The Escape: Issue 4


A. Einstein by Aaron Reichert

Escape Into Life: The Escape Issue no. 4

This July evokes a feeling of pride and nostalgia as the country sizzles in her hottest months. With our own Independence Day, an upcoming election, and a nation united as we cheer on our athletes during the Olympics, we cannot help but reflect on a year-half lived, as the days linger on. Here at EIL, July is a special month, marked by the celebration of the many gifts left to us by our friend and founder, Chris Al-Aswad. We are proud to continue his legacy with each post and publication. He created the site for our viewers and we keep it alive in his honor.

A Letter to Chris

As we remember you on the 2nd anniversary of your “escape,” our hearts are full of grief and longing for you. We miss your smile, your sincerity,  and your contagious laughter. However, you’ll be happy to know that we have kept the promises we made when you left. EIL is still alive and thriving and we decided to keep your home in Normal as a haven and retreat for me and all who wish to spend time there.  In fact, tomorrow our family and close friends will be gathering there to celebrate you among the things you loved most, your books and journals. We will remember you and Mom and reflect on the wonderful  memories you both left us with.
With so much love,
Dad
This month in The Escape, we are pleased to feature some of our most favorable works of art and literature. Take a few minutes to explore a few highlights from the last few weeks. Lemonade anyone?
In July, all users subscribed to The Escape were entered in a raffle to receive a $100 gift card to the EIL Art Store. Congrats to Molly Spencer who won and thank you to everyone who signed up!
The Escape into Life Art Store is having its one-year anniversary sale this month and to celebrate, we are offering the following:
  • 25% of all items
  • Domestic shipping included
  • EIL T-Shirt with every order
Over 100 new items by featured EIL Artists have been added this summer, so if you haven’t visited in a while come and take a look. The EIL Art Store has everything from original drawings, sculptures, and photography to handmade greeting cards, inspirational calendars, posters, collages, and more. See what we have on sale now here.

EIL Featured Artist: Aaron Reichert:

Artist Statement:  “Painting, I participate in the boundless world-at-large. I paint because a painting lasts and I will not last. I only paint human beings and I expect that will not change. My interest has always been individuals. Their emotion, their mysteries. Extinguishing color, I isolate each face absolutely. Sheering away vanity to present a humanity that is alive while in decay – just as we are. These monochromatic paintings are done in acrylic. I achieve textural effects within a series of layers. Loose washes inform the lines that eventually crystallize the piece. I perform an inch by inch plotting of detail and allow the washed paint to create organic forms. The emotional focal point always rests with the eyes of the subject.” [Continue viewing here]

EIL Featured Fiction: “Down the Street” by Nikki Mayeux

Devonne opened his door and stepped out into the afternoon sun, bouncing a little on the soft soles of his Nikes. A few blocks down the street, he could see Bettie working on a bicycle in front of her house. Devonne saw Bettie every Friday, because on Friday he walked across St. Claude Avenue to get a sno-ball from the stand at the end of Spain Street where it met the river, on the side of St. Claude where all the white people lived. He liked it when Bettie was already outside working and he didn’t have to knock on her door. He thought it was nicer to sit on her porch with his sno-ball and watch her build bicycles. Bettie said he was much better than the radio at keeping her company, and she liked to tell Devonne stories about her crazy artist friends and about growing up on a ranch in Arizona. Devonne always ate his sno-ball very slowly.

Bettie looked up from her work and spotted Devonne as she wiped the back of her greasy hand across her forehead. “Hey!” she greeted him, pointing to the bicycle. “Check it out!”
Devