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THE CREW

Editor in Chief ................................................................................................ Ian Adams


Editor/Design .................................................................................... Aaron Rosenberg
Editor..................................................................................................................Jason Khieu
Press Relations .........................................................................................Jazmin Lucero
Head Photographer ........................................................................... Frankie Concha
Master Illustrator ................................................................... Mauricio Bustamante
Commander Illustrator ................................................................. Lawrence Alfred
Interim Photographer ......................................................................... Vivian Ortega
Interim Photographer

....................................................................... Eian Siddiqui

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Glass Walls - Jake Newland

Corrupted - Ian Adams

13

Review: The Story of a Cactus - Gregory Poblete

16

Review: The Story of a Stress Monster - Gregory Poblete

19

Queer Punk Fest - Carissa Alvarez

21

Writing by the Masses - Aaron Rosenberg

24

Poetry - Various Poets

26

Letters to Modern Corsair

43

Hey Buddy! Yeah, you.


If youre one of the regular Modern Corsair readers and or subscribers welcome
to another issue, but before the party starts- we need to talk.
No, you did nothing wrong. We want you to know that we are looking to bring
on a new bunch of writers into the fold. Now if youre a creative sort you may
be wondering what took us so long to invite you. Sorry about that. It got lost in
the mail. We thought we mentioned it at the thing your sister held. Regardless
we want you. We want submissions from you, and heres how this can work: do
you write fiction, poetry, essays, non-fiction, reviews, or have you ever in general
organized words so that on lookers might drive meaning from these shapes? If so
you can submit work to:
themoderncorsair@gmail.com
and well get back to you about if and when you can expect to see your labor of
love in our magazine. You can also feel free to send us comments or questions
any time. Just put what youre submitting in the subject line of the e-mail. You
can also contact or keep up with Modern Corsair goodies on are Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts. Well be posting the next months themes and deadlines
along with prompts. We hope to hear from a lot of you.

You may now continue with the normal entertainment.

GLASS WALLS
Jake Newland

Up ahead, a nose protruded from the floor. The nose of a giant, it seemed, triangular
and shimmering. It was a holy nose, and he was on his way to see it. Around the object,
the wrinkled floor took on the appearance of an ash tray. Gray dust and debris peppered
the earth as they swirled about on spectral winds. Coming closer into view, he noticed it
would make an excellent pyramid for a pygmy Pharaoh. Flecks of dirt were carried off by
a westerly draft that nipped at his heels, slowing down to a stop at the crest of an odd hill.
Rather than push the earth outward, this one pulled the dirt back up, as if itd wanted a
place to sit. Thaddeus neared the Holy Nose with the utmost caution, fearing and admiring the object in the same breath. He knelt beside the hill, its altar, breathing quietly for
fear of waking the sleeping giant.

The pyramid was a semi-opaque shell with a glowing center. Colors mixed and disappeared at its heart, only to return milliseconds later. It held the appearance of having no
color and every color at the same time. Thad fell in love instantly. His hands scurried like
wild tarantulas, and fixed themselves to the sides. Photons bombarded his brain, which
was now open to the energy via dilated pupils stretching to the point of enveloping the
whites of his eyes. Momentarily shaking, Thads arms ceased to be his own. Holy Nose
hummed a melody reminiscent of spring times long ago, when flowers bloomed in the
forsaken fields of his birthplace. The dirt replied by dancing, its iron filament exposed at
the surface. His things, most notably an axe made of bone and scrap metal, gravitated towards the rainbow eye inside the glass fixture. It pulled and pulled and pulled, tiny hands
grasping at the trinkets stapled to his ears. A nose ring tugged his face forward, an angular, youthful shape the color of coffee. His thin, dry, hungry lips pursed together in opposition to the visceral wine leaking from his jewelry. The strap of his axe stung his spine.
Thin hands, fixed to the Nose, only wished they could remove the weapon. Electric fire
shot through those hands, first as bright blue, then fading into deep red near his wrists.
The hum became a rattling, of everything in him. Organs shook loose from their shelves,
and light flew off like fireflies, in all the directions leading away from his eyes. He tried to
scream but his lungs fell through his esophagus and turned his ears inside out. Boot-clad
feet kicked through the opening, backwards and misshapen. The Holy Nose detonated
into a screaming, banshee rainbow, disappearing with the gazelle-boy into the absoluteness of nothing. Lightning scarred the sky to announce their departure.

Superimposing pink blossomed into the perception of a flower caked in pollen dust,

which caught the falling traveler and dispersed with his actualization. The room filled
with fragrant, yellow ash, which settled among the oblong, granitic blocks jutting out of
the milky, marble floor. Their tops were uneven and ragged as if they were once pillars,
torn asunder by hands of unfathomable size and dexterity. In comparison, the outer edges
looked freshly carved with the most delicate mastery of a chisel. Complementing stalactite
blocks hung down from the ceiling and were more or less the same length and composition as those that held to the ground. Patterns on the broken pillars immigrated between
the concordant pairs. Starting off simple, as shapes and symbols, they metamorphosed
into planes, parabola, and eventually became an eddy of tantalizing fractal lines that
swarmed and sizzled their way down. Further off in the distance stood completed pillars,
around which a rosy, glass casing wrapped itself about. Cherry hues lit the copious arena
of rock, emulating a primeval sunset.

Thaddeus shook alert with a violent sneeze that rattled his young bones. His distressed hands clamped themselves to the rim of the mysterious flower that bloomed to
break his fall. Tense and pointedly aware, he slid out. Bootlaces clicking against hard marble, he cautiously erected his spine and spun around in awe of the sheer size of the place.

