Non-Fiction Editor

Screenplay: Out With Italians [Excerpt] by Tony Bianco

OUT WITH ITALIANS

FADE IN:

EXT. SANTA REY – DAY – ESTABLISHING

A small fishing town in the San Francisco Bay Area. December 7, 1941.

INT. LINO’S APARTMENT – PARLOR – NIGHT

A small, simple apartment. LINO NOCCI, 35, wiry, handsome, a scar along the left half of his jawline, stands staring at his radio. An Italian-speaking announcer is talking about the Pearl Harbor bombing.

ANNOUNCER (V .O.)
Il bombardamento di Pearl Harbor denudera il gran buffone d’Italia, Benito Mussolini. La debolezza di Mussolini sara esposto per il mondo. Il nemico di tutt’italiani, il pazzo detestato stara disfatto. Mussolini …

The announcer is cut off in mid-sentence. There’s KNOCKING at the front door.

Lino turns the radio’s knob but gets only static. The KNOCKING gets LOUDER.

LINO
(heavy Italian accent)
Why you no break down?

FBI AGENT #1 (O.S.)
Lino Nocci. FBI . Open up or we will.

LINO
Who you are?

FBI AGENT #1 (O.S.)
Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lino hurries away from the door. (more…)

Nonfiction: Mary Szybist, Critically Acclaimed Poet, Graces City College’s Mission Campus by Adina Pernell

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Critically Acclaimed Poet Graces City College’s Mission Campus

By Adina Pernell

Mary Szybist, the second guest in the City College Visiting Writers Series, is a critically acclaimed poet whose numerous awards and accolades include being a Pushcart Prize winner, and whose most recent book “Incarnadine” won the National Book Award for Poetry.

“Incarnadine” is a book of poems revealing the many sides of the biblical Mary, often told through the lens of ordinary women.

Its cover features a depiction of the Annunciation, where according to biblical lore, the angel Gabriel tells Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. Szybist admitted that the image “dominated her imagination.”

“I grew up with this scene of the Annunciation; with the name Mary, in a Catholic household. I went to the church of Annunciation and my best friend’s name was Gabriella,” she said.

John Isles, the City College English professor who hosted Szybist’s reading, welcomed her by projecting the Annunciation scene. “I am blown away by ‘Incarnadine,’” he said.

Isles introduced a poem from “Incarnadine” titled “Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle.” Its surreal, maze-like construction reads like a puzzle in structure. It depicts two young girls contemplating the idea of the biblical Mary and the complexity of faith and religion.

“It is not a spectator’s sport. You are involved in it, putting the puzzle together of the poem as you read it,” Isles said.

From the book, Szybist read “Annunciation: Eve to Ave” along with other attendees. The poem challenges the idea of “bad Eve” verses “good Mary”—what Szybist called a “terrible dualism.”

The symbolism and imagery of Szybist’s poems leave a lasting impression, and many audience members were fans of her work.

“Her poetry does not let go. It is so committed to exploring an idea, like a mathematical proof; her poems continue to look at the world long after others have moved on,” said Cynthia Slates, coordinator for the City College Writer’s Certificate.

Later that evening, in a candid interview after the event, Szybist added insight into what “Incarnadine” meant to her.

“Well, it is the color red,” Szybist said. “And I came to the term though Macbeth, and about that moment as I described before when he had blood on his hands. And he is trying to grapple with his own guilt and wash that blood off his hands—that feels he could ‘the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red…” That sense of washing…”

Cullen Bailey Burns, an English department faculty member and poet introduced by Isles during the interview, asked for Szybist’s autograph.

Burns, a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in poetry, most recently published a reflective volume of poems titled “Slip.”

The poignant moment of one poet getting another’s autograph only served to highlight the impact Szybist has had on the literary world.

Annunciation: Eve to Ave

Szybist continued after graciously signing Burns’ copy of “Incarnadine.”

When asked whether The National Book Committee’s quote that “Incarnadine” is “a religious book for nonbelievers, or a book of necessary doubts for the faithful” is accurate, she responded by saying, “that is my hope for what the book is.” “

“[‘Incarnadine’] wants to find a way to think about how religion might still be of use to us, even if it’s not through the lense of belief.”

