The Quarant-Times
Volume 1

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. Ariel Baldwin

Week One (IL)

II. Ariana Jakub

Inhale (OK)

A rhythmical compilationof isolationmoments
Shared with noone
A memory thatreturnsAs the melodyturnsordinary wordsintoextraordinary
Nero’s fiddle accompaniesThe closing credits
Look for your name

III. Roman Shingin

Tattoo Sheet (NJ)

IV. D. Szabreath

Springtime (VA)

D. Szabreath

V. Carly Schirber

Monstrous (IL)

Set an alarm for any time of day. When the alarm sounds, pull up a word from randomwordgenerator.com (not sponsored), set a timer and write freely on the subject for 3 minutes.
March 17, 2020: Monstrous
I know who the real monsters of the world are.
On the phone, I hate the sound of someone breathing on the other line and I haven’t even SPOKEN to a serial killer!
Well, maybe.
When I walked door to door selling girl scout cookies my mother would keep the van open, heat on, arm’s length
Did I sell Samoas to a serial killer?
The smell of other people’s living rooms is stupid
Whom rhymes with womb
Forgot the show AAHH! Real Monsters! existed but my parents probably wouldn’t have let me watch it anyway

VI. Grant Musser

Don't Panic (IL)

VII. Alyssa Brown

Green Eyes (OK)

Soft touches to my head Wine filled bellies and drunken smiles Mouths full of toothpaste I knew I loved youBecause you disagreed with me about the ending of a movie I knew we both adoredBecause you talk endlessly with me even when it’s 2 am and you are so tired but I am so awakeBecause you are unapologetically living for yourself and don’t even realize you’re teaching me the same. I like to watch you play guitar when you close your eyes There’s a small crease between your eyebrows that defines itself when you sing softly and strumThe concentration you give to your passion makes me love you even more. I see green when I think of youMaybe it’s because your eyes often change colorIn our moments of intimacy, they’re almost an emerald But green is so much more. It’s the grass that covers the earth. It’s the fresh herbs that grow from the soil. It’s the color of new life. New beginnings. I know that these moments aren’t guaranteed and maybe in a year, it’ll all be different. But right now, I want to swim in the emerald. The way you look at me makes me feel reborn. I want to begin again in green.

VIII. Lauren Zallo

Happy Light (IL)

Lauren Zallo

IX. Will Morris

To the Dead Man Who Would Have Taught Me How To Smoke Trees If He Didn’t Move Away So Soon or, For Connor Mcmenamin (IL)

I say man because older boys are always men to someoneI say dead because it’s what I’ve heard
the cul-de-sac is the only place where you are still aliveroad caving into the gutter’s flat mouthbathing its face in the memory of our new bodies
you married my sister in the driveway- circuit of laurels pulled from the earth old coats from the downstairs closet brass bracelet for a ring
my first audiencemy first glance behind the curtain
I believe it was the contests we’d playor years later when my father caught you looting our garage for beeror anything worth its weight in payment to the dark
I climb into the manhole for the ball searching for rest in a wet tomb, you wait for my skin to vanish in the stomachand roll the weighted lid over the exit – laughing
the first man to teach me fearthat trust remains steady in the dark
my relationship with mercy as laughter pulled me up the ladder tears hiddenI never knew if it was sympathy in these moments or boredom
if the boards of your home were rotting from the inside or the outyour brother a specter in the garageyour dog vicious with long squat frame
I’d like to say we would have spoken more but I blame distance for enough alreadyour shared love of privacy and your lesson to prove yourself to no one
old friendneighboring brotherI hope your release brought you to death then further into the light of our young and shared moon
looking down at a boy lost in the earthclutching a toywaiting for your signal to smile again

X. Sharon Shoemaker

The Sun Still Rises... (CT)

Sharon Shoemaker

XI. Gracen Armendariz

Alone (CA)

I'm home alone so often and I somehow have never gotten any better at it. I was an only child for approximately a year and a half and I don't remember any of it. I do remember a life full of days with my three siblings and many cousins and almost always a parent or two around. I've realized in therapy in the last year that I do still have abandonment issues. Not the big, scary “my parent left me and never came back” abandonment issues or the kind where someone dies unexpectedly or leaves the country and never comes back. No, it's the kind where my Mom was always around but my Dad had to choose every year between Thanksgiving or Christmas. He had to work one. Where my Dad worked nights and I was always unsure of when he would come home, or if. He was a news cameraman but stll, it felt like his job was dangerous when compared to the teaching lifestyle my mother chose; or perhaps just continued with out of necessity? Unclear at the moment. I've been with my boyfriend for over 12 years and yet I have always felt this immense fear of him leaving. I never slept well until we moved in together and had the blessing of him coming home to me every night. I've lost many friends I thought I would have forever due to us just being a bad match and yet it feels like...it was always my fault? Perhaps I have learned to be alone because all of this comes to me in the silence. Perhaps I can't heal unless I feel it all. My one litle body and my overstretched brain can't hold this in for too long I suppose. My dog isn't much of a conversationalist.