It was clean, which made him nervous. Clean always meant someone had enough time
amidst the daily struggle of survival to make order of their things. Clean was dangerous.
Thad broke into a full sprint, weaving around the pillars with a graceful flick of his heels.
Instinct pulled his axe loose, and made it available to fend off any cannibalistic predator-men that could be lurking in the serene fixture of the gallery. His fleeting footsteps
echoed and screeched at the edge of a steep crag. Black, abysmal space howled at him with
a threatening maw that only belonged to the night. The cavern had a frosty air, sanitized
and pure. His heart jumped around like a hyperventilating rabbit, smacking against the inside of his chest. Just barely managing control, he slowed his breath and steadied himself.
A ghastly voice ushered a raspy caveat behind his ear.

I wouldnt if I were you, dear.

He nearly fell from the jolt of the sudden utterance. The voice was soft, and yet harsh
at the same time. Tone was indiscernible.

Who are you? Thad asked meekly, clutching at the hilt of the axe.

Wordlessly and swiftly, by the same magic that a city busker exacts tips from passersby, the boy was swept into the air on unseen strings. His dark legs swung as if to test the
veracity of what was going on, kicking against one of the pillars. Wide eyes scanned his
surroundings as he was spun to face an object not much larger than his palpitating heart.
Its scintillating violet crystals sparked with life at each thought, surrounded by a mesh of
strange energies that held the levitating amethyst in place.

I am Vodos, caretaker of this place.

A-and what is this place?! Let me down! I dont want to be here!

This is the Museum.

Museumof what?! His arms struggled against that which was not there.

This is the Museum of Forgotten Civilizations. Mankind has a terrible memory for
its own past!

Thaddeus pursed his lips in astonishment.

So you collect-

We collect the relics, artifacts and monuments of every civilized society on the
planet shortly before they fall and house them here in chrono-stasis.

So what about the civilization were in now?

Thats exactly why I brought you here! Youre going to help us out with something.
Vodos smiled if ever such a thing could smile.

Will you guys let me leave if I help you? He cut through straightaway.

Yes, if you want to leave after we are done here, youre free to do so.

Okay, so what do I have to do?

Its simple; you get your people to finalize the destruction of the planet so we can
consider our collection complete.


So you want me to basically kill my own species so you guys can show off your trophies? Is there a fuck no option?

There is, but Im afraid that option would involve being teleported back to the same
infernal slum pit from which you originated.

Ill consider it? he shrugged and was lowered to the floor.

The room decided to change scenery, sprouting ancient trees and monuments unlike hed ever seen. Wooden totems sprung from the ground, now earthen and peppered
with plant debris. Soft, rounded boulders arranged themselves in an elliptical formation. A
man, or perhaps manikin, sat cross legged on the largest of the rocks, letting his jade robes
hang over the edge.

A vivid sun and moon overtook the dull concave of the dome. Thad reattached the

axe to his back, finding the being sitting before him to be much akin to his grandpa in
mannerism and weight. Bounding forth exuberantly, he approached the robed figure with
interest.

Watch. It spoke in a whisper.

People of caramel colored skin took sudden form, their heads bald and their arms
long. Along with them marched gargantuan mechanoid constructs, with dazzling, multicolored eyes. Thick iron legs hissed, shaking the earth underneath with each successive
impact. The titans carried tree trunks in their entirety, to a spot where human contractors
directed them in setting up a building. More of those buildings phased into being and
soon became a great city with two temples on either end. One was topped with the statue
of a man reaching his hand out as if to grasp something and the other was that of a me-

chanical servant holding a large tree limb that caught fire. Contrary to expectation, the
men and women prayed to the servant altar, and the machines hummed their engines at
full tilt as they kneeled before the statue of man.

This, the robed figure hissed the last consonant, is the world as it once was, long
before the exploits of the Roman empire, or of Egypt, or of Sumeria. It is a time whence
man and machine became as one to end the cold and corporate servitude of the monetary
world. They lived in peace for ten thousand years, my child, longer than your books can
record.

Whyd they die off then?

A plague, a scourge of nanoscopic insects ravaged the mechanical peoples of the
world, and slowly, the disease spread to the men of that race, though other human species
survived the catastrophe.

And that was the end of them?

Yes. There is no more evidence of their being, except that which exists in this place.
They would have been lost entirely if it werent for our intervention at the end. An elder of
the eldest tribe helped us to compile a record of their exploits.

And who are-

The Archivist, my child, and assistant to Vodos. The rock dematerialized and he
floated over to Thad.

If Thad was afraid of him, he gave no notice. The boy stared into the void of space
that should have housed eyes with determination.

Your eyes, spoke the Archivist with interest, are green! I remember that mutation.

Youre sure Im the one thats mutated here? Came his retort.

Im afraid so! Now, lets move on to our next little civilization.

Wooden totems became stone columns and pillars that raced to the sky. Sweeping
verandas, overlooking vast quandaries of Sapphire Ocean, spread from underneath his
feet. A platinum sun rolled off the precipice in front of him, slipping into the waters. Miles
below, behemoth whales flopped like silly fish. Stringed instruments strummed away the
airy afternoon breeze with promises of meat cooked with generous handfuls of salt. Birds
gossiped about, parting ways at the sight of a villager, for fear that they might learn their
secrets. The people wore mostly leather here, simple clothes that didnt attract a whole lot
of attention. They werent much for decoration.

What fine sportsmanship! A large, potbellied man exclaimed to an oddly muscular child cavorting around the stage with the carcass of a large, dead boar in tow.

Thank you, father-sir. He bowed his head in respect and dragged the boar along, a
streamer of iodine red running behind him.

Thad felt more at liberty to move in this display. It didnt feel as rigid or pre-deter-

mined as the scene in the lost forest. There was a distinct vitality to this place. Moving into
the bustling crowd that gathered around fire-pits and ate the butchered remains of wild
beasts, he was reminded of his own time, except that his village was slightly less wealthy
when it came to matters of food. Food was a scarce thing, not something you clopped over
the ground or hung above roasting furnaces. No, food was a thing you kept to yourself,
almost like a family secret. It wasnt something you shared with you neighbors. As the
mouths churned and the roasted wafts of air swam up his nose, Thaddeus found himself
salivating over simulation. He reached out, and passed through a cow torn asunder, sending skittering beetles of amplified hologram racing away from their source. His stomach
howled in protest. He wanted it to be real.

