The Quarant-Times
Volume 4

We value art of the times. Of the vulnerable, the raw, the honest. We uplift those brave ones who surrender to uncertainty through the process of creation. We are a community of makers, processing fear, grief, joy and love in times of quarantine.

I. Grant Musser

introspectophobia

Chicago, IL

introspectophobia

II. Gracen Armendariz

A walk means so much these days

I walk around the block in a couple of different ways3 to 4 tmes a daythree routes are up a hill, a tall hill, a steep hillusually people trade spots with mecross the street when they see us comingsometimes I have to jump into the road to avoid themlike we're not all geting the same newsthere's one way that's openI like it the mostat night, the sun setting is beautifulthe mountains are visible now that the sky has cleared upMexican marigolds and rosemary bushesalmost blocking my way, butit's a good walkthere are a few other routes that I try and loop back to my apartmentbut there's a staircase and someone is always sitting thereit's enclosedthere's not enough roomand they're usually smokingI backtrack
I found a new routewith new housescute yardspoems and messages writen into one white picket fencecovered in yellow, climbing rosesI want them in my own garden one dayit's pretty empty, most of the timesometimes people wavesometimes a litle brown dog barks at us from his open windowand sometimes he's on the road too, out for a walk
there's an even longer routeI only walk on when I'm not alonenot really out of fearsomething elseit's my neighborhoodit's my walkbut with nowhere to gonowhere we're supposed to beI find myselfrushing home

III. Victoria Campa

Postcards from the Suburbs

IV. Danielle Levsky

There is

Chicago, IL

she/they—@scribbles.and.sonnets

A person is a home, all wallsand floors of memory.
There is perfume and dirt capturedin the creases. Corners gather
conversations until they are swept into adust pan. The trash bin in the kitchen
holds more tension than our necks:a banana peel over a confession,
expired acne cream after a decision,a cracked light bulb above the abandoned phonejack.
Sometimes these talks take a few tries.Limbs stretch out like brooms
and toes root the foundation.From the outside, it looks alright.
The remnants of a collapsed fenceare visible amongst fresh growth.
Some of the brick is chipped, but in acharming way, a way that makes you think,
“My, what a story they must have!”Inside, the story is that the mattress is on the floor,
surrounded by musty boxes.Light fixtures beaded with sweat
reflect into the eyes of the flieslining the windowsill.
Moonlit dregs scatter on peach-stained blinds.Inside, the plants have overgrown, a forest
overrun by mustard garlic. The light fixtures flicker with anxietyat a sign that hangs at the entrance:
“Home sweet home” it used to read, but scraped down by wear and willit now says “Me sweet me”.

V. Marinella Consigli

Dust dancing in the sun

Florence, Italy

she/her—@consigram

VI. Stone Moreno

Arizona, May 3rd, 2019

Tustin, CA

he/him—@thisfaceisforsitting

The desert flaunts her colors like she’s got on her best Sunday summer dress,Gowns of golden poppies draping her skin hide leatherShe’s aliveOn fireNever been better Dancing distances down the blazing windKicking up dust storms of her ember ashesSizzling cherry red with her burning passionCaressing my freckled cheeks,But this Senora is only a dream Or maybe a memoryOf last spring

VII. Arianna Lucas

Arachne

New York, NY

she/her—@ariannalucas

VIII. Ben Billand

Trephination

Chicago, IL

they/them—@ben-billand

IX. Alyssa Carabez

Routine

Chicago, IL

she/her—@alyssa.carabez

You wouldn’t notice anything is different. it could be a Sunday afternoon  with slow traffic, mostly vacant streets. There are still the joggers, families, couples, dogs,  the cat callers. You wouldn’t notice anything is different, but the masks, the gloves, the hesitancy  when passing someone to see who will dodge out of the way   First. The sun came out for only a moment And then the moment left.  I dropped spaghetti, broke a bowl that echoed alone in an empty apartment. It's okay, a house sometimes creaks and crackles  at the worst moments, and yes, the backdoor is locked. Such a routine being alone as become. Everything through a screen. Her cousin, his friends, her parents, making up the horror of the daily updates. Essential or sacrificial. I need to do more, but I can’t even sleep. You should notice everything is different. All the world is doing the same as you  in this moment, in this anticipation to act  to fight.  As sure as the sun rises, so will we.

X. Sélina Farzaei

lavender from memory, 2020

Montréal, Canada

she/they—@wackography

XI. Kate Kennard

Parasite Diptych

Portland, OR

she/her—@kennardk

XII. Rohan Zhou-Lee

The Wand Maker

New York, NY

they/she/he/siya—@diaryofafirebird

My uncle has a habit of giving me gifts, even though he’s dead.

He’s a wand maker, you see, winding crystals within spools of copper. Touch one, and you just might see the world a little clearer. When I first met him, I was afraid. His eyes were sharp and watery like diamonds in a riverbank, his dreadlocks dark and prophetic. The relics of time were written across his face, and you could almost see the mystic runes rolling around in his mind. He seemed strange, otherworldly, all the things my father and my Catholic upbringing taught me to fear. Little was it known that he would have the most profound impact on my millennial life.