I do notice that the sun is stll out and it's nearly 6:00PM. It's March in California and it's 2020. History books will remember this is at the time of the corona virus sweeping the world. I've never felt anything like it. I'm home and I felt prepared, at first, because my boyfriend went to the store and I ordered extra dog food and I've been alone so much since moving to California. Am I abandoning myself by leaning into this singular existence? No. It's helping. My Dad was helping when he was at work. My boyfriend was helping himself by living away from me for so many years. My friends were letting me go to find better ones. I was just holding on so tight, I was blinded.

Breathwork yoga is a new thing for me. Science says your body gets over oxygenated and your hands clench into fists and they float next to your ears and you can't control it. You can only let go when you slow down your breathing, slowly, slowly returning to normal. You have somewhat psychedelic experiences as this is happening. The frist time I ever did it I imagined everyone I ever loved, an image of them, leaving my body. Another time I imagined myself holding on again, so tightly, to the ones I loved. Another time I just saw the three people I've spent the most time with in my life (my Mother, my brother, my lover) and I smiled at them and thanked them for not leaving. Are we all afraid of being alone? Do we all have our limits? I've asked myself this, alone, on the couch, many times.

XII. Arianna Lucas

Circle of Life (NY)

Illumination (NY)

Ariana Lucas

XIII. Avi Van Edwards

Untitled

Avi Van Edwards

XIV. Jeffrey O'Malley

Untitled (IL)

Agar-thick gust of fortune or was it famine? This petri sphere cultured contaminations of angst before the season died of its cold. And just as crocus and snowdrop presaged that annual resuscitation, vegetation-rich phenological ritual, that threat silent while unseen, invisible to the eye’s shameful gaze, encroached on our communities, together while apart. Apart in our togetherness, we sit idly in rooms of our own making, gathering crumbs for coffee and scraping plates clean of encrustations that moments earlier seemed nutritive, beneficial. We sit idly in rooms, waiting for any sense of movement, ears to the ground, awaiting subtle tremors forecasting change. Change that can no longer suffer touch of feeble, drenched human hands for fear of spreading the word. Language as virus, virus, that apogee of the unutterable. For though breath warms and enlivens our empty rooms, measure for measure, each breath bears some tracer of the possibility of language, born of the tongue from out the vexed concavity of that fecund orifice. Checking... checking... checking... We await the breathless all’s clear that dispels the gloom of these late winter days. These late winter days steeped in the passage of forty that roots the whisper of quarantine. Many now jobless sit together and apart in those rooms, in those fragile cells, plugged into the network of voiceless utterance where the graver threat is to the mind. The mind blanketed in the miasma of its fears, its worries. Collective bargaining for the collective unconscious for fear of solipsisms. While I breathe I hope that these forty days foment in the purgative mist of questions unanswerable. Pleading the living air for a little breath. A little hope yet. I turn my back to the wall, close my eyes a little while and try to breathe without muttering a syllable. It was not in the wind; nor in the fire; nor in the shattering of images; but in the still small voice, as a scurry of rats’ toes over the pallid leaves of lilies. Stirring up those feelings long since buried unceremoniously in that vacant lot that once housed human habitants whose breaths quieted first to a whisper and then to a void. Feeding soils now impoverished through the trenchant application of reason. Science is to know. Projectile hopes lasso the moon amid cloudy nights and the protector receives them. Language is a virus by which we can lasso the moon, even if it is our first rodeo. Cast your gaze telescopic, drink full that big picture and charge the air with a vital quality. Take care of what you can. Open your eyes. With the right application of reason, lo, our Ram-Bearer ellipses our petri sphere to relieve us of the clouding fear! Relieving that reliving we might join hands once again, look one another in the eyes, and reconcile. Reconcile, that is, enmesh eyelashes and burn sincere a pyre of our fear.

XV. Meghan Marin

Untitled (MA)

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.