A disparaging mote of sympathy passed through the Archivist. Beauteous marble
village women, lips red as roses, turned to face the specter as he made way into the scene.
They bowed in his presence, metallic eyes fixed on a shapeless skeleton. Gallantly hovering
above the barest hint of floor, he came before Thaddeus.

Dearest child, he spoke, you hunger do you not?

Yes, Thad hesitated, but your food is an apparition. It wont fill me!

Then lets go where the meals are a little more solid, shall we? He led Thad away
from the crowd of filtered light.

But what happened to these people?

The specter drew in an ethereal breath, War.

Smoky fingers crawled up the horizon, cutting paths across the sun and scratching
beyond the scope of their simulated sky. Other claw marks fell closer and closer to the
shore. Earthquakes began to rattle the ground, and people clambered over each other in
desperation. Eventually the veranda itself stuttered and cracked in half, making peace with
the bottom of the sea.

Walking no more than a few steps, the Archivist and Thad stood before a table of
golden skin and avante garde artistry. Its lion pawed legs sat flat and comfortable on the
dusty warehouse-like floor of the museum. High padded chairs sat erect in rigid, regal
posture and seemed to sigh when Thaddeus made acquaintance with them. He felt about
ten feet too short for the chairs. They were massive, unlike any furniture he had ever seen,
even if that list wasnt very long. Careful script crawled along the edges of the table, in a
language that seemed all too familiar, yet distant as the moon itself. There was something
clearly human about this place. With his arms dangling from the arms of the chair, Thad
noticed the formation of new somethings on the table top. Concave structures of blue and
white fanned out like bellowing frogs on a hot summers eve, stopping once they reached
half a sphere in shape. Other somethings were taller and elongated, pulling themselves
up in curiosity to look over their golden horizon with inquisitive necks. Flat somethings
yawned and stretched out as far as their destiny carried them before cessation. Then, just

as mysteriously, their surfaces rattled with the addition of new weight as food grew from
motley piles of organic matter, sprouting up like congested fountains. Surging, sickly green
mass became grapes and striated pink sinews became glazed ham. Exotic foods of varied
color and size materialized before him; things Thad never could have dreamed up. The
titillating spice of foreign perfumes engulfed his nostrils in an overwhelming surge of passion, a race to be the first to excite his deprived olfaction. Saliva welled in response as the
last of the mysterious foods came to be. That night, Thad ate, and he ate well.

The night came and went, slipping by like a devious raccoon. Thad didnt remember
going to sleep, but he awoke in the embrace of bleached sheets and a simple, but sturdy
bed. Everything in the room around him held the aroma of fine linen and cleaning solvent, a smell with which he was not familiar. Comforting light warmed the room in an
angelic glare as it sifted between the slits of plastic blind. Motes of dust danced in the mysterious rays, as Thad sat upright on the mattress.

We pulled it out of a dream you had. It is what initially lead us to you.

I was meaning to ask you that, Thad spoke, no longer perturbed by the sudden
drone of Vodos inside his head, why me?

Ask the Archivist. He chose you, not me. And with that, the room returned to its
former gray glory of columns and crystalline structures. Thad was standing on a tall pillar,
near the center of the room.

I want to show you one last thing. If you still dont want to aid us, we will let the
human race perish or prosper as it otherwise would and make you believe this place was
nothing more than an intense dream. The Archivist spoke from behind him, though Thad
didnt turn around.

Images jumped into his foray of consciousness, as if a video reel poured through his
optic nerve.

This is the twenty first century, the era your grandfather was raised in. It was an
era of great innovation and triumph for all of mankind. Disease was being eliminated left
and right, technology burst forth like wildfire. Surely, everyone then thought it would be
the golden era of man. But it wasnt so, the display switched to the lavish luxury homes of
celebrities long since consumed by the angry Earth, the elite class wouldnt have it. They
imposed taxes upon their lower counterparts, making certain they wouldnt climb to the
top so easily. They pulled and pulled wealth up to the top, trying to control it all, trying
to have it all to themselves. They waged unnecessary wars with this wealth, causing the
deaths of millions across the globe.

And what happened? Thad interjected, ecstatic from the flood of light and sound
and memory.

COLLAPSE! Collapse on a massive scale! The world brought itself to chaos and ran

into the ground. The Archivist seemed to pant, though it was apparent he lacked any real
lungs.

But why destroy it?

Childthere have been more civilized societies than you can even imagine. And
every last one of them has managed to run face first into oblivion. Mankind is a futile gesture; a failed animal whose very existence threatens harmonious life.
No.

What do you mean?

Man is not a failed animal.

Have you not seen-

What Ive seen is the most determined animal. One that does not lie down and die
just because the odds arent in its favor. I will not help you destroy the human race.

I hoped you would say that.

You wha-

Run, Thaddeus! Youll understand later!

Out of mist and shadow, formed Vodos, screaming like banshee winds. The pillars
all around it shattered like glass as it approached the Archivist.

You said you would bring me the end to this world. Its calm voice managed to
scrape above the howling gale.

Which I did. He is the end to this world, and the beginning of another. The Archivist began to laugh, having distracted Vodos from the fleeing gazelle, Thad. A portal
opened before him and he was returned to the barren plane from which he originated.

A fog seemed to blind his vision at first, the hush of murmured voices around him
growing louder at his awakening. Air rushed into his body as if he held his breath for the
past couple days. He looked up to see the faces of startled villagers staring back at him.
There, in his hand, was the device used to bring him to the Museum. Immediately surrounding him, there was life, ancient vegetation sprouting up from the horrid decay of the
ground.



