A Bounty of Rocks

BY Andrew Jones

As a child, you selected the roundest ones,
polished them between your dry summer palms,
and pitched them to your siblings
waiting to swing a yellow plastic bat.

In a story, you marveled how one man
could carry a smooth pebble in his cheek
while the soldiers under him perished in war,
while he thought of the girl he loved.

Low tide along the Mumbles coast
revealed a moist beach full of protruding
shells, twigs, seaweed, and slick stones.
You tucked the smoothest in your pocket
as a charm for the long journey home.

Hiding from a gusty Pacific wind
you ventured into the cold water of a secluded cove,
the tide reaching the hem of your skirt,
and claimed a jagged rock from beneath your step
as a token for your new life.

In a bleak kitchen we sift through a bag
of gravel and sand scooped from a Montana river bed.
Dripping warm tap water over the grainy clumps
reveals tiny sapphires—pink, clear, light blue.
We gather our humble gems to dry
on a paper towel, before stashing them
in our wooden box filled with stones—
the other container of bounties and treasures.


Ghost Ocean


Andrew Jones currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where he works as an editor for a textbook publisher. He is a graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. His writing has appeared in publications such as Farmhouse Magazine, Poetry Midwest, Tattoo Highway, and Red River Review, among others.

Due to Some Fault Either in Transmission or Reception

BY Laura LeHew

call her fatal call her a flaw
a tantrum painted pregnant
with an electrical potential difference
a monologue that would defy gravity
she was the solar opposite of camouflage
the drone of the engravers’ roulette
a ragged edge nimbus
that always yields rain
a makeshift salvage that no jigsaw could penetrate
the hem of her prodigal heart
just waiting to whisper in your ear
a hard but juicy kiss the voltage
the flash of skin the rending
the rattle of clothes
the effect that could no longer withstand
to be worn


Laura LeHew is an award winning poet with 250 poems appearing over 100 national and international journals and anthologies such as Alehouse, Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems from Ragged Sky Press, Filling Station, Gargoyle Magazine, Pank, Perceptions, and the 2010 edition of the Syracuse Cultural Workers’ Women Artists Datebook. Her chapbook, Beauty, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press in 2009 is in its 3rd printing. Laura received her MFA in writing from the California College of the Arts, writing residencies from Soapstone and the Montana Artists Refuge, interned for CALYX Journal and was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She edits Uttered Chaos.

Her Tattoo as a Book of Light

BY Jory M. Mickelson

The half turned blinds cast shadows across her eyes—darkened, her voice rises and falls against the noise of the bar. The strongest men swim to the bottom of the river and drag waterlogged burlap sacks to shore. One of them will be filled with coins. The women write messages and tie them to stones, sinking words against the current.  What questions do they ask? The man who drowned with his dun-colored horse fell faster than night or stones or light from the road into the river’s mud and stuck; the horses legs kick like rushes.  Floating away are packets of seeds, pages of a book and one white scarf with blue flowers stitched in. A gold watch chain flashes and vanishes. A page being eaten by water asks what is ruin? then answers I will. I will.

Torch Song: She Didn’t Start the Fire

Uncertain at two a.m., I grind the soles of my tired shoes against the grime green carpet. A stakeout with magazines spread out on the table.  Their glossy pages distort and halo the overhead lights, turning my head left and right erases or restores the singer’s faces. Nighthawks at a Denny’s. Lady Gaga keeps changing disguises:  Lady Gaga with huge sunglasses, Lady Gaga in an improbably blonde wig and once the fake crime scene, her hanging from the ceiling smeared with blood.  It wasn’t Lady Gaga the tabloid showed, but the pencil-eye browed Evelyn Knight. How I listened to her and longed until she did what she did.

Portrait of a Faceless Victim

The man without a pulse wakes up in a wingback. He drops the old-fashioned glass that shows a cloudy ring. You ought to be the woman from the painting. Reflected faces in a windowpane. Scotch neat. Earlier (but after this) the man felt poison thread its way along his veins like ivy. A phone rings in the distance. Scissors cut out the anonymous shape of a girl from newspaper. The hemline of her dress reads…has been missing for three days… The curl of her hair says: why I outta.

