Bless

A poem by Hayun Cho.

You, child of something resembling country, resembling woman – You have tripped over your own blessings. You repeat into eternity. Womanhood you’ve never known, history you’ve thrown to the wind. No use thinking of history. You are just another child, drifting away. The subway hurtles into black – you are in the guts of Seoul. Hanyang. Joseon. Daehan Minguk. Soldiers clutch parcels. They are as young as you are. One soldier has a name that makes you want to write a poem. Immediately, you feel. . . Read more
Hayun Cho
The Signal’s Back In Town

A new radio station wants to localize New Haven’s airwaves.

Halfway through a show on New Haven’s new local radio station, Onyeka Obiocha is talking about rural Tanzanian villages. But, as is standard on WNHH, the conversation loops back to the city. Obiocha’s warm, tenor voice describes how the beans make their way to his downtown coffee shop, The Happiness Lab. Shafiq Abdussabur, the host of Urban Talk Radio, asks him about the ins and outs of the business in a voice that can command a room. Adbussabur takes measured, attention-grabbing pauses between sentences as. . . Read more
Elena Saavedra Buckley
It’s Easier Not to Think About It

Sewage contamination in New Haven’s out-of-sight River.

Photo by Jen Lu New Haven is a city of unseen rivers. In addition to sitting on the shores of the Long Island Sound, it is part of three separate watersheds—water runs off into three different rivers that run through the city: the Quinnipiac River, the Mill River, and the West River, the last of which is twenty-five miles long and, in New Haven, largely out of sight of the city dwellers. “Some people honestly don’t even know that the river exists,” said Kendall Barbery,. . . Read more
Libbie Katsev
Indaba on Edgewood

A canon for the neighborhood.

Photo by Edward Columbia A three-storey building on the corner of Day Street and Edgewood Avenue bears two side-by-side signs. The first reads, “A Walk in Truth: Christian Books”; the other, “blackPRINT: a Black-American Heritage Gallery.” Hanging in the window to the right of the entrance is a large banner with the words “TELL ALL THE CHILDREN OUR STORY—WE’VE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH” in red, black, and green, the colors of the Pan-African flag. Campaign signs for Mayor Toni Harp run along the windowsills,. . . Read more
Edward Columbia
Who Protects Picasso?

Through the eyes of a guard at the Yale University.

“What is a museum guard to do, I thought to myself; what, really, is a museum guard? On the one hand, you are a member of a security force charged with protecting priceless materials from the crazed or kids or the slow erosive force of camera flashes; on the other hand you are a dweller among supposed triumphs of the spirit.” — From Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner Illustration by Emma Liebman It’s noon, and Imani Lane looks over forty-seven tiny security screens spread. . . Read more
Lora Kelley
The Uncertainty Never Ends

The strangest performance space in New Haven.

A typical trip to Never Ending Books at 810 State Street delivers two things: disappointment and a ratty paperback. The lights will probably be off inside the store. In lieu of posting hours, owner Roger Uihlein maintains a shelf of free books outside the entrance. If, however, you pick an atypical day, the door will swing open to a fjord-like set of bookshelves and a wall of literature devoted to the apparently one-dimensional realm of “women’s issues.” All of these books are free, too. If. . . Read more
Griffin Brown
Unmooring the Classroom

Alternative education on the water of the Long Island Sound.

Enoc Escobar watched cormorants glide inches above the waves of the Long Island Sound. Alex Mass noticed the way sandy bluffs slide towards the sea, and Alyssa Hall contemplated the impending flooding of downtown Manhattan by the water through which they sailed. “By the end of the century, it’s going to go up two feet,” she warned. As the three students told me about their educational voyage through the Long Island Sound, they painted a picture of a complex, important, and unexpectedly beautiful body of. . . Read more
Dimitri Diagne
On Shame and Moving Forward

An essay by Bria Godley.

I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Chapel Hill that is separated from Section Eight housing by one major road, its name recently changed from Airport Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. If Chapel Hill were its own state, it wouldn’t swing like North Carolina. Not only are there Obama stickers everywhere, but every other car also has one of those goofy/clever “Coexist” bumper stickers on it. It seemed like all the parents I knew were somehow connected to either Duke or the. . . Read more
Bria Godley
Look and See

An essay by Taylor Eldridge.

I hiccupped into the phone as hot tears spilled down my cheeks. My face burned and my voice caught in my throat as I tried to explain to my mom what I had just found out—the superintendent of the residential college I was living in as part of my summer job was refusing to let me move out of the roach-infested room. They were taking the word of the white girl in a suite with an empty room in another college. She admitted she didn’t. . . Read more
Taylor Eldridge
Skin Like Soil

An essay by Dave Harris.

You first learn that you are Black in a kindergarten classroom. Your friend Shawn opens his eyes and sees you. From head to toe. he asks “Why are you covered in dirt?” You spend all recess in the bathroom cleaning your skin—you, palms full of soap, the endlessly cold water, and a group of boys for whom you have no name other than “friends.” An army of fingernails scrubs your hands until the flesh is raw and pruned. All the life rinsed from the skin.. . . Read more
Dave Harris