And the point of that was? Growled Vodos, a pink core glowing in its center.
To give the human race a chance to learn from their past. All of it.
What right do they have to such information?
I believe they have more right to it, than we have to seclude it from them.

CORRUPTED
Ian Adams
Entering pubescence with trembling steps and a cracking voice I anticipated official
teendom in a few months. Little else in my life served to fill me with such positivity then.
Private education lends no relief to the terrors of that tumultuous period. For one bookish
asthmatic Jew in Calvarys Christian Academy gym class brought every nightmarish fear
to flesh and mortar, this reality a hell, worthy of delirious visions.
Blue cement floors and cinderblock walls held the academic warmth of that building,
meaning that as Halloween approached inevitably every surface would come as near to
absolute zero as science would allow. Among burgundy lockers slamming open and closed
Coach Lyn emerged from his adjacent office between the students changing area and the
showers. Sliding on burgundy shorts I stared with dread at the cavernous tiled room with
shower spigots. We boys dreaded public showering in the locker room. How unpleasant?
Your first taste of public nudity when first you realize a deep shame for your body (and for
adolescent boys) the involuntary acts it carried out. I personally didnt mind after a while.
As finding what and who liked (in that was musicians from the 1960s and English films
always went on about) went well along with the whole system. And then stranger events
came for those same boys, who on the prayer retreat or week to winter camp they had
no apprehension. No. rather, in the mountains, in showers with less separation and closer
confines, these same students dashed eagerly together to wash up. How did that make it
better? Or any different?
Coach Lyn, a stout man with bottle blond hair parted down the middle waddled
ahead of us blaring his whistle. One at a time, he encouraged us to perform. Vasquez,
pick up those knees! Look like a cripple fighting off polio. Malinson, youre as limp as your
wrists! Adams, keep your goddamn back straight.
Marathon lunging from the lockers to the gymnasium, we could feel the sickly
sensation on cold air gusts flattening down our backs saturated in hot sweat. By the folded
bleachers cheerleaders practiced their routines. Prettiest of the girls, Susan Hunter wears
a showgirl smile. Beside her, the girl who came second in tryouts, athleticism, and looks
Valery Lopez shimmied. How strange I found it. My academy had taught rigorously, hours
of monologues I was required to agree with, on the failings of ABC sexual education.
Popular at the time, it stated an STI-free life came from Abstinence, Being Faithful, and
Condoms used correctly. I was told contraception was unreliable and a sin, self-stimulation was unnatural as those deviants, who were so despised by staff and faculty that they

rarely said gay (as I recall when it was said homosexual was the term, as it is medical and
one apologist teacher of mine explained thats the crux of it. Homosexuals are a medical
disorder, and abominable. So that helped me sit on some feelings for a few years more.) I
say this in that I and my fellow sport boys watched those girls in short skirts, and undersized tops, prance at the sidelines to cheer rimes of love of Jesus and victory means us.
The school seemed to be running conflicting messages to our collective hormone addled
minds.
The distractions from my burning lungs were always short lived. Coach Lyn
barked I want you sissy little bitches to climb that rope. Climb er, tap the beam, come
down. Read me? Weak arms only got me so far. Three fourths up my body went on strike
and my fingers demanded sabbatical.
Adams, you get there or Ill set you with the girls all practice.
Would that be a punishment?
His eyes slit. Quivering jowls he sent me to laps. When I asked how many, sliding
down the hemp equipment, he said he would decide when I had finished. Jogging around
the room, the east wall had a quote from Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through
Christ which strengthened me. And on the western wall the more militant biblical quote
of Deuteronomy 11:28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of
the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by
following other gods which you have not known. I knew also from my education (it could
have been math class) that pretty much anything can be another god, apparently. Those
whose first and last thoughts arent on the realm of the divine clearly worship some idol in
life. I wondered as I ran, little else to do when running alone so long, Why are gym teachers so fat? Is it some joke on us? as I nearly ejected my guts on the waxed hardwood from
the strain. I think Susan and Valery were laughing when tunnel vision came.
Rehydrating, once finished throwing up, Coach Lyn shepherded us to the
showers. Thats what we were sheep. Not even implicitly. Weekly sermon reinforced that
we as faithful children were sheep to God and elders. As children Christian students, there
was little autonomy lent to us. The shouting and whistle trills that came with these dull
eyed people recalled photos from a book of my own cultural history, toward the shower.
I was twelve and that thought was hyperbole, but I still thought it then. Coach Lyn said
Strip, and when we hesitated he tagged on, No queers in here. Strip down. See, Vasquez
has the idea. A mans man. Cold water on my face, I steeped in a wrathful longing. My
two ideas were to either cut his brakes, or throw a virus on his computer. I did not know
how to cut a brake line- or really desire to kill Coach Lyn, though he would have gained
grand momentum.
Enlisting a friend and fellow victim Nate Vasquez as an intrepid explorer of the

world wide web in setting a virus, we slipped in the locker room with the footballers after
school. His office smelt of lunch meats and old gym sweat. We inserted a floppy into his
drive.
The next week Coach Lyn did not come. He disappeared for a month- a delightful month I wont lie. Not wheezing in the gym while Susan Hunter, put on a show for the
raving adolescent boys without the company of her second best gal-pal. No one thought
of that thought. No one considered much at all. Not when perfect Susan could dazzle the
kids with her moves, and the faculty with grades or her father on the school board. Looking back I find more inevitabilities at the death of my faith. There Miss. Hunters high status, by nepotism drew a conclusion from me. She knew people, was born lucky, pretty and
rich. She would not worry at any point for anything. All things could happen through her,
as the LORD strengthened her. We in Gods eye are said to be equal, yet some get more
equality than others. More everything. And some of us are in the middle, between a rock
and a hard place, Jewish asthmatic in a world of Christians (who are just a bit more American, wealthy, smart, normal) than you. And then some people will be Valery Lopez, such
an afterthought that even when the worst happens, no one remembers.
That month later we learned, not from a faculty member who all had apparently been told to stay quiet by Mr. Hunter, for fear of student removal removing the tuition
money, what went on. Nate via his hacking skills learned that Coach Lyn had been arrested and fired. When complaining of a virus, the Academy sent a IT guy to fix the issue. The
staff found IMs and photos proving Lyn had cheated on his wife with second best cheerleader, thirteen year old Valery Lopez. Statutory rape put him on a list and out of my life.
Nate more upsettingly discovered when hunting through the digital record that the school
board members sat on the information for days before reporting it. Before the children,
who disrobed and washed by his door, before the girls safety and health, or her familys
wright to know, Mr. Hunter thought how will this effect cash flow and this institutions
prestige. And even through that I went on years before seeing that I am not abominable,
or evil, or anything of the sort. Did I ever think I deserved less respect than that odious
rapist? I cant say I thought of it in those terms.
One boy mentioned defensively of his coach It was consensual, he said how
that pitiful thing was so dejected at being a nothing she warmed to an old mans advances. How he might have done a kindness, making her feel so special, despite nothing being
significant about her.
When he finished theorizing I asked. And I still do. How does that make it
better?

REVIEWS:

CRYSTAL FAIRY AND THE


MAGICAL CACTUS
THE STORY OF A CACTUS
Gregory Poblete


First of all, I would like to apologize for my previous review of Get Rich
or Die Tryin and essentially shooting down any possible credibility that I may
have in actually being a movie critic. I am aware that reviewing a more popular
and critically acclaimed movie like 12 Years a Slave would have been the better
route to take for my first round of reviewing movies, but whatever. If you can get
past my obscure choice of movies to review, then lets continue.
George-Michael Bluth, Scott Pilgrim, Paulie Bleeker, that dude that looks
like Jesse Eisenberg; no matter where you
know him from, Michael Cera is everyones
favorite awkward actor to love (or hate.)
However, Cera tries to dip his toes in the
big kids pool of serious acting in the 2013
film, Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus. Directed by Sebastin Silva, Crystal
Fairy and the Magical Cactus follows a
group of travelers in Chile trying to find
a hallucinogenic cactus called San Pedro.
Yes, a hallucinogenic cactus. Jamie, played
by Cera, is the only American of the initial group taking this quest to find the Holy
Grail of cacti until he accidentally invites a
gypsy woman that goes by the name, Crystal Fairy (played by Gaby Hoffmann.) At
first, Jamie is repulsed with the fact that
Crystal Fairy is on this very intimate drugtrip with a bunch of people she doesnt

even know and he desperately tries to ditch her at any opportunity he finds.
However, Jamie eventually comes around to appreciate Crystal Fairys presence
after he takes his psychedelic trip from the San Pedro cactus, which brings them
all together through the power of drugs.

I can attempt to stretch out the plot of this film by saying that this group of
travelers wanting to find this mythic plant goes on a number of rigorous tasks
until they actually receive their glorified treasure, but in all honesty, they simply
just steal the plant from a nice woman and thats that. The major conflict within
the movie is the struggle between Michael Ceras character, Jamie, and Crystal
Fairy. Although they are the only two American characters in the movie, they
are both vastly different in many ways. Jamie is only focused on his desire of
obtaining the San Pedro cactus and he is in a rush to do so, while Crystal Fairy
is very chill and likes to enjoy life at a slower pace. Crystal Fairy is very much

the opposite of Jamie in the sense that she enjoys the natural beauty of life rather
than needing to find an escape through drugs or hallucinogens like Jamie does. It
isnt until after Jamie partakes in the San Pedro cactus that he realizes the value of
Crystal Fairys presence and that her way of living is actually what he was looking
for all along.
Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus can easily tie into the theme
of transcendentalism by focusing on how this mysteriously mescaline-infused
cactus can bring out the best of a human just by drinking the water inside of it.
This cactus, originally from nature, stolen by these desperate travelers, and then

partaken on a beach in a very natural and organic setting, displays how a tiny
piece of nature can change the mindset of a human and find some eternal truth
because of it. With Jamies character, he showcases the most change out of all the
characters within the movie because at first, he is very close-minded to having
Crystal Fairy come along with his friends on this journey to find the San Pedro
cactus, however, after he drinks the San Pedro cactus water, he discovers that
Crystal Fairy is actually quite enjoyable to be around. It isnt until Jamie is surrounded by nature that he begins to open up his mind and actually appreciate the
natural aura of Crystal Fairy and the positive vibes that she displays. This movie
tells the old clich that a book should never be judged by its cover and that there
is more to a person than what is seen on the outside. Just like a cactus, the outside
is covered with hundreds of thorns that may hurt, but when you finally get to the
core of the cactus, you will find a refreshing and possibly a hallucinogenic drink.
To finish off this review, I would like to give my overall opinion on this film.
Let me start by saying that this is an indie film, meaning that there arent any car
chases, explosions, superhero battles, sex scenes, laugh-out-loud comedy; it is
just an indie film. So if you decide to take a gander at this film, dont go into it
expecting much because you will be severely disappointed. However, this film
does show some heart through Gaby Hoffmanns performance of the extremely
charming, Crystal Fairy. Overall, this movie is pretty slow throughout and might
be difficult to stay awake during if you are watching it at 2AM trying to take notes
for a movie review. With that being said, my overall verdict is 3 magical cacti out
of 5 because I am an avid fan of Michael Cera no matter what he is in.

BAD MILO

THE STORY OF A STRESS MONSTER


Gregory Poblete

Have you ever seen a movie so bad that it was actually quite enjoyable? Despite the
over-exaggerated acting, the cheesy visual effects, the terrible plot, the subpar camera
angles, and the unrealistic dialogue, the movie was actually watchable. Take for example
Sharknado or Gremlins 2: The New Batch and see how these extremely terrible movies snuck their way into many peoples hearts for being so bad it was good. This is exactly
what Jacob Vaughans comedy / horror film Bad Milo! is meant to do.

