Sounds of an old house: a haunting memoir
by J. Ashley-Smith
I’ve moved house maybe fifteen, twenty times since I left home, but my parents have never moved. They still live in the house I was born and grew up in, on the outskirts of Cambridge in the UK.
It’s the only detached house on a street of Edwardian terraces and townhouses made of bricks that must once have been a chalky yellow, but are now grey with age and the soot of a hundred years-worth of car exhaust fumes. White and pink rosebushes line the short path from the pavement and trail around the front door, partially obscuring the name etched into the sandstone lintel: Rose Holme. It’s a small, simple, beautiful house. The inside front door has panes of green and red stained glass, and blue glass corner-pieces with white stars. In the afternoon, sunlight shines through them and paints coloured shapes on the walls and floor of the entrance hall. The house smells of books and old wood, of the drying hop vines my mum hangs from the bannisters.
Why I Like Amusement Parks
by Jeremy C. Shipp
Picture me in the attic, dusting headless mannequins and possessed marionettes and a rocking chair that rocks itself every night at 3:33. These cursed items aren’t going to clean themselves. As I’m dusting, I come across a cardboard box stuffed with old papers. At the very top of the pile, there’s a tiny one-page essay I wrote in elementary school entitled “Why I Like Amusement Parks.”
by Ashley D. Escobar
I had never heard of Domenico Starnone until I picked up a copy of his slender green novel Trust in Posman Books at Chelsea Market. My friends had left me to look at the miscellaneous items by the cashier––juvenile pins, scented-erasers, and animal figurines. I rolled my eyes as Penelope looked for a rainbow ribbon to wear on Valentine’s Day. College, with all its secrets and façades, seemed like another world. We had gone to so many bookstores already, our feet hurt, and we were hungry, but when I saw the word “trust” in large white letters accompanied by a couple, not exactly in an embrace but close to one another with a single hand in the air, I knew I had to buy it. I was tired of solitary brooding after finishing Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment. The next minute, I was out the door with Trust safely tucked away, acquainted with the insides of my Paris Review tote bag.
My Sidewalk Stage
by John Yohe
Strange, almost scary, to stop on the sidewalk, put my guitar case down and opened it. People passing glanced, curious, as I slung guitar strap over shoulder and strummed an open E chord, fine-tuning strings. Part of me even expected cops to show: “Alright buddy, move along!” Perfect day though: Sunday, early Autumn, sunny, a few clouds. Not too hot or humid. I was standing at my favorite two block section of Ann Arbor, in the world really: the T where Liberty runs into State, right outside Border’s Books & Music, across from the Michigan Theatre where they showed good indie films, and with the lingerie store next door, so I was comforted by all my favorite obsessions. Also, it was a strategic location: Liberty a main pedestrian route between stores on State and stores farther west on Main. Plus, relatively quiet, less traffic, and Border’s took up the whole block, so I’d be visible, and hearable, for a long ways either direction, giving people, I hoped, more time to listen to me, more time to maybe form a favorable opinion of my singing, and more time to consider making a donation.
by Hantian Zhang
On the map, Todos Santos sits in the ocean’s middle, the tip of a peninsular hugged by the blue from all sides but the north. From the airplane, its precise location is hidden in the surprising green, a carpet of shrubbery crisscrossed by dry riverbeds of sandy yellow. On the ground, as Cabo’s crowds and resorts recede from view, vistas of shimmer lift the spirit, rendering an alacrity that something might come out of this trip after all, some new ideas, a new path.
The Wild Bride of BKLN
by Amy Bobeda
Cities were once built for walking; it was not until the Enlightenment that ceilings became white when we tried to dispel the evil diseases of the forest. There’s an old ceiling in the financial district reflecting summer light. Tainted plates of a sun, two pelicans, other animals I don’t remember. The Fearless Girl in bronze stares at the Stock Exchange, hands on her hips, defiantly she shimmers; I shimmer sticky pores.
In the Fall of 2021 I recorded a one-hour, multitracked solo performance of Canto Ostinato by the late Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt. Following are a few scattered reflections from the project’s inception to its release this month.
Notes on the Special Pillow, the Holdout, Mikey Erg, and Alice Bag
Or: An Open Letter to My Bandmate, Former and Future, John Ross Bowie
You still subscribe to Razorcake, right? What did you think about Donna Ramone’s recent column, where she writes about listening to favorite punk albums with new lenses? I love her line about needing to clean off “the nostalgia grease from this mirror and see some of that punk I love for what it really is.” We texted later and she said the column came out of group chats, spiraling with friends about old punk records. “Fear? Is Fear…ah fuck. What about the Dwarves? I can’t handle this.” She described it as a conversation she wants to keep having despite the discomfort. Old favorites and new standards don’t always jell.