November 1, 2023 | Volume I, Issue 6:

Final Answer

Survey Says: RUN

Raven Reynolds

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Final Answer

Emily VanDerEems

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digital collage with a warm, whimsical feeling. Birds fly among clouds as the sun sets

don't pity the bird

Lily Garnaat

maybe it began
with a remark, or
by gazing into the glass, and
falling upon a new taxonomy
for what gazes back.

bent on your campaign,
on its novelty and
excitable electricity,
you’ve found your newness
and it’s starting
to feel its first summer.

yes– a being has unfolded and
made its home in you,
and the sun looks different
on the pink horizon.


time passes,
the sun sets,
the glass smears, and
the flowers are
trodden on.

in their steady eyes
and off-tempo tones,
you feel them question
your certainty,
‘how unfortunate you
dont know yourself,
how you thought this
was the answer,
pity the bird who
flew too soon.’

mercurial advances
secure their grip on your
periphery, making you

and now, how you peer over
your shoulder – jaded –
stale from your own curiosity.

why begin anew when
the shiny copper will soon be
aged and oxidized
chipped? an eyesore…


the patina is

i do not bleed for the flighty bird,
but i pity those who accept
there is but one self.
i ache for the stone that
does not tumble in the
sweeping pull of cool waters
that reveal a new shine and color
to its visage.

they’ve tutted at your naivety,
as if your keen eyes and ears
and your impulse to listen
is merely a lavish display
of existence.


who would not wish to
live lavishly, to seek, to inquire,
to entertain, to linger?
if you hear a voice,
do you not turn your head
in its direction?

lean into yourself
– all of them –
as no answer is ever final,
but simply a continuation
of a dialogue.

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Dannie Marsella

My mom told me about this service she subscribes to for daily motivational quotes in her inbox. It’s like the non-parody version of [@afffirmations], but its fans are serious. She has a small notepad dedicated to maintaining a running list of her favorites. I was expecting another glowing sans-serif font, excitedly claiming that EVERYTHING I NEED IS ALREADY WITHIN ME or reminding me to APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS against a beachfront backdrop.

She asked me if I knew “that basketball player.” Yeah, Michael Jordan. She agrees and proceeds with, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

Sure. I’ve watched The Office probably ten times. I’m familiar. I wasn’t expecting to keep thinking about it, however. I had no idea that the words of Michael Jordan could have ever hit me this hard. Nine little words, meant to be a motivational slogan for basketball-loving athletes, had sent me into a tizzy of personal judgments and painful self-realizations.


What am I doing? Am I doing anything? Am I doing enough? How can I keep doing what I want to do? Do I even know what I want?

At some point, Michael Jordan (maybe) said, “Enough!” he put his pen and notepad down, each page exploding with detailed instructions on executing the perfect dunk. He turned his brain off, flipped his RESET switch, and stopped all the doubting and questioning and pondering and pacing and procrastinating and overthinking and planning– and did it. Without the first wobbly dribble and feeble throw, the 14-time all-star would have kept these wishes and aspirations confined to his imagination, daydreaming about what could have been if he had just started. Doing nothing creates the only final answer; everything else can change.

The only thing final… is nothing.

A Few Faves:



070 Shakes’ inviting, sultry vocals create effortlessly fluid sequences that infect every crevice and wrinkle in my brain, like sweet, rich sap running through tree bark. At this moment, 070 Shake is one of my favorite vocalists of all time.


Kimdracula becomes an angsty soundscape. Kimdracula, apart from its incredible name, has a carefully crafted balance of drawn-on singing and screaming. I can barely understand the words; I had no idea the lyrics were, “I really wish these snakes were your arms” until right now. Thank god this reddit post exists.

Kick The Tragedy

Its catchy beat and dreamy progression through this unknown place mimics what I imagine laying in a bed of wildflowers feels like; the sun’s glowing rays peek through the softly swaying weeping willow, and I’m floating! It’s long, but there’s a surprise at the end.

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The Last Laugh

Courtney "CB" Brown

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