Bad Milo! follows an extremely stressful man. Duncan, played by Ken Marino (In
a World / Role Models) who finds himself in a very unique situation when his stress
induced lifestyle due to work, relationship problems, and family issues, begins to increase
to the point where he cannot stand it anymore. Always been known to have stomach issues, Duncan and his wife, Sarah, played by Gillian Jacobs (Community #RIPCommunity #SixSeasonsAndAMovie) believe that Duncans most recent stomach pains were due to

stress, however, they have never been more wrong. Before I tell you what exactly is causing
these stomach problems, I want you to Google image search the movie poster for Bad
Milo! to see the wonderful, 80s influenced posters. Awesome, right? Now that you have
that image in your mind, that little monster is from Duncans ass. Yeah, that little thing is a
monster living inside Duncans intestines and causing him stomach problems.

Alright, a movie about a butt-monster, that doesnt sound too bad. Well, this puny,
little creature living in the place where Duncan disposes of feces is deadly and attempts to
kill every person who causes any stress to Duncan. Given the name Milo by Duncan, this
creature becomes one with Duncan and they even grow a fondness towards one another. Seeing this relationship grow is definitely weird, but its also cute(?). As the film goes
on, Milo keeps attacking more people from Duncans life who are causing him stress and
Duncan realizes that he needs to end this killing spree right away before Milo actually
goes after someone whom Duncan loves.

No, this film does not have any connection to transcendentalism if you were wondering. But(t) there is a prominent theme self-control by seeing that there is a little monster inside all of us desperately wanting to break free, but we have to learn to control it and
take on the responsibilities of life in civilized way.

Overall, I found this nanar of a film to be surprisingly entertaining throughout. If
you enjoy seeing ridiculous movies with a ridiculous plot then this movies is right up your
alley (no pun intended.) This movie is not meant to be taken seriously, so do not go into it
critiquing every little flaw you see because they were most likely put in the movie on purpose. My final verdict of Bad Milo! is 3 poop-face emojis out of 5. This is the sentence
where I attempt to try a cool sign-off line: lets get a movie smoothie. (Nailed it.)

QUEER PUNK FEST


Carissa Alvarez
Done with the help of Interpols Antics, and a special thanks to Renaldo for all her insight. I
couldnt have done it without you.


In a spacious but humid
room with high ceilings, covered
wall to wall in layers of graffiti, a group of twenty or so people in their twenties (or so), in all
manners of mundane and gender-bending attire, sat attentively
in a crooked semi-circle around
the young presenter dressed comfortably in shorts and a cut-off
tee, casually holding his notes in
his hands, while talking enthusiastically about the history of

queer-oppressive ideology. This


was just one of the many vibrant
and charming scenes that could
be found at the first annual Queer
Punk Fest, held at Chucos Justice
Center in Inglewood, Los Angeles--a youth and community resource center which also offers itself as a recreational space.

The event took place over
Friday May 9th, 2014 and Saturday
May 10th. Fridays date included

a screening of the film Paris is


Burning (a wonderful documentary chronicling the ball culture
of New York City in the mid-late
1980s which can be found on Netflix - watch it!), food and DJs (open
this day only to Queer and Trans
people only). I had been planning
for some time to attend Saturdays
date, having been intrigued by the
mission statement of an intersectional, trans-inclusive, decolonial
extravaganza.

Saturdays event began in
the morning with a condom-filled
cop pinata (which, much to my
dismay, I missed, having arrived
at the event after this had taken
place). The event space itself was
filled with tables and art installations. In exploring the tables, one
could find merchandise such as
patches and handbags, as well as

zines a-plenty (from Fuck the Police to La Alzada: Two Interviews


with Chiles Anarchafeminists).
During the workshop in
that graffiti-clad hall, (Queer Imperialism and Homonationalism)
Eurocentric ideals were discussed,
and the fact that in our current
system, the establishment of a binary system came from Europe.
In this Eurocentric system, people of color were thought of as
needing salvation, and thusly the
imposition of a Christian/binary/
monogamous ideal on sexuality/
gender. It was discussed as well
the label of LGBT as being a box
in which not everyone can find
connection, one in which not everyone is defined. Alongside this
discussion, portrayal in the media was also discussed, such as the
fact that within the media (mov-

ies and television), it is difficult


to find portrayal beyond white,
gay, males (think: Modern Family,
Shameless, Mean Girls). The overall message of the workshop was
in creating your own space, and to
seek to self-define oneself.

Based on the audience of the
workshop, it seems as if the presenter was extremely welcoming
and open to any questions on the
topic throughout and following
the workshop. To find out more
related to the topic and to join the
discussion, check out the Facebook group created following the
workshop Seeking Self Definition.
Despite the fact that I only had
the opportunity to attend the one
workshop, the event did not end

with my departure. After several more workshops (including


Consent and Queer Bodies and
Queering Spaces), and activities
(spoken word and performances),
the closing bands played. These
bands included: Tomber Lever,
The Lost Years, and Apostasis, all
of whose Facebook pages can be
found, perused, and enjoyed.

The first annual Queer Punk
Fest was a well-organized event
which (in this authors opinion)
achieved its mission statement of
creating alternative spaces free
from oppression and social hierarchies. Four for you, Queer Punk
Fest. See you next year.

WRITING BY THE MASSES


Aaron Rosenberg

Johnny B Truant appears to be
a writer who has the business side of
his craft figured out. His history as
a novelist stands out as something
unique: in 1999 Truant wrote one
book, 2012: two books, and in 2013
he teamed up with writer Sean Platt
and together they wrote over 50
books. Together, they created a system for their writing- something that
worked for them so well that they
decided to begin teaching it. Truant,
Platt, and fellow writer David Wright
began teaching their system though
the Self-Publishing Podcast together over two years ago and currently
have 106 episodes produced. In their
podcast, the three hosts talk about
the business of self-publishing and
are constantly interviewing different self-published writers in order to
even further hone their techniques
for success in the publishing realm.

