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Fall 2017

Letter from the Editors

The McGill Tribune is proud to present the Fall 2017 Creative Supplement, highlighting excellent creative work by McGill students, including poetry, photography, illustrations, music, and mixed-media.

We would like to thank the Arts Undergraduate Society Financial Management Committee (AUS FMC) for funding this project, and Chad Ronalds & Hebdo Litho for printing this issue. Moreover, we appreciate all the artists who submitted; it was a pleasure to review your work.

Although McGill doesn’t have a formal visual arts program, students find their own creative outlets. The Creative Supplement serves as a platform to highlight these endeavours. McGill students are notoriously bright and hardworking; we hope this issue proves that they are also immensely talented.

  • Ariella Garmaise, Arts & Entertainment Editor
  • Noah Sutton, Creative Director
  • Elli Slavitch & Daniel Freed, Design Editor
  • Daniel Lutes, Web Designer
  • Dylan Adamson, Arts & Entertainment Editor
  • April Barrett, Multimedia Editor
  • Nicholas Jasinski, Editor-in-Chief

Julia Spicer


Maya Keshav

and the neighbourhood’s annual redistribution of things.
inside-out houses spill pink and gently steaming people onto streets,
leaning on other innards, expelled: sofas, old televisions, porcelain.

on the other street,
skeletons idle next to empty skins,
lingering, eyeing the neighbours newly white and ribbed.
laid lovingly on the card table there’s a row of kidneys, spare,
six slippery hearts (two broken) and a bin of red shiny miscellany:
uncovered for hours of morning sun, it’s one long layer of jelly.

more, the block over.
memories, in heaps and seeping rows, cells of runny honeycomb.
some carry blackened stripes and scissored eliminations.
others are hand-embroidered, or inherited from mother.
some are strongly scented: twenty-five cents for everything about elizabeth.

saturday night: and the houses swivel convex again,
sweeping, sucking, gathering in.
there is space for almost everything, and space between space for everything else.
shards curl, edges melt and disappear.
seams, unsewn, reseal.

Daniel Freed

Crimson Water Overflowing

Alainah Aamir

Crimson water overflowing,
you mix white roses with blood samples
whisper sweet nothings into the ghetto wind

unusually cold for May
unusually silent for us

but oddly fitting, like my mother’s
shalwar kameez. Someone teach me how to fit
into more than just her shoes.

Lahore bathwater is pure, transparent
antithesis of your being
but you, little boy, do not even know
what that means

Laughable rage
stalk madly about the room
leaves trackers in the streets, sheets,
but I only leave traces

when it suits me. Puppet master pulling
at Ariadne’s string – little boy, I am
she who saves you
she who leaves you
she who annihilates you

but usually I stay
cross legged

Crimson water overflowing,
spit on her face as she lies bleeding
mutilate the corpse you turned her into
you’re every man in Mardan fused

Crimson water overflowing,
Drown in your guilt
choke on my memory

arsenic is a teatime condiment
where I come from

cyanide love letters you open
greedily – wash your grubby hands
little boy
accept fate
ingest death

Lahore bathwater cleansing
away my latest homicide,

Irony is far more satisfying than romance anyway

What a thrill, to drown him in the blood
from the wound he inflicted.
Sarah Bentivegna
Daria Kiseleva

Indian Summer

Dylan Adamson

the cleanest that you have ever been
absolved of guilt, reason, remorse
empty, salty blue
sterile deftness, confidence
the pain is gone
where once lay feeling
freedom reclines comfortably
inhales from a cigarette
starts thinking & talking about nihilism like all the time
cool guy
or whatever, I guess anxiety
is not a place, not a headspace, or a pill
anxiety is something, if you are very sad
you make with your eyes, for your conscience
you build it around me, you bring it to me,
you beg me to fix it, despise me
then you cut me out of your life
mr clean
sooo so clean

Gloria François

Some People

Brigitta Davidson

Some people wear their bodies better than others
The twist of their waist holds a magic untouched by the majority
There is a disarming charm in the crinkle of their nose
And the way their clothes slice them up into perfect bite sized bits

I am not one of these.
I am an altogether different creature
I am in shambles.

A glob of duct tape stuck to itself in a most distasteful way
Unsure of what each sticky strap wants
With little hope of being straightened out

Maybe someone watching from afar finds my mess delectable
But I’ve always been told mess is something you clean up before guests come over

Anastasia Sylenko

Veronika Sanada-Kailich

Rohan Chakrabarty

And I'm Still Here

Georgia Maxwell

        I see your eyes
Through turpentine
Bars, soft oil
Somehow forming hard steel.
But in the middle of the living room
When light waves
H    i        Tret   n  as    justright,
The bars fold ba      c  k like orange peels
So I’ll wait Here.

    I can hear footsteps                 in my mind

Boom!          Thud!

Feet soft              Across           matted hardwood,
Somewhere along the way we hi  t concrete puddles
We’re free!
As we race oxen ensemble 
Ramming its straight capillaries.

With its beating heart,
I’ll wait here,
By the grape vine,
In       big bay window
On top 
         on       little letter desk
From here to the couch 
Across this here mountain floor

I’ll feel the safety 
Of your pillow there.      ,

               You were never late
To moments                   already begun.
Endurance was never your style,
These moments you seem to        outrun,

And I’m still here.              