Szybist’s casting of the biblical Mary is not an archetypal representation of the divinity of femininity.

“I’m interested in creating multiple and alternate versions of the figure of Mary. So part of what is so dramatic [and] so often repeated is that she is supposed to be all-pure. She’s supposed to be a virgin, and a mother,” Szybist said.

She paused and pursed her lips, creating a silence so pregnant with meaning that we both laughed at her statement before she continued.

“These are impossible ideals, right. And when women are measured against them, we fail,” Szybist said.

“And this has hurt women very much, internally and in our lives. So my ambition wasn’t to try and say ‘not this one, here’s the other.’ It was to try to put some chinks in that old idea by creating new ones.”

When asked which poem was most representative of “Incarnadine” as a whole, Szybist adamantly expressed her viewpoint of Mary’s personality as multifaceted.

“[In] ‘Incarnadine,’ I am interested in the world and how this mystery [is] grappled with in real incarnated ways. I sort of was playfully thinking, well what if I was to imagine it as a puzzle? I imagined what was putting the puzzle together. And what messages this kind of scene is sending to young girls especially? I was also thinking… in the Bible story, Mary would have been really young. We forget that. Mary would probably have been about their age.”

She spoke of the two young girls envisioning Mary and reflected on her creation of them. She looked off into the distance, as if she was seeing them.

Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle

Adina Pernell is a sometime singer, sometime journalist, occasional poet, random author and dreamer. She has been a CCSF student for the past few years.

Nonfiction: The Almighty Dollar, by Howard Tharsing

The Almighty Dollar; an essay

by Howard Tharsing

Yesterday afternoon I walked a block or so to the Dollars and Cents store on Eddy Street between Leavenworth and Jones. I had passed it many times but had not gone in.  It looked small and dark, and the merchandise had been jammed onto the shelves, some of it apparently long ago.   Peering through the window, I could see boxes and cans old enough to have acquired a patina of settled dust over the sun-faded inks of the packaging.

But lately the place has changed, like everything in the T.L.  The store it looked bright and open.  The big front windows were clean and uncluttered by signs or advertisements; the new wire shelving inside finished with shining chrome; the goods new; and the packaging brightly colored. The floor was bare concrete but well-scrubbed, perhaps even polished and buffed, like the floors of some fashionable high-end shops I knew in Manhattan during the 1980s.

As I wandered through the aisles looking for toothpaste, I found a few other things that I had been needing (e.g., scouring powder, petroleum jelly) but had not felt that I could afford.  Here, however, for a mere dollar each, I could easily buy them without breaking my budget. I even found paper plates, which are tremendously useful not only for serving a meal but also for cooking in a microwave, the only appliance allowed in my SRO hotel room.  I had passed them up at Safeway many times because I could not justify spending $5.00 on them.  I had been making-do with paper towels and the like for over six months.  But now I could buy a package of 10 without worry.

The Dollar and Cents store is now a clean, well-lighted space, with merchandise arranged neatly.  The shopper can see what is available easily — and see that it is clean and new. And the soft-spoken, helpful Latino man at the register, neatly dressed all in black, his hair perfectly combed, his skin shining with good health, made me feel completely at home.

Something seated deeply within me relaxed in a way that I had not relaxed in over a year. I felt that I was seen to be sane, responsible, and connected to the world around me. I felt respected, and I moved more easily, with the solidity of our natural dignity.

All this for $6.40.

In the course of my year on the streets, I had found something similar at MacDonald’s. I imagine that most folks do not notice the Dollar Menu offered in every MacDonald’s restaurant, but those of us trying to find ways to keep body and soul together on next to nothing — sometimes as little as $10 a day for everything — understand the importance of this special group of items.

Everything on the Dollar Menu is priced at just $1. Among them are a MacDouble hamburger (with cheese), a chicken sandwich, and a truly delicious side salad. This salad consists of spring greens, cherry tomatoes, and a few other treats and comes with a choice of dressings, including my favorite, Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette. You can also get a large glass of sweet iced tea or a Parfait for dessert. All for $1 each.

