watercolor by Clara Lynas, two poems by Emily Grenon
Do you know that
feeling that swells up in your chest, and it kind of feels like gas, but it’s
an emotional gas? Isn’t that a terrible metaphor? Simile. What the fuck ever.
It’s the feeling when you want to feel something, but you don’t know what, and
you can’t do it. So you listen to the same song forty-five times because it
gets you so close, and you end up scrolling through thirty-five pages of
fanfiction and spending half an hour changing the search terms, and you don’t
read any of it because you don’t know what emotion you’re even looking to feel,
and sometimes it isn’t even an emotion at all. Sometimes it’s a specific story
you want to read, only it doesn’t exist, or if it does, nobody’s written it,
and so you open your YouTube recommendations feed, and it’s just, like, a movie
trailer and six video essays and a video of six guys playing cards against
humanity, and that’s not what you fucking want, you want that feeling. It’s the
feeling when you’re in a movie, and the characters smile at each other, but
they don’t kiss, and they’re probably, like, gay or something because otherwise
Hollywood would have them kiss, and so they don’t kiss but they just look at
each other, and it settles in your chest and curls there, and you don’t cry,
exactly, because it isn’t sad, or happy, it’s just something there that you
don’t know and you can’t control and fuck if it doesn’t hurt like pulling
teeth. Or the feeling at the end of a story where they win but everyone dies
So I really like Julius Caesar, like the play? Shakespeare. Because Brutus is the tragic hero of that play. It isn’t Caesar, ‘cause he dies— spoiler alert, I guess— but Brutus is the only person who’s purely intentioned in the whole fucking thing. He has this family legacy to fulfill, and he knows Caesar is wrong, but what can he do? In killing Caesar, in doing the right thing, he also kills the republic he loves. Octavian becomes the emperor Caesar never actualized, and he turns the republic into a dynasty, complete with a martyr— you always need a martyr. But Brutus never gets any actualization after that, and every time I fucking think about Brutus now, I get this weird emotional heartburn— now that’s a metaphor— and what the fuck am I supposed to do with that? No, seriously. What’s the point? Like, maybe there isn’t one, but I think there is. I think that our emotions mean something, and so this one does too. I think it means that we like our stories to be complete, and it hurts when they aren’t. That’s what I think.
Emily Grenon is a first year history student from Calgary, Alberta. She spends her time reading, writing, screaming into the void, and watching a lot of YouTube video essays. Ask her about fun facts, and she will immediately forget what either facts or fun are.
Clara Lynas is a Toronto based artist and writer. She creates paintings and poems and she aspires to learn, grow, and live in love.