Recently, Trunt and Platt de-

cided to spread their technique


and their talent to an even wider
audience through the creation of a
kickstarter. Kickstarter is a crowd
sourced funding website. You, as the
leader of your project give incentives
for donations, and at the same time
accumulate funding and a base of
consumers. Recently, The Micro- a
small 3d printer was funded three
million dollars for their project.
The duo took advantage of the kickstarter business model and created
something never before seen in either the history of the internet or in

the literary world. Over the course


of thirty days, bestselling author
Johnny B Truant will stream live to
the internet, the creation of a novel
in a stream called Fiction Unboxed.
On May 21st, Truants project was
funded. Out of their initial goal of
$19,000, the kickstarter managed
to fund over 300% of their original
goal. Those who donated over 89
dollars get a say in the actual creative inception of the novel itself and
lower level donators will get copies
of the book written. Truant is taking
the creative power of the internet
and funneling it through him and
his personal creative ability.

Perhaps live writing is an evolution of literature itself. As one is
mesmerized by a master craftsman
creating from raw material, perhaps watchers will be sucked into
the creation of a world from a blank

page. In Peru, writing has taken the


place of wrestling for some on Monday nights. La Noche, a bar in Lima
has replaced live music on Monday
nights in lieu of Lucha Libro. Writers
don masks and compete by writing
short stories. The crowd watches the
writers write and choose a winner.
The loser is unmasked.

Both of these takes of writing
as a public spectacle contrast strongly; a competition compared with
public sourced novel crafting. They
hold one distinct similarity- they
hold audience participation integral
to how they function. We have seen
how internet crowd sourced non-fiction can change the world through
Wikipedia, but we have yet to see
works produced through crowd
sourced fiction. Something amazing
may arise from the idea.

Katie Lee McNeil

Soft purring n babies chirping,


feverish sideways harmonica playing,
tossed n rolling over thoughtschildish, exuberant thoughts.
Inching closer to melodic loving,
humming n chasing flip-flapping babies,
lap-sitting cat, shoulder-crawling bee,
Residing under The Awkward Tasting Lemon Tree.
Criss-crossing limbs rest n dangle,
as the ball of light is a shinin
glittering tips of barely sharp greenery all in tangle,
wave by n side, at last are dancing tango.
Babies on high keep singing through leaves,
cherishing citrus drops falling,
near the landing of Mornings first coffee,
Residing under The Awkward Tasting Lemon Tree.

Eyes Unwound
Jake Newland
Everywhere I looked today,
I looked for another
Another who would speak of
My difference
An outsider
But every time I pushed my hands into the dirt
All I could find
Was more of me
Consoling
Educating me through roots and fingertips
That share the same origin

Showing me stems
I found brilliance
In skies dominated by darkness
I found wind
In glass boxes beneath the ocean floor
Everywhere I searched
I found myself
Leaking out into the world
With the world
Also leaking into me
And I found myself
Inseparable

Reflections
Jake Newland

There is a beautiful, deep suffering in being human


In being able to ask of death
And not receive an answer
In screaming at the wind
And hearing only echoes
In talking to friends
And watching them move away
Its only that this suffering exists
That tell the lips when they should smile

A Silent Voice Made of Gold


Nicholas J. Vasquez
Silence is golden, only to the world without words,
Where plastic gray trains filled with silent widows plow forever
through the twilight; widows, with black veils drawn on their
faces, cry with laughter under the blood-salmon sky, laughing
with eternal sorrow at the eyelids, from their mistakes known
as children filling their pockets made of crimson marble.
This single fabrication defines nothing in this world. A single
tear in the rain, will never be cared by the tall shadows, the
tender face known silence. Thus, a man with a voice made
Of red gold fears this forgiving darkness within his cave of
reality. And so, he scrapes at the edge of it with fire made
from rotten eyelids that crawl their way out of his marble
pockets. Never asking them where they came from.
And so, the man spies the trains and asks in a brown voice,
So, where is my dream? and in the mental reality of his caves
A golden voice whispers, in confidence: a confession.
It is a continuation of reality. The world of no words now
Stares into the shores of time that engulfs the plastic crowded
trains like quicksand.

But where is my reality? ask the man, squirming out of the


cave as if it will change anything. The supple fragile faces of
silence, known as the widows, howls to the man, the
fabrication of gold and despair,

It is at the end of your dream.

Space Between Two Worlds


Nicholas J. Vasquez

A world without time,


a feeble decrepit man with no
place to call home, in his prime.
A world without ground,
a white ice-cream sky bleeding
the crimson light illuminating, dying,
crying, frying the coolly child
with her mile wide smile.
You, the wooden green bench,
with gray voracious grass as legs
and silver sagacious nails as eyes;
are the space between two
worlds.
A cosmic key made of bark
carries the weight of both
their cheerful sorrow.
something neither can ask
the other May I borrow?
The child has no ground

to be buried in.
Nor does the man dying in the
arms of his own grief.
You will forever carry these worlds,
limiting the smile child
with a surface, and
letting your insipid
life consume the
man, as if you adore his life of
eternal brevity,
But you do not.

For how can a


bench love a man
and his child?
Who wait in autumns
voluminous rain for a bus that will
never come.
A bus; to replace the
the wooden bench,
the space of nothingness
that keeps the worlds
at bay.
Only the child finds ground on the bus.
And man lets his grief finally
grab him by the throat on a bench made of bark.

Away! Away! Away! Away!


Henry David Thoreau

Away! away! away! away!