I have a big appetite and usually order two MacDoubles and the side salad. Sometimes when I am heading home to a prepared dinner from Project Open Hand, I stop at MacDonald’s just to buy a side salad to have with my frozen dinner. Believe me, it is nigh on to impossible to get fresh vegetables in your diet when you are poor. A supermarket salad bar, at $3 or $4 per pound, cannot even be contemplated in the abstract. One comes to know that such things are not meant for folks like oneself.

But MacDonald’s is there for us, providing fresh bread, red and white meat, healthy beverages, fresh vegetables, and even a sweet little treat to end the meal.  A complete meal costs less than $5. There have been evenings — I think of last winter and spring — when I sat in MacDonald’s, eating my dinner, feeling my hunger satisfied and knowing that my body was getting a wide range of nutrients that were necessary to my health, and was moved to tears. This company so often derided as an example of bland, homogenous American corporate culture displacing small, individualized, local establishments and local traditions, had also found in its heart, moving through the hundreds of thousands of people who make up the company world-wide, a true understanding of the needs of poor folk and had responded by providing healthy life-sustaining food at a price we can afford.

And that fact brings me to my last point. These establishments, the Dollar Stores and MacDonald’s and others like them, provide one more necessity of life, one of the most fundamental and profound, and one that cannot be provided by any social, charitable, or government entity or even by caring and selfless individuals.

Everyone needs to feel responsible, to know that she or he can take care of himself or herself. Otherwise we come to feel less than complete, as if we were something other than fully formed, dignified, adult human beings. Only we ourselves, as individuals, can provide this latter necessity by paying for our food, clothing, and other necessities we all need to show up for life day to day. For us poor folk, it is at the Dollar Stores and the MacDonald’s of the world that we find the opportunity to do so.  It is there that we can enjoy the deep pleasure of selecting and paying for a few simple things that will help us maintain a respectable appearance, good health, and a sense of contentment with our life.

Howard Tharsing holds a Ph.D. in English from The Johns Hopkins University.  He spent the majority of his professional life in financial services.  He is currently enrolled in the Broadcast Electronic Media Arts department at CCSF, where he is focusing on audio production with the intention of producing a podcast.

Nonfiction: The Moderating Influence of the Other Gender, by Howard Isaac Williams

The Moderating Influence of the Other Gender

by Howard Isaac Williams

Responding with an anger to exceed that of his adversary, the youth yelled and leaned his taut body toward his foe. The other young man stood his ground and yelled back. If either felt any fear, he showed none and both ignored the earnest pleas of their friends to avoid violence. And there on that pasture just outside Peshawar, Pakistan, a fistfight between two men might easily escalate beyond the boundaries of persons into battles between families, tribes, or entire ethnic communities.

The men standing around the two would be combatants knew their obligations to keep peace and felt those obligations even more. Elders and youths pleaded for calm. For the sake of ethnic solidarity, the two should make peace. For the holy cause of Islam, they should put aside minor differences.

But such imploring, so emotional yet so reasonable, mean so little to egos in conflict. The two angry youths cared only about the perceived insults to their manhood and forgot their masculine responsibilities to others.

And their friends were losing hope in their own efforts. If this matter did come to battle, each man on each side might have to stop protecting his friend with appeals to peace and start protecting him with fists or worse. Even as they tried to physically restrain the two would be combatants, they were watching others to see if any might take advantage of an opening to dangerously escalate this matter. And in this quite masculine society where women are rarely seen and never heard, didn’t some of these men yearn for the moderating hand of the other gender, so familiar at home yet so unknown on the street?

On the other side of the field, about 30 yards away, a water buffalo cow observed this noisy and potentially dangerous scene. Rousing herself from the near somnolence associated with her domesticated species, she grunted, then bellowed. Her hoofs pawed the ground. She swung her massive head in great expressive arcs and kicked out her forelegs, then bellowed again. She began trotting, then cantering toward the two angry youths.

Her charge first distracted the friends and relatives of the two adversaries who were still shouting at each other, apparently oblivious to the approaching danger much greater than each other. On she rushed, her massive bulk fixed like an arrow on a target just between the two foes. Now the crowd began to part but the two youths stood momentarily transfixed as the huge mother, her udder swaying, nostrils snorting, her mouth bellowing, charged toward the tiny gap between them.

