Welcome back and happy 2018! The first Grail of the semester kicks off with Guananí's backstage look at dance theses by candidates Olivia Hasencamp, MacKenzie Schuller, and Rika Yotsumoto. Next, check out a poem by new writer Gatlin, followed by long-time Grail writer Ben Read's essay on gestalt and a collection of haikus by Max. Turn the page to enjoy a short story by editor Claire Stevens; then, snack on another poem, this time by Misha Lerner. Cinephiles, let Alex give you his take on The Shape of Water in this issue's Cultural Column, and, romantics, peruse some sage relationship advice from our lovely, loving, love guru Miss Lonely Hearts.
Claire P., Claire S., Guananí, and Kelsey
News & Features
“I tell everyone to take dance classes their freshman year,” says MacKenzie Schuller, improvisational dance enthusiast and one of three dance majors graduating this spring. For most of its existence, dance at Reed was offered as an interdisciplinary major in conjunction with other departments, including theater, anthropology, sociology, and history, not unlike a minor at other institutions. “At that time, we didn’t have enough depth and scope of class- es to support a major,” explained Reed dance professor Carla Mann ‘81. In 2014, an $80,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation transformed the department, providing funding to hire new professors and expand existing positions.
Fiction & Poetry
Novacaine fires burn bright, engulfing parchmental flesh
Ink sucks like juvenile parasites, blackened hordes buzz
Drawing cursive blood, winding, Hermes’ snakes trapped beneath
Convulsing, tightening, knotting into infinitesimal knots
Gabi opens the door and says, “come in,” and I don’t know why I’m at her house because I thought we’d stopped talking in high school but she looks the same and we walk through a home she says is her own and trees grow through the roof and the floors are stacked between ladders and bats hang from the ceilings.
“We’re going to my room,” she says, and we make the climb up a ladder to a lofted bed and our knees touch and I think, this must be real.
Stanza derives from the Italian word for room. Stanza breaks are doorways and line breaks are furniture. Together, they build a house.
This is how I remember my grandma’s house: 4518 N, the Lakers logo on the basketball court, spaghetti and meatballs on the stove, the color pink, poinsettias.
Written on the steps,
reading breathes life.
What is it?
In a previous Cultural Column on famous movie monsters last semester, I mentioned the upcoming movie The Shape of Water’s potential to tell a story of radical empathy. Having now seen the film, I can say with certainty that the film delivers on that potential—The Shape of Water is a beautiful tale told with passion, and a massive accomplishment for director del Toro.
Miss Lonely Hearts
Miss Lonely Hearts,
I have been in a loving relationship for three years and we have lived together for two. I have known about my clinical depression since I was three years old. Now my lover has started experiencing intense symptoms of depression and I believe we contribute to each other's mental health issues just by existing, listening, and commiserating because both of us are incredibly empathetic. I don't want to leave him because of this, but I can't see the way we are currently living as healthy. He is my inspiration and he has helped me fight a lot of my darkness, I want to be able to help him in the same ways. So the question I pose is this: how can two depressed cuties live together without remaining an echo chamber of misery? How can we break this cycle?