Ye have not kept your secret well,
I will abide that other day,
Those other lands ye tell.
Has time no leisure left for these,
The acts that ye rehearse?
Is not eternity a lease
For better deeds than verse?
Tis sweet to hear of heroes dead,
To know them still alive,
But sweeter if we earn their bread,
And in us they survive.
Our life should feed the springs of fame
With a perennial wave,
As ocean feeds the babbling founts
Which find it in their grave.
Ye skies dropp gently round my breast,
And be my corselet blue,

Ye earth receive my lance in rest,


My faithful charger you;
Ye stars my spear-heads in the sky,
My arrow-tips ye are;
I see the routed foemen fly,
My bright spears fixed are.
Give me an angel for a foe,
Fix now the place and time,
And straight to meet him I will go
Above the starry chime.
And with our clashing bucklers clang
The heavenly spears shall ring,
While bright the northern lights shall hang
Beside our tourneying.
And if she lose her champion true,
Tell Heaven not despair,
For I will be her champion new,
Her fame I will repair.

Bacchus
Ralph Waldo Emerson

BRING me wine, but wine which never grew


In the belly of the grape,
Or grew on vine whose tap-roots, reaching through
Under the Andes to the Cape,
Sufferd no savour of the earth to scape.
Let its grapes the morn salute
From a nocturnal root,
Which feels the acrid juice
Of Styx and Erebus;
And turns the woe of Night,
By its own craft, to a more rich delight.
We buy ashes for bread;
We buy diluted wine;
Give me of the true,
Whose ample leaves and tendrils curld
Among the silver hills of heaven
Draw everlasting dew;
Wine of wine,
Blood of the world,
Form of forms, and mould of statures,

That I intoxicated,
And by the draught assimilated,
May float at pleasure through all natures;
The bird-language rightly spell,
And that which roses say so well:
Wine that is shed
Like the torrents of the sun
Up the horizon walls,
Or like the Atlantic streams, which run
When the South Sea calls.
Water and bread,
Food which needs no transmuting,
Rainbow-flowering, wisdom-fruiting,
Wine which is already man,
Food which teach and reason can.
Wine which Music is,-Music and wine are one,-That I, drinking this,
Shall hear far Chaos talk with me;
Kings unborn shall walk with me;
And the poor grass shall plot and plan
What it will do when it is man.
Quickend so, will I unlock
Every crypt of every rock.

I thank the joyful juice


For all I know;
Winds of remembering
Of the ancient being blow,
And seeming-solid walls of use
Open and flow.
Pour, Bacchus! the remembering wine;
Retrieve the loss of me and mine!
Vine for vine be antidote,
And the grape requite the lote!
Haste to cure the old despair;
Reason in Natures lotus drenchd-The memory of ages quenchd-Give them again to shine;
Let wine repair what this undid;
And where the infection slid,
A dazzling memory revive;
Refresh the faded tints,
Recut the aged prints,
And write my old adventures with the pen
Which on the first day drew,
Upon the tablets blue,
The dancing Pleiads and eternal men.

To R. W. E.
Ellen Sturgis Hooper
Dry lighted soul, the ray that shines in thee,
Shot without reflex from primeval sun,
We twine the laurel for the victories
Which thou on thoughts broad, bloodless field has won.
Thou art the mountain where we climb to see
The land our feet have trod this many a year.
Thou art the deep and crystal winter sky,
Where noiseless, one by one, bright stars appear.
It may be Bacchus, at thy birth, forgot
That drop from out the purple grape to press
Which is his gift to man, and so thy blood
Doth miss the heat which ofttimes breeds excess.
But, all more surely do we turn to thee
When the days heat and blinding dust are oer,
And cool our souls in thy refreshing air,
And find the peace which we had lost before.

I Slept, and Dreamed that Life was Beauty


Ellen Sturgis Hooper
I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty.
Was thy dream then a shadowy lie?
Toil on, sad heart, courageously,
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A noonday light and truth to thee.

Letters to Modern Corsair:

To: Louis Hervey


Ive started reading this a few
months back. After the science
fiction episode I went back to look
at the older ones. Anyway, Louis, I really liked your story called
Knight Fall. The drama and action
were real. I want to say it ends on a
sort of cliffhanger. I want to know
what happens next. Did you write
more? If not, thats kind of week.
Johnathan G.
[Via e-mail]
IA: Thank you for the letter, Johnathan. Louis Hervey hasnt written
for the Modern Corsair in several
months, but is by no means out of
contact. He did say that he viewed
his vigilante hero as being in a series of short stories. Hes currently
working on both an origin story (as
we all love those) and some follow
up stories of his crime fighting.
A more realistic answer to your
implicit question Will we publish
more stories in this Knight Fall
series? would be I dont really know
right now. If Mr. Hervey cooks up
another story, and its good and
wishes to put it out through us then

yes you will read more.


To: Modern Corsair
Are you doing any live shows in
towns besides Downey?
@Kennywright
[via Twitter]
IA: We have discussed doing shows
in other locations. We had a rather
successful night in Whittiers Half
Off Books. So yes. But we just need
to plan it out. If there are any suggestions about locations we should
go to please let us know.
And I know some are confused but
this months show of May 30th has
been canceled due to scheduling
troubles. But well be back in June
with Religion on the 27th at Stay
Gallery.
Have comments or questions? Send
them to our e-mail: themoderncorsair@gmail.com or our Twitter/
Facebook/ Tumblr pages too.

CREDITS
The Modern Corsair for March 2014
Issue Number 8
This issue was: Transcendentalism.
Eat artificial nutrience. Transcend transcendentalism.
The next issue will be: Religion.
The next issue will be gospel. Believe in the issue. Live as the issue. Become the issue.
YOU HAVE BEEN AN ISSUE SINCE THE BEGINNING.
Jerk.
Check out our subreddit at www.reddit.com/r/themoderncorsair
Send all entries, comments, or suggestions to
themoderncorsair@gmail.com. Wed be happy to hear from our readers.
Special thanks to:
Karen Tsai
The Stay Gallery
And the biggest thanks of all to:
You.
Not you as the reader of this magazine, specifically you as the human
reading this text in this moment. Keep on reading, beautiful person.