At the last instant the two adversaries dove away from each other and the buffalo seized the contested ground, instantly stopping and occupying it with authority as dust rose all around her. The two would be fighters lifted themselves off the ground and dusted themselves off.

Now as all in the crowd regained their composure, they began laughing, none more than the two who had been so angry a few moments before. One man in the crowd turned toward another and asked, “Why did she do that?”

The other shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I guess she didn’t want them to fight.”

Howard Isaac Williams was a student of Professor Julie Young’s Spring 2016 English 35A class. He also has a Certificate in Labor Studies from CCSF from 1991. He lives in the Outer Mission and is a retired bicycle messenger and pest control technician.
From 1989 to 1997 Williams worked summers as an aid worker in Pakistan and Afghanistan assisting disabled persons. “The Moderating Influence” is a memoir of one of his experiences there.

Meet the Editors 2017 [Part Two]

Today we’re meeting the head genre editors!

These talented folx are in charge of maintaining the submission logs of their specialty, organizing the submissions, and leading reader discussions. They’re also responsible for editing, author revisions, proofreading, and work in conjunction with the Managing Editor to communicate with authors and artists.

Bryce Riegel is our Fiction Editor

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Bryce presides over the brilliant fiction crowd.

Bryce Riegel moved to San Francisco 7 years ago for school (with a B.S. in biochemistry with a physics minor). He’s now a carpenter and spends most of his time remodeling houses and apartment buildings in the city. In his free time he’s either writing short stories or reading them.

 

Kriz Natalie Monrose is our Nonfiction Editor

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Kriz Natalie, excited to get to work on the Non-Fiction pieces

Kriz Natalie Monrose is your Transgender gender fluid non-fiction editor! Thank you for reading this blog. She likes all animals, especially cats and snakes! She’s looking for a husband. To apply, email submissions@forumccsf.org.

 

Kevin Cosby is our Poetry Editor

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Kevin Cosby lives and works in San Francisco. He recently #####%%&&
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Meredith Brown and Lulu Samuel are our joint Visual Arts Editors

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Lulu (front) and Meredith (back)

Lucretia Rhys Samuel is a Visual Arts Editor on this edition of Forum. She is a poetry-writer and a zine-maker residing in the Richmond District of San Francisco. She is currently studying Creative Writing and Visual Media Design at CCSF, working at the San Francisco SPCA, and spending too many hours hogging the xerox machine at the public library publishing her own zines.

Meredith Brown

Meredith gave me an actual picture!

Meredith Brown is a lifelong learner from Tracy, CA. She believes in empathy, art and science.

Essay by Nataniel Gondra

Domingo, Who Joined the Foreign Legion

San Francisco, 17 Sep 2015.

I have a very lousy memory. I can’t really remember what I had for lunch yesterday. Or what was the chapter of the book I was reading about a few hours ago. But I do remember some things clearly.

Growing up with my mother, she never told me what to think about death. She avoided the subject, as most of Western civilization (although recently I’m not sure if you’d think we share the same concept of Western civilization since I’m South American), but she also avoided teaching us anything about religion. She went to a very good Catholic school run by Yugoslav nuns that taught her how to write, read and think properly. She excelled in every course and she became one of the most intelligent (if not the most) woman I’ve ever met. It’s not just because she’s my mom. She had a sensible answer for everything. Except death.

Those same Yugoslav nuns gave her that education through an archaic but apparently effective method: fear. She once told me how they traumatized her about going to hell if she didn’t behave properly and that god was all seeing, all knowing and all judging. I don’t know what was going on my mother’s mind in her last days. At times I know it was fear, she said it at least once. But I don’t know if she was remembering the fear of hell instilled in her by the nuns.

I fear death. I fear death because I’ve had panic attacks. And I know, I just know, that when it’s my time to die, unless I’m heavily drugged and unconscious, I’m going to be in one perpetual, terminal panic attack. I’d give up many things not to have another panic attack again in my life.