Hana Shiraishi

Home Invasion

Abigail King

I dream almost exclusively about you.
This bed a memorial nobody visits but me-
The lone beholder of a season’s pass to yesterday.

I stopped drinking this year-
I didn't make it past September.
I bought a red dress-
The straps snapped.
Never got the proper chance to wear it,
Never had the words to tell to you.
You hung untouched in my closet,
Reminding me you needed mending.
Yet my mother never taught me how to sew.
Could never seem to bring myself to the seamstress.
Could never measure the distance between here and there-
I can mean it when I say that it doesn't feel like a Friday-
How can it, when the dizzying rage of circling the sun continues,
On and on like this,
Since habits are just too hard to break.
The chase is so endless,
Even when the sun burns as much as it brightens.
And it is Monday again.
I can now.
But in my mind I am no place in particular.
In a nightmare I am loving you from afar.
Maybe I prefer it this way.
Maybe I prefer the glasses of water on the dresser,
Throat sore from the smoke,
Remembering the cigarette pinched between your teeth,
How you never owned a passport,
That you become them in these words-
The sovereignty of your identity a folktale I no longer believe in,
You, they, she, and him-
Is it alright to hate you? To hate them?
It is alright to dress this way,
To chew loudly and close no doors?
I’ve decided to let my hair grow.
Decided today might be a good day.
Skipped up every other stair,
Hiked the mountain to see the city in its yellow-lit glory,
Polluted sky on the wing of a jet-plane,
Far from home, far from the ground failing to hold me,
Falling backward into the arms of no one.
Orbited down into yesterday,
Into purple flowers in a meadow,
Braid of hair washed clean in a lake,
White keys on the piano-
Sweet sounds,
Sweet champagne,
Their flutes littering the rooftop in song.
We sat up there all night.
I was there.
I was everywhere.
The whole earth-
An entire lifetime-
Absorbed into my skin.

I am so many different people in the day.
Living lives in so many different places.
But in this bed I am here,
Afraid for sleep,
To reunite with you in the cosmos
Just to awake to unbothered sheets,
Light seeping in through the window-
It is Friday yet again.

Audrey Carleton


Matthew Hawkins

A Man got on at West Fourth today
And turned the A train into his church
Telling the commuter congregation about the wonder of God

And I, nestled against the window
Counted the lights between stations
Like stars blinking past

Until I got off and stood beneath the vaults
Watching the trains come and go
Praying the next would be mine

And it was there I found
Myself unexpectedly placid in
The mass of shuffling travelers

The stars of the subway
Each one tempered by delays
Bound together for one stop of the next

The benches pews that hold in the rush
And frantic wandering from
Station to station along the tracks
Madeline Kinney

Plastic Gun

Alana Dunlop

I hand you my plastic gun
and you tell me you want a real one
and you have this look
in your eyes
that looks like check engine lights
or warning signs
or the beginning of a bar fight.
i drop your gaze but
you grab my hand
like pretend, pretend
and i don’t know if
you mean it or
if you just feel dead.

really there’s this
hole in my head that’s shaped like your
hand where
my face felt the slap
and i had to look at you
like you hadn’t hurt me just then
because you were dying
and everyone told me
you were upset
and in any real instance
i would leave you in an instant
but when complications pile up like paperwork
then there’s always this hand-shaped hole, no
matter what
and in the end does it matter
who did it?
sometimes in life you
forgive people for shitty
things they did to you
and you were dying
and you told me you wanted it but
there was always this
part of me that
knew you were
trying to spare me
the hurt.

so couches piled up
by the road
with cardboard signs stained
from the cold
and every moment
with you was like peeing in a public
and trying not to make a sound.
and everyone told me you were upset,
you were upset,
and of course you’re my friend
so i knew when they buried you i’d
be there
and i’d watch you go
without ever knowing if
the hand-shaped hole will grow.

but here’s the thing:
you’re my friend
and you’ve always had some sort
of thing for me
and i suppose we’ve
been together in bed a few times
but you’re my friend
so when your hand hit my head
there was this moment of
overwhelming regret
when i realized that
you were upset
and it felt like
shards of glass flying into my
eyes and
you cried when you did it
as soon as my face turned red
and of course
i know you regret it
because you know what you did
but there’s this hand-shaped hole
and i’m not sure
how it’ll be fixed,
and i may have called the paramedics
but they all just stood and watched me,
waiting for the right time.
i hate to admit it
but everyone was sort of banking on you dying
so when you didn’t
we didn’t have much to say to each other
i don’t think we ever spoke again
but i just want you to know i
got stitches for my head
and i want you to know
i never meant what i said when i said
that you’re better off dead.
and keep my plastic gun
because it only represents
the time when you almost grabbed my hand
and the time when you gave me head
keep the plastic gun
so you don’t find a real one
because if you ask me
you were always the type to
try and shoot yourself
then misfire and
kill a friend.

Kathryn Leci


Avleen Mokha

Autumn is the blanket of magenta
Settling on the afternoon horizon
The shivering sickle of the moon
That peeks from behind the sky
Autumn is three seasons’ worth of labour
Rustling bleakly upon the pavement floor

Maddie Murray