvas Creative Arts Committee has been curating a student arts and lit publication to distribute around campus for free. In our time on campus we've worked to capture imaginative thought, bold ambition, and visionary talent. In the past two decades, we've worked to capture the magic in art, and into the far future we plan to do the same. We can only hope that your time with the work below and the work to come is valuable and beneficial. These artists and writers chose to labor over transpiring their individual ideas into meaningful work.
So, go ahead...find the magic, find the outrageous, find the thought-provoking, the heart-wrenching, the awe-inspiring.
Sunshine Imitators | By: Karen E. Fiore
A soft-bristled face,
chocolate shavings nestled in a bed of silky petals,
yellow ribbons imitate the sun's rays.
like thick, golden cake frosting.
like the arms of a tide-pool starfish.
Dancing amid fields in France,
free from restraining pots on a porch.
Listen: an Austrian waltz accompanies their rendezvous.
In a ballroom carpeted with emerald greenery,
sunflowers await the chimney-smoke wind
to partner this pas de deux.
Late August arrives:
crickets and butterflies disappear.
Fearing the nearing season
of baked apples and squash,
of turtlenecks and short days,
the flowers will turn their faces
like bashful children on the first day of school.
CANVAS VOL. 1
Litter | By: Betsy Catt
When she hears the Carpenters
she wants to hear more buttervoice like new
and she's good at putting on lipstick in the rearview,
as she does now, with the cruise set to 85.
The carpenters hard at work on her dream home
are two towns back, building
a kitchen island she doesn't want.
She has always loved her hands,
the length of her fingers,
the shape of the fingernails that
unhook curlers, the petals of her head
falling pink to the floor under slippers
and to the bathroom lap,
terrycloth tired of holding children.
Hands look beautiful wrapped
in other hands, she thinks,
but more lovely around the steering wheel.
She's going to Akron, she decides,
because she likes the way the word sounds
like "acoustic" or "package"
Sifting through the cardboard box
in the passenger seat
one scratches her hand but she doesn't feel it
she picks up another white one
by the tail
and it meows
The white ones look the best,
like dandelion fuzz behind the Volvo.
CANVAS VOL. 1
The Play | By: Katie Fitzgerald
two months ago watching a play meant hands
salt-encrusted like a calabash stone.
and tongue swollen, swimming like a dead fish.
but at the opening of the second act
like the abandoned refrigerator out back.
CANVAS VOL. 3
The Efficacy of Murder | By: Aidan Crane
Sitting in our amateur campsite,
Surrounded by trees, hidden from stars,
We debated killing one another.
It would have been easy,
Away from paved roads and parents.
Instead, we built a fire,
You said the flames were dancers.
They were epileptics,
Biting their tongues,
Kicking at the air,
Choking on seizure blood.
We speared and roasted marshmallows.
When you burnt yours, I made a Dresden joke;
You almost pushed me into the flames.
But I saw a glimmer of a grin.
We made rapid, wordless love
Rolling in the dirt and the leaves
Because the tent was too much like home.
Your teeth found a clavicle,
Blood flecked your chin,
Still, always, my cannibal queen.
I pretended to sleep while
You droned on about your cousin's wedding,
About our wedding. To drown you out,
I conjured ugly thoughts:
Pregnant women and Soviet Gulags,
Our first kiss.
You fell asleep.
I watched a slick winged mouth flutter
Past dim embers, leaving
No time for fire to cling to dewy fibers.
I would live that night again.
At the very least, I was warm.
CANVAS VOL. 14
How We Cope | By: Alexander Weinstein
Your mother calls you on Wednesday to remind you that it's no longer Tuesday. She does this every week, ever since she heard about Telly Savalas. You, who care so little about Telly Savalas, have taken up crocheting. You are currently crocheting a lawn chair out of coffee stirrers. You thank your mother for the call and put a line through Tuesday. Wednesday, you think, and spill your coffee.
This always happens to you on Wednesday. Bending down to clean up the mess you hit your head against the marble countertop. Another thing that always happens on Wednesday. Wednesdays are shit, you conclude. You call your mother back.
"Oh what a feeling!" your mother shouts. It's been her greeting ever since she saw a Toyota commercial.
You, who neither own a Toyota nor care to, tell her "It's Thursday, Mom."
"Thursday. Wednesday is over."
"Wednesdays are pure shit."
"Couldn't agree with you more," she says, "Wednesday can go fuck itself to Canada."
"Agreed," you say and hang up. You put a line through Wednesday. To hell with cleaning up the spill, it can wait till the weekend.
CANVAS VOL. 12
Watching | By: Sarah Jacobi
dancing in the dark
i own you
throbbing beat--it is my heart
sticky wooden floor
i dropped my bottle
vodka splatters everywhere
circling vultures, watching their prey
but i'm really the lioness on the prowl
disguised in a miniskirt
i own you
peering through the smoke
into your soul
i own you.