But I’m not particularly concerned about hell. At least not at this moment, while I feel no immediate threat to my life. Mom raised me and my brother freethinkers. “It’s your choice to believe in what you want to believe”. Still, I was in a Christian society. So my friends where Catholics. My school made me do the First Communion, although I did asked in Religion class how come dinosaurs were so impossibly old and that got me sent to the principal’s office (I loved dinosaurs). I knew only one prayer, the one my mother taught me: “Little guarding angel, sweet company, don’t abandon me, neither night nor day”. That’s the Spanish transliteration of what my mother said. The whole thing is more complex and has darker passages. “I’d be lost without you” it adds. She didn’t teach me that. I think she didn’t even told me to say Amen after I completed the prayer.

One day I figured out that El Ratoncito Perez (the Tooth Fairy) wasn’t real and then the whole superstructure came down and I saw the vacuum and the strings. So if Little Mice Perez wasn’t real, then Jesus wasn’t either (he’s the one who’s supposed to bring you presents in Christmas from where I come from), nor god or heaven or hell. For some reason that scared the shit out of me. Maybe it was my first panic attack. Maybe others have experienced this before. Maybe what scared me that much was that my own parents were able to deceive me for so long.

But they did their best not to do so, really. I understand it can come as cruel and maybe non adaptive to teach your children that there’s no tooth fairy and no guardian angel and nothing at all and that there are only very slight differences between you and a worm.

“What happens after we die?” I asked my mother anxiously one day.

“Nobody knows. But it’ll be in such a long time that there’s no need to worry”

As a kid, I worried a lot. Even if I died, I found out that the sun was going to explode. So not even the world I was living in would survive. And before that, I already knew about the Arms Race and the upcoming nuclear holocaust.

Death was an uncomfortable subject to me.

So when other people died, I didn’t know how to react. I went to my mother for answers.

“Do as you feel, dear, if you don’t want to go to the funeral, you don’t have to”

I haven’t gone to a funeral in my life. My mother donated her body to scientific research and the cremated rest was given to my brother in a standard mail-quality square brown box. It’s sitting in my brother’s closet waiting for the time we get the courage to go to Venice, a place she always dreamed of but never visited. A place she told us we would go when she got cured.

So not even my mother’s funeral. She didn’t have one.

But my memory’s not that good. I was closing down old accounts in old pages I didn’t use anymore and I found a blog I made titled: “My friend Viernes (Friday) is dead. Thank god I still have Domingo (Sunday. Also a name)”. It was full of the strangest writings I’ve ever found. It took me a few minutes to understand what was going on.

These were literally messages from the past. From a time when Domingo and I exchanged almost daily Burroughsian emails and chats. I don’t know if he understood anything that we were talking about. We didn’t do drugs. We weren’t trying to be hip. This was something actually extremely amusing to do. Shared stream of conscious with scifi, political, tropical nihilism and rock music themes.

Domingo’s father had died recently. Of cancer, like my mother would years later. I had no idea of how he felt. It was the equivalent of being raised a no-sex-before-marriage, if-you-masturbate-you’re-going-to-hell and trying to imagine what sex felt like. Not even like that, really, because even those people get wet dreams. I had literally no idea. I thought it was bad, I said what my mother told me to say (an obsolete phrase everyone uses and that I still don’t have any idea of what it means): “Mi sentido pesame” (I’m not even going to try to transliterate that. To me it sounds like random words combined), patted his back and thought sadly about his father for a few weeks.

He wasn’t particularly sad. I don’t know if my empathy is a recent ability or if he was very good at hiding his feelings, but he just sang to me an Alan Parsons Project song, half-jokingly, half-seriously: “Time… keeps flowing like a river”.

I have much to say now about Domingo. Now that he’s gone.

It has been more than a year since he hanged himself. The last email we shared was a short story I wrote about mass suicide in my shitty Ballardian. He was doing his thesis on Ballard.

He also sent me, in an ultra-secret email, his draft of Tristicruel, the best short story book to come out of that hellhole that is Caracas. It was published a month after his death. I bought it this year through Amazon. Somehow it made its way through Venezuelan customs and got into the US.