Sending You a Letter I Wrote While Drinking

I do not know if you’ll get this (in time). But what hasn’t been held in Chronos’ hand. Sand. An hour lasts longer on the page when I write you from the bottom of a bottle. Lights through the thick green glass.  Lights curling on the folded water of the bay. A ship shaped hole eats the skyline. I am hoping you receive this from the postman’s hand. His blue jacket is newly ironed and zipped against the fog. The hem on the legs of his blue pants are wet from your next-door-neighbor’s lawn. You wait to tear the envelope open until you hear the slap of the gate when letter carrier leaves.


Jory M. Mickelson is pursuing and MFA in poetry at the University of Idaho. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Oranges & Sardines, Psychic Meatloaf, Knockout, New Mexico Poetry Review and Gertrude. He maintains the writing blog Literary Magpie and is the nonfiction editor of the literary magazine 5x5.  

A Bear with a Severe Case of Mange

BY Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney

Suddenly the edge seemed much closer, 
Astringent fear constricting my throat
So I couldn't shout or even whisper that
Quixotic apology for the hoax I’d been
Unkindly perpetrating all my years.
Adrenaline made my blood a cocktail
That no one would ever order, and then,
Clutching the footprint, I lost my footing.
Having already lost my love of the chase.


Elisa Gabbert is the poetry editor of Absent. Recent work can be found in Colorado Review, Diagram, Pleiades, and Typo. She is the author, most recently, of The French Exit (Birds LLC, 2010). She lives in Boston. 

Kathleen Rooney is an editor of Rose Metal Press and the author, most recently, of For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs (Counterpoint, 2010). She lives in Chicago.

They are the co-authors of Something Really Wonderful (Dancing Girl Press), That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008), and Don’t ever stay the same; keep changing (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2009).


BY Devin Murphy

My mother called the people who lived together in the state run house down the street ‘mongoloids.’  My sister, Jamie, would crunch up her face at the term like someone had just scratched their nails down a chalkboard, but I just forgave our mother because she was from Europe, and maybe didn’t know any better.  She was nice to them though, and waved as they passed while making their way to work at Tops Grocery Store up the road.  They tended to bagging the groceries and wrangling of the shopping carts there.  
            They’d all commute at the same time and crossed the street as a group.  The fat one with the weak mustache ran ahead.  He’d do his best to sprint the length of the block and wait huffing for air at the next corner.  The woman who wore the red Christmas hat year round was the slowest.  Her left leg moved like a noodle and she’d jump forward on her right leg and swing the left behind her.   Between those two the rest would be spread out and they’d slinky down our street twice a day.  The skinny balding man with the mismatched eyes and horseshoe of curly hair was in love with my mom.  He’d stop on the sidewalk in front of our house and square his shoulders so he could stare directly into our kitchen window.  From thirty feet away I’d be spooning cereal into my mouth and looking into the eyes of this man who was peeping into our home.  
            “Oh, just don’t pay him any attention,” my mom had told me when I pointed to him standing out there.  Though once, when I was alone in the kitchen, I went to the window and lifted my hands to my face.  I hooked my pinky fingers into the corners of my mouth, my ring fingers at the flap of my nostrils, and my pointer fingers at the edge of my eyes, and pulled my hands away from each other so my face flailed out grotesquely, leaving my middle fingers raised to the street.  
            The man kept staring—unfazed by or unfocused on me at all, still as a stone.  
            “What are you doing?” I heard my mother’s voice from behind me.  She grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled me away from the window.  
“You ought to me ashamed of yourself,” she said, “making faces at those poor mongoloids.”

