Brine Waves



The Loudest Mammals

By: Easton Smith


Whales can sing to each other across oceans. Their sound waves refract in the changing depths and temperatures of the water, which increases their speed and reach. The deep coo of the sperm whale, the loudest animal in the world, can be heard for more than a thousand miles in these “deep sound channels”. These whales push their immensity through expanses of pressured black water in solitude, hundreds of miles from their own kin; alone, but for the calls of their distant lovers.

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The Insurrection of Cargo

By Kate Savage


Rebecca Hall reads old insurance documents. It’s her way of solving a cold case, follow a paper trail to the unspeakable past. The ‘objects’ insured are slaves and slave ships. When you rip thousands and thousands of people from their home and stack their bodies in boats like cargo, this is the mark left on the record books: an unforeseen incident precluded the proper delivery of cargo. Though we followed best practices, commodities were destroyed.

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On My Dead Cat, and The Beginning of Resistance


By Meili Stokes


When I was eleven I wanted to own something wild. On a humming desktop computer, I discovered the Bengal cat, and set into motion the long torture of my mother. I grew obsessed. These cats were wilderness descendants, sun freckled. In online pictures, they swam. Their owners slipped them into harnesses and walked them on a leash.  They scaled buildings with the elegance of a full-sized jungle cat. A new breed,  collectors found wild Leopard Cats in South East Asia, plucked them from their vanishing habitats, and bred them with house cats until they became slender, half-domesticated hybrids. In other words, Bengals were a Magical Animal Companion like those I read about it books.

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All I Remember of Resistance

By Easton Smith


What can you tell me about Resistance?

What can I say about Resistance? We had some good times together. We were young and in love. The world was sharp and fast back then, but we found refuge in our alleyways, our escape routes. But why would you bring her up now? That was all a long time ago, it doesn’t really matter anymore.

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Guts and Poetry: An Introduction

By: Natascha Deininger

January 25, 2017: Celebrating Robert Burns day in Salt Lake City, UT

Long-deceased national darling and poet of Scotland Robert Burns never once used the donut as a metaphor for the human body, an oversight in my opinion. After all, human bodies have been all sorts of things – seeds that grow to trees, systems that develop to machines, and cogs that make up a mighty Leviathan. The donut however possesses the particular property of being hollow: a new oval-shaped window through which to see the world, or ourselves in it, if you will. In fact, our entire alimentary tract could be made up of donuts, glued together by their pink frosting and forming a long hollow tunnel, an altogether fitting illustration of our entrails.  Continue reading “Guts and Poetry: An Introduction”

To God, From the Gut

By: Kate Savage


“The air pockets, the alkali wastes, the crumbling monuments, the putrescent cadavers, the crazy jig and maggot dance [. . .]”

– Anais Nin

scan0002When I stopped believing in a man-god in the sky I took up praying to a very old ewe-sheep. That summer I was living in the Wasatch mountains up above Henefer, Utah with Peruvian sheepherders. I was peering deep into Utah and the cowboy mythos of the West and the Good Shepherd language of Mormonism, finding the strange thing within it and calling it a Master’s’ Thesis.

What was really happening was this: while my friends moved away from Utah and the faith, I saw that ‘leaving’ for me was going to be the opposite direction: inward. An awful movement, without reprieve.

No, and yes: an awful movement, but also something sweet and savory. When you move further and further inside, when you follow the line of blood, peer deeper down at the dirt under your feet, nest in the pages of genealogy books, trace your own words back along the tongue and down into the base of the throat—all of this carries with the pain something delicious. So don’t let me complain.

The sheep was an old ewe, a black face and tattered wool. Her muzzle a bony ridge curving downward. Most people don’t know how big sheep actually are. I rode my horse toward her, to force her with the loud, careening, dust-covered others down the mountains and into an eventual pen, but she planted her feet, lowered her head, and stamped a hoof.

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By: Melissa Jean

As a child in church, she thought the story of the Plagues sounded like Paradise. Imagine a room filled with frogs, their legs strong and firm in your hands. Imagine a blanket of bugs, their sunlit wings singing on your skin. Imagine a glorious parade of nonhuman bodies, living and moving, imagine yourself humming along to the chorus of breath. This was god. Imagine a lion on your doorstep. Imagine a sky lit up with fire and ice, or the long deep calm of a night that lasts for days.

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November 9th

By Kate Savage


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Dear Sister

By Brooke Larsen


Dear Sister,

I’ve been walking in a haze. In the initial hours I went from disbelief and shock to fear, sorrow, and rage. When my friend woke me up with the news, I couldn’t believe it until I opened my computer and found a map drenched in red.

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