I was part of the people he dedicated it to.

Now I know a lot more about death. I’ve lost my mother and the only friend that could possibly appreciate anything I try to push out of my mind. I’ve had other losses too. And for the things that have been going on in my life, I know how bad it must have been for him to get to that point. Fuck Dante and his Wood of the Self-Murdered.

He was kind to children. He was bright. He was a great friend. He lived like an accursed poet, but he had strong values. His writings reflect that he loved and cared a whole lot more about humanity than most of the people I know who go to church every domingo.

Domingo Michelli isn’t dead.

He just “went to France. To the Foreign Legion. Like Manu Chao”*.

*The last things I heard from Domingo that made me laugh. I found it in a YouTube video one of his hipster friends made when he visited Barcelona.

 

 

 

Editors Write: Craving IV

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you our fourth installment of “Editors Write,” this time Forum’s Non-Fiction Editor and Visual Arts Co-Editor, the wonderful Elise Stewart.

This piece was inspired by the prompt “craving.”  Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to submissions@forumccsf.org, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!

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“Craving and aversion are the source of your misery. Remain perfectly equanimous.”
I took a 10-day silent meditation course and hoped it would answer all my questions and solve all my woes.
“Scan the body,” asserted the teacher. “You may feel unpleasant, gross sensations; do not react with aversion. You may feel pleasant, subtle sensations; do not react with craving. You will only multiply your misery.”
One night I woke up tapping my knuckles against the wall in my dorm. I wondered if I’d woken anyone else up. I wanted to hug the girl in the dorm next to mine, who I had met right before we entered silence: “Le Chaim,” she said, as we walked up to the meditation hall for the first time. “Le Chaim,” I repeated back, realizing that Chaim now not only came at the end of the course, but book-ended it.
I wanted desperately to hug her when I woke up knocking on the wall. I wanted to hug my mom, and the guy who I had gone on two dates with before I left. I chided myself for craving these hugs. I developed an aversion to the craving. “Do not react. You will only multiply the misery. Do not react.”
I left the night before the end of the course. I told them I needed to be with my family, and that I could not be late. They said they would not allow it–that I was rebelling. I thanked them for the free food, and showed them my keys.
At the cemetery the next morning, I craved my uncle’s presence, and felt an aversion to his absence. Only, I welcomed this misery as a compliment to the joy that also existed within me, in remembering my time with him. “You are allowed to react,” I thought to myself, as they unveiled Chaim’s headstone.

Editors Write: Craving

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you some pieces from our very own staff here on the blog!

Over the next few days, we’re going to post some pieces inspired by our very own Writing Prompt Wednesday.  This week’s pieces were inspired by the prompt “craving,” and was written by our Social Media and Assistant Non-Fiction Editor, Leith Mahoney-Maver.   Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to submissions@forumccsf.org, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!

“You know why people are poor?  Because they’re not hungry enough!  You have to be hungry if you want to succeed.  That’s it!”

I dated this man, and he wasn’t talking about needing a cheeseburger.  He meant “hungry” in a more metaphorical sense.  People didn’t crave power enough, he said.  That’s why they amounted to nothing in the end, he said.

He told me how, when he was a kid in middle of one of his 18-hour marathon video game runs, it occurred to him that life is, in fact, a video game, only there’s no restart button.

“You only get one life.  You only get one chance to win.”

I rolled my eyes.  He stared at me.  Hurt.  Confused that I didn’t subscribe to his creed.  I mean, I played my fair share of “The Sims Unleashed” back in the day, but this was a whole new level of boyhood fantasy I wasn’t accustomed to.

His statement seemed absurd to me, but he couldn’t have been more serious.  Which forced me to picture him as one of the Mario Brothers–the green one, since he always looked so good in green–walking to work down Market Street, dodging cars, power-stripping up escalators, and collecting an obscene amount of coins from clients in New York as the best damn securities litigation attorney Nintendo had ever seen.

We broke up shortly after his revelation.  I could sense his judgment.  I didn’t crave power enough.  I was Player 2.  He was Player 1.  And only one player gets to win in the end.