Bud Light

Both of my sisters and I folded ourselves in with our friends' families to escape our own. Beans, had just started college and was forever going home with new boyfriends or housemates on her holiday breaks, or taking summer jobs at a YMCA camp up in Maine so she wouldn’t have to come back to us.   Sissy’s friend, Carmen Fisher, had a family that took Sissy to Wheeling West Virginia for a country music festival every summer.  There, the whole lot of them would get drunk in a field, pass out, get sunburn, and come home drooling what I thought were hick songs out of the fried red faces.  The Fishers kept a big male German Shepherd in their front yard that would bite anyone who came too close to the house, so I never got to know those people too well.  
            Though, from what I could tell, I had the best deal.  I’d just spend all my time with my classmate Nathan Riley, whose father was a caretaker for a giant horse estate on the outskirts of town.  The job came with a house and free reign of the estate for Nathan who was my best childhood friend.  We’d swim in the pool, play on the tennis courts, and chase the horses in the paddocks with the dogs.  His father would help us build hockey and soccer nets out of pvc piping, and once he helped us build a triangular wedged bike ramp out of plywood and left over two-by-fours.  Nathan and I would play this insane sort of bicycle tag on the gravel parking lot between his house and the horse barn, but once we got the ramp finished, we upped our game.  We were going to play a full on game of chicken when where we were supposed to ride over the ramp, and meet in the middle if neither of us bailed out—which neither of us did.  Our tires met head on and we each smashed into our handlebars, then to each other, and then to each other’s handlebars before crashing on the gravel.  Nathan fared better than I did after our crash, as I had skin shorn off my knees that were now bleeding and bejeweled in gravel.  
            Nathan’s father asked to see the cut and had me put my foot up on the wooden fence so my knee was facing up to the sky.  Then he took the can of Bud-light that was in his hand and poured it over my kneecap.  “We’ll put some alcohol on that and you’ll be fine,” he said.  I watched the beer fizzle up on my open wound like the bubbly head of a skin-colored Coca-Cola.  He reached down and dowsed my other knee before I felt how bad they both stung, and he laughed as he turned away from us and said, “Now I need another.”  
            Nathan’s father had an eight inch scar down the center of his chest from a horse kick.  We had seen him carry two fifty pound bags of shingles up a ladder on one shoulder, and who used a horsewhip to fight four feral dogs off of his golden retriever.  What he did and said was law, and when he tied a rope between his four wheel drive jeep and a toboggan in the winter, I happily hopped behind Nathan on the sled and let him drag us over the fields.  It was fun too, until I lost my grip on Nathan and went rolling backwards off the toboggan, tumbling over the icy road and into a ditch where I watched the Jeep speed off without me, not yet knowing it would  go hurtling over that property without tending to who he had left at home.  
            I did not know it at the time, Beans may have, but I’m sure Sissy didn’t,  but there was too much drinking with all of those people, and in one case or the other, too much or not enough sex in and out of the marriages, and those families imploded, and shot me and my sisters back to our own, where our parents were slowly fighting their way over the hump of the last two troublesome decades together, settling into their pasts, and welcoming us with sorrowful and joyful hearts home, where they tended to our sunburns, and brushed us clean from the snow.   


Devin Murphy's recent work has appeared in The Greensboro Review, Many Mountains Moving, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, and The South Dakota Review.  He is currently at PHD student at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  


BY Rachel Levy

Halfway home you notice a worm on the sidewalk. You crouch for a better look and find him stiff and rubbery, but moving a little. He appears to be in pain, though you know nothing about the worm’s physiology. You do not know how, or when, or if worms experience pain. And then there’s the question of whether they can express what they experience. You vaguely remember dissecting one in school: inside were thousands of nerves and no brain. Maybe they do feel pain, but aren’t conscious of the possible outcomes. Death, for example, is probably the worst possible outcome; too much pain can be an indication that something is fatally wrong. You don’t know if it’s too late for this worm. For all you know, his body works like a kitchen sponge. He is dry and shriveled like a sponge and it’s easy to imagine that he will revive instantly in the wet ground. Your gut says it’s too late – he’s so stiff. You pick him up and toss him onto the adjacent lawn. Afterward you realize he might not possess enough mobility to burrow; he might need you to dig him a hole. Unfortunately you didn’t notice where he fell. But you’ve got time, so you look. You walk in a spiral, outward from the spot where you think it’s likely he landed. Recent rains have softened the lawn and now your footsteps are turning the grass to mud and pulp. You can’t find him. It’s possible you’ve trampled him. Plus you’re trespassing. He’ll have to do what he can on his own. Along the sidewalk there are dozens just like him, but now you see them for what they are: proof. You start flinging them, as many worms as you can, onto neighboring stretches of grass. They are proof, or rather your tossing them is proof. Proof is the action of tossing them to safety, and you are quickening your pace. You tell yourself you will remember this moment; the impulse. You tell yourself again. You say to yourself: You will remember. You’re using both of your arms now, flinging worm after worm after worm. You, you say to yourself, and your breath is short. You are a good person. 