The next time I saw him, I was a teenager. Exploring myself and the world, it was the year I began the endless process of coming out. At first I only told my closest friends, my cousin, and then my aunt. She suggested I tell her husband. And what did he say?

"Rohan, I knew the day you were born that you were gay. You came out the womb and I knew." Thus, in all his wizardly wisdom, he took it upon himself to give me “the talk,” that thing so many parents dread. He was simple and to the point, no sugar coating whatsoever. The talk went like this: "Rohan, men will fuck anything. If there is a hole and it is willing, a man will put his dick in it, okay? Men will fuck a tree."

Great talk, Uncle David *sigh*…great talk.

From then on, I learned magic. I took a wand embossed in copper and learned the deep purposes meant for me, all thanks to this weird old man who had no problem traumatizing his sixteen year old nephew about men and sex. Looking back, I now know what a gift it was to have that kind of love from a Black man in such a hateful world.

I clung to his advice, his wisdom, his guidance. They still ring true. The last time I saw him, he said I must surround myself with smart people, people who could survive. “We are headed into dark times,” he murmured.

Shortly thereafter, he joined the ancestors. Gone, with a sick and bitter disease in his throat.

The day he died of cancer, the earth cried. A heavy rain lashed Chicago, even though he lived in New York. I left early from work that made me miserable. Without an umbrella, I walked to the Red Line. It was down. Shit. I would have to take the 22 from Division to Devon. I, like every other Chicagoan, love that 24 hour Clark Street bus, but that was a damn long ride. Numb, I only took it halfway, stepping into Andersonville, a neighborhood with cute shops and restaurants that resembles a fairy tale. The rain had mercifully let off, turning into a drizzle, and I walked, wandering up the long and weary road.

Suddenly, a bird cut through the mist. It flew straight into the Women & Children bookstore. I followed it, not knowing why. I had never seen fantasy books there, my favorite genre, so why bother? But the bird landed on a shelf, beckoning me with a cocked head. My jaw dropped. Right before me was N. K. Jemisin’s fantasy The Fifth Season, which soon became my favorite book of all time. That little bird reminded me, just before it took off, that even in dark times we can still find pockets of magic. We just have to look.

Later that year, I lost my shitty job, and the landlord was kicking us out. I had to move in with my mom and my aunt in New York.

New York, that dismal grey city where no one really seems happy to me.

My first year sucked: no money for myself or to see my friends; no majestic walks through snow-capped parks; no days I could marvel at the sun, the sky or the moon while wandering alone on the beach. I had nothing to make my world wondrous or mysterious. I hated this city, and I’m sure most of me still does. I became sick, so sick I couldn’t move parts of my body. What was going on? Why was I here? When could I go home? There was no magic in this place.

One day, I was hobbling around the apartment, miserable and alone, when I spotted something floor. Strange, that hadn’t been there before. It was a ring, comprised of four coils of copper. An apparition, a gift.

Thanks Uncle David.

With that ring, magic came back into my life, all through the hospital visits, and finally when I could walk and dance again.

I wear that ring during every day of this crisis, because it remains a lesson of faith. Faith, remembering all our sadness and trials, and the hopes and dreams that beat them. It teaches us that we have to keep on. We have to look for the magic in the hidden corners, the unseen pockets of space, so that we can heal ourselves, overcome this virus, and fix our very, very broken world.

XIII. Alyssa Brown

Springtime Quarantine

Tulsa, OK

she/her—@lyssiebrown

Green finds its wayto the EarthTake a bath in the sunand dry off on the grassA rabbit runs acrossthe backyardLucky. Maybe.Time moves atits own paceDays are unpredictableCigarette tonight?I pick a daffodil andplant it in your hairWeʼll be okay

Appendix - Arianna Lucas (she/her)

Color Tag

New York, NY

Appendix

Color Tag Magazine is a photography publication devoted to the exploration of life, art, and connection. The magazine was created with the intention of fostering connection between photographers through response-based photo series and themed exhibitions.

Current offerings for our online galleries:
Color Tag: a collaborative series where photographers will create a new image in response to another artist's image with the intention of creating a visual conversation.
Colors of Quarantine: Highlighting photographic works created during quarantine.
The Sky We See: Call for sky photographs and images depicting our relationship to the sky.

IG is @colortagmagazine and our website is colortagmagazine.com

The mission of Quarant-Times is to be a beacon of hope for makers and readers alike. Offering a space of community and an artistic, digital forum that reminds us we’re not alone; that our world is so much more than the walls that surround us and the uncertainty of these times.

If you are able/inclined, we invite you to donate to this volume at: paypal.me/quaranttimes. All proceeds will be proportionally divided amongst the artist who submitted to be part of this volume.