Last I heard, he was on the level where you work 18-hour days in the office.  We spoke over dinner.  He sounded lonely.  Distant.  Like he was about to jump and miss his landing.  He was losing.  Staring at me.  Hurt.  Confused.  Fingers creeping across the table toward me, like I might be the restart button.

Rejection Letters Sent to Famous People

It’s not easy receiving that cursed rejection letter in the mail, and often times it’s no easier for a publication to decide not to publish your piece.  No matter if you ever receive a rejection letter from us or any other publication.  It certainly doesn’t mean you lack talent, drive or a great career in the arts.  Don’t believe me?  The take a look at this great Mental Floss piece highlighting 10 rejection letters sent to 10 of our most beloved authors, musicians and artists.  Click the image for the full article.  Good luck to all of you in your bright, creative endeavors!

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Introducing the Editors for Spring 2014

Introducing our team of editors for the Spring 2014 issue of Forum Magazine!  These are the people who, thanks to your contributions and the help of the graphics department on campus, are able to put together this fantastic magazine every semester.

Katerina Argyres
General Editor

Katerina Argyres is currently enrolled in CCSF and SF State. When she’s not studying, working, or entertaining her dog she likes to watch old movies set in San Francisco and cook. She is currently on a detective novel spree. It is inspiring her to write short mysteries and narrate her daily activities like she is in a noir film.
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Kristine Nodalo
Managing Editor
Drama and Visual Arts Reader

Kristine Nodalo has been living in San Francisco for ten years, but has continually failed to find the cool places where the cool kids hang out. In her spare time, she likes to hole up in her room with a pizza all to herself while watching Downton Abbey. You’ll usually find her hungry and searching for more food, or with her nose in a book.

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Virginia Carrillo
Assistant Managing Editor
Poetry Reader

Virginia Carrillo currently works at a public library. She is a student at City College of San Francisco and wishes to obtain a bachelor’s in English literature.  Her house is currently infested with literature books and cats, all around!

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Leith Mahoney-Maver
Social Media Editor
Assistant Non-Fiction Editor

The daughter of two hippies from the Santa Cruz Mountains, the third of four children, left-handed, and she once met David Sedaris while living in Paris, which has been a life highlight.  She writes about all of it in a blog called The San Franciscan.
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Osiris Walls
Fiction Editor
Assistant Drama Editor
Poetry Reader

not unlike the moon
dark, pulsing clouds will reveal
My Incandescence
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Brian Fidler
Drama Editor
Assistant Fiction Editor

Brian currently studies English at CCSF and lives in Oakland.
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Sara McKinney
Poetry Editor

 Writes, paints, and sings in San Francisco. A South Carolina native, she loves life in the city, but will never forget home. Her favorite color is all of them, and 2014 is going to be her year.

~

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Elise Stewart
Non-Fiction Editor
Visual Arts Co-Editor

 Since graduating from San Francisco State with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2012, Elise has endeavored to find employment that, in some way or another, would help to facilitate her unwavering wanderlust. After a number of ill-fits–including a short, yet soul-crushing stint as a slampiece in the tech world; a demeaning personal assistantship for a racist psychiatrist; and a dismal temp job at a bridesmaid-dress startup–she has cycled back to the academic bubble. Eager to reassume a place among those with full heads and empty stomachs, Elise has ungrudgingly shelved her travel plans to reenter the figurative space she feels most at home in: that of visual arts and literature.
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Bryan Makishi
Assistant Non-Fiction Editor
Assistant Fiction Editor

 Bryan likes to find good books at garage sales and at his coin laundromat’s “Take a book Leave a book” table.
~
David Chang
Visual Arts Co-Editor

A facetious person.  Self-proclaimed “cool” (more like borderline narcissistic), he will always do his best to give you a good time and a good laugh.
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Gary Baker
Business and Fundraising Manager
Events Coordinator

Born in the East Bay, Gary has lived all 48 years of his life in the Bay Area.  A baseball fan, softball player, music aficionado and pop culture junkie, Gary is also a former music marketing professional. Gary has returned to college to be an English teacher at the high school level. This is his third year as a part-time student at CCSF, and he will be transferring to SFSU in the fall.