Rachel Levy is currently working toward an MFA in Fiction Writing at the University of Colorado. Before Colorado, she lived in southern Ohio, where she acquired an MA in English at Miami University. At Miami, she received both the Graduate Fiction Writing Award and the Outstanding Graduate Writer Award. Before Ohio, she lived in New York. And before New York, she lived in North Western Pennsylvania.

In Conversation

If you care about who doesn’t like your stuff, you are fucked: ghost ocean talks with Kyle Beachy


Since Kyle Beachy's acclaimed debut novel, The Slide, was published in 2009 by The Dial Press, the novelist has only gained momentum in placing himself as an active, engaged writer. He's a community-building supporter of the Chicago literary scene and invigorates discussions on the art of writing, and the future of fiction.

Beachy has taught writing and literature at The School of the Art Institute, the Graham School at The University of Chicago, and the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. He is Roosevelt University's first writer-in-residence, where he also teaches. His most recent work can be found in fall issues of Wigleaf and Black Boot

Ghost Ocean: In your novel, there is such a careful description of place, in every detail of, say, the poolside, or attic, or the additions on a house. Was The Slide a character study of St. Louis, or did it approach place through a micro study of these more localized places? 

Kyle Beachy: When an author has done a particular amount of work about place, there’s always the reading that place functions like a character—you could say that. Maybe my own place-work is a result of the fact that the authors I admire most are those who make place into a key for the way that their stories work. There were readings of the novel that spoke of it as a defense of the American city; speaking of ideas of the decline of the middle-sized city, how it is being pushed away—but for me it was more that, in order for the story to reach narrative cohesion, it had to work in a way that the settings could somehow reflect each other. So there is the parents' house, which is constantly being added onto and updated; you’ve got the sprawl of St Louis; you’ve got the pool house which, if you want to extend the metaphor, is the equivalent of sprawl from the central mansion of Stuart’s parents.

In order for this narrative to achieve any sort of meaning, it needed that. It was more a case of allowing the story to find itself along the way, to establish what it’s going to be based on through these levels of interactions. 

GO: Did you find that you needed to inhabit or create a place in the abstract world of writing in order to set a stage for that? 

KB: Maybe? I have a hard time processing language without having a visual aid. It’s hard for me to listen to someone read out loud without having the words in front of me. A lot of it is just me writing up to my own ineffectiveness of visualizing. So I figure that if I can’t see a place, then what’s the point of writing? It takes me a while to really believe and see and feel a place; I’m always writing to my own sensibilities. 

GO: In one of your interviews, you mentioned that your artistic process is one of simplicity and trust…

KB: It’s odd to hear that I was ever in a place where I considered any of my process about simplicity. It’s interesting to be talking about it now, as opposed to when the book first came out. When the initial wave of these interviews happened I was just so deeply invested in the story and now that, the distance that I have from it, and how deeply I am into another project, I’m realizing that..

GO: Complexity, then? Rather than simplicity?

KB: Well I think it was never simplicity. You have to realize that any time you’re going to ask someone to speak about their book, a fair amount of what you’ll get is either posturing or some level of waxing over the truth. I could say that it was simplicity… I think that the late levels of my revision process were about simplifying. What I end up doing a lot is throwing twists and characters and descriptions and tensions into a pot and weeding out those that don’t serve the central narrative. 

GO: So perhaps you have to trust that visualization enough to..?

KB: Yeah, you do. I mean otherwise, you’re just inflating, and inflating… and pushing on the crank.

GO: There were parts of The Slide that seemed to have been delivered from the gut. In these spots there would be a rapid changing up of sentence structure (between short and long); consciousness of emotion and an urge to understand and name it—a building of momentum where description almost gets too emotionally close and personal.

Do these moments emerge as you write—or is this honesty understood beforehand?

KB: I think that I believe in—as I understand it—the process that Don DeLillo has written with his whole career, a process to address and treat the paragraph as the choice measurement of conveying meaning. He’ll write a paragraph, and pull a page out of the typewriter. Each paragraph gets its own page. One of the things I have to stress about this book is that there was a huge amount of revision and polishing. I think that on a certain level I co-opted that paragraph approach so that when I had a goal to revise a 50-page section, I went paragraph by paragraph, working to make each paragraph interesting on its own. What that meant was moving in between longer sentences that kind of wound composite clauses, wrapped around themselves, and short, declarative sentences. 

