griffin epstein is a non-binary settler working as an educator and community-engaged researcher in Toronto (Dish with One Spoon territory). Their first chapbook will be released with Frog Hollow Press in late 2021. Their poetry has appeared in Grain, The Maynard and Plenitude. They also play music and make videogames.
all mammals being mostly skin and a heartbeat, my mother, too, skin and a heartbeat
my mother before she was my mother held her head in a sink full of water trying to understand death. the kid down the block hung a trapeze in the basement right over the concrete floor. his parents came home to find his skull split open. it was the 50s, what did you expect. fear makes discipline. don’t climb too high on the jungle gym, wade too far out in the waves. my mother before she was my mother walked into Lake Michigan and came out with legs full of rainbow sores. don’t live too long in a city, cities clog your lungs. before they closed the factories, my mother made snowballs from the orange snow. things were different then. don’t wander the high school after hours. she got locked in the attic at New Trier with a bat. before she was my mother when her face was my face. don’t mess around in the basement, don’t sneak out at night. don’t eat too much or you’ll look like me. your body will be my body again. on the west side of Manhattan, high up in an apartment, my mother says be careful. in the bathroom, the washer-dryer lumbers out of its alcove and blocks the door, the sink stops up, and the walls are plastered with cut outs from Cosmo of anti-wrinkle exercises: color photos of a woman with her mouth closed and eyes stretched wide open, passing a bubble of air from cheek to cheek. my mother before she was my mother held her head down underwater to see what it was like.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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