So a lot of that comes from reading DeLillo and working on the paragraph level, reading William Gass and aesthetic theory, and Gary Lutz and the aesthetic theory of a sentence. It's weird how this happens—you start to realize that the people you admire are the people that you’re stealing from. And that’s not really a secret. But I guess I was about two drafts in before I realized how I had actually stolen from people—not just language, image clusters and sentence structures, but also in terms of the way that my energy would go to the sentences and paragraphs. 

When you have conversations that operate on different levels—like conversations with my editor about macro issues—I found that, to me, they could all be answered by looking at the sentence-level. My focus is always small and hoping that it might trickle up to some sort of whole.

GO: Do you write to a certain kind of audience? Do you hope that they can catch those smaller things? Or do you not think about that as much?

KB: No, I don’t think that you can about that. I know that I write to a very critical, aesthetically minded, appreciator of the sentence. But that person is me. And I also know that there a lot of stories that I hear that are extremely interesting stories, captivating, that show a tense relationship, that I go through and afterword... I just feel completely empty, no matter how complete the story was, because it didn’t appeal to me on a sentence level at all. So—I write for myself.    

There is a risk to that. The more you read yourself the more familiar you are with your rhythms. And so it’s very hard for me to go back and read this book now because I can see what I’m doing. And that’s a problem—when you can see through the work you’ve done? Zadie Smith is always talking about her early works and how she can’t read them. She can’t read White Teeth

Maybe a good analog to this... Last night I watched Following, Christopher Nolan’s movie from 1998. Nolan did Momento, Dark Knight, and Inception. And seeing it—it’s all there already; Inception is contained within this 1998 sixty minute short. At a certain level, Nolan had to give himself permission to continue doing it, over and over again. One of the things that I’m having a hard time now regarding my current relationship with writing is that I see myself repeating the kinds of rhythms and sentence structures that I spent a long time putting into The Slide—and I’m resisting. 

GO: How do you keep things fresh?

KB: I don’t know. Maybe you can’t keep things fresh; maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s not about keeping things fresh. Maybe it’s about writing the way that you write, and having enough faith that you’re going to do something new, and giving yourself enough time to actually do that. Even if it’s with the same language, even if it’s with the same rhythms and the same motifs and these sorts of things—getting enough into it, and getting enough through it so that something new emerges. 

This is not, in any way, to put myself in the same league of, but if you can imagine what it must have been like for Marilyn Robinson to write Housekeeping, and then attempt to write another novel, in any way? It would have been paralyzing. I don’t know what her situation was, I don’t know why there was such a big gap between Housekeeping and Gilead, but I imagine, if I know anything about writers, that some of that was based on the fact that she got so much right. This isn’t at all to say that I think I got things “right” in The Slide, but I got that book to where it could possibly go. 

So now, to do something else, it echoes. You can hear yourself echoing yourself, and that can be hard.

GO: For writers today, how consuming and necessary should a web presence be?

KB: I’m at a stage at my career where I don’t have the luxury to the level of quietness that I would like to have. I think that now we’re in a situation where you have to earn some sort of quiet, where the old James Joyce tools—the only arms he'll allow himself are silence, exile, and cunning, which is also a big theme in a lot of DeLillo—seem like a totally antiquated idea. There is no possibility now of using these as a defense unless you have earned it.

As far as emerging writers or writers that want to gain attention... There is just so much noise. We've got so many young writers who are screaming at the top of their lungs that if you’re going to be the quiet one in the corner, no one’s going to notice. So how do you get noticed? A lot of it now seems like branding. A way for a writer to get a name for him/herself is to create an interesting or compelling or even terrible brand. Is that right? Is that how the artistic meritocracy should work out? I don’t think so, but it’s true, it’s how the world is right now.

The only way really I'm able to understand and parse the current literary world is to speak in the language of branding and marketing. One of the freelance jobs I did once was work on a website for a company that builds websites for nonprofits. I had to learn the language of branding. It's amazing—the terminology alone, the sheer evolution of this idea of defining yourself, and defining your identity. All of that stuff you can see bleeding into artistic practices, less for you and your organization and more for its market success. How it fares in the noise. I don't know if that's all that new, but what is new is that now everyone can do it. The noise gets smarter, and more focused. I can create a website with a brand that is the Kyle Beachy brand. And it can use this font and this graphic and this photo of, like, me shooting a gun. And if I wear a lot of flannel in all my images, then I'm going to be the rugged author with this much facial hair, and this much...

GO: You're wearing flannel right now.

KB: I happen to be wearing flannel right now. 

So, it's tough—should it have to be that way? No. Is it that way? I think so. I don't mind all of it. 

GO: What do you think success is for a writer?

KB: I don't know. I think you have to define it yourself. There are all these gradients of celebrity today; I could be on Dancing With the Stars and Desperate Housewives so I would be this famous. Or I had this child, and this scandal, so now I'm this famous. In the same way that we have a more analog idea of what celebrity is—you're not just famous or you're not do to all these middle grounds—the same is true for writers and success.

More and more, you have to define success yourself. Which puts it on your shoulders. It used to be a lot easier—you were either a famous writer or you weren't. 

GO: In that aspect it helps if you enjoy your own writing..

KB: We have to... Here’s the other thing, and I speak about this now in a better way than I could when the book first came out; Jess Ball, a wonderful Chicago author, if we can call him a Chicago author, said once, he came to one of my classes, and he said something, very frankly and very straightforwardly, just opened up and said: you’re not doing this to get a complementary review. You’re not doing it for the bad reviews, we all know that, but you’re also not doing it for the good reviews, because when you get good reviews, it just doesn’t register, it doesn’t mean anything. 

So at a certain point, again it’s the sort of rote, kind of trite thing that all authors say, but I think, what you realize is how fundamentally true it is—you cannot care about your reviews. You cannot care about people who don’t like your writing. They are just not going to read it. It’s very simple. If you care about who doesn’t like your stuff, you are fucked. It becomes the sort of thing where, all right, why actually am I doing this? And I think why I am doing it nowadays at age 32 as opposed to why I was doing it as age 22 has changed 180 degrees.

GO: Also within your website and reviews. I’ve read that you’ve enjoyed skateboarding.

KB: I do.

GO: From what I know about skateboarding, it’s all about persistence, and failing, and failing, and failing, and finally maybe getting it. Does any of that (endurance) ever carry over into your life as a writer? 

Maybe not just your writing but how you deal with rejections or within writing and that whole lifestyle?

KB: I would say that there are two different ways of skateboarding. You’re either skateboarding or filming. If you’re filming, you’re creating evidence that this was done, you succeeded, so that someone somewhere can watch it. If you’re skateboarding, just skateboarding, and you’re just with your friends, or you’re alone... When you’re landing tricks it’s not about any sort of permanence, any sort of official record. But what you do have in there is the feeling. There still is nothing better than landing a trick. 

Now, landing a trick is better if there are people there who you respect who see you land a trick. But in terms of failure—yeah, it is—you fail twenty times for every success. At least. It might also be the same reason I like baseball—you’re going to get out 7 times, at least, out of 10.

But whether that somehow conditioned me to stomach the failures that come with writing? I’m not sure. It’s more just that I really, really like the feeling of landing a trick in skateboarding. There’s nothing—I can’t even explain to you what it’s like to do a trick that you’ve been trying for a while. It’s the best feeling in the world. Of rolling away and feeling your knees absorb it and you can feel it in your whole body. It’s wonderful. The equivalent of that? Yeah, I would say that getting this book out was sort of the equivalent of that—it took a very long time. 

GO: Maybe the turn around time is a little better for skating?

KB: Yeah, one would hope so. At least, relatively. 

I’m sure they’re related. But the difference is that when you fall in skateboarding, often, it's very satisfying. I’ve had a broken toe for about four weeks—I just went skating and it was really fun to get back on my board; it was kind of frustrating, but the real joy came when I fell. I scraped up my elbow, and I got up, and I remembered, that was a big part of it. I don’t know if that’s gently masochistic or sado masochistic, I’m not sure. I don’t know if it’s an old Calvinist notion that those who suffer and feel pain are somehow destined for something good to happen—but I do know that I value the amount of pain that comes with skateboarding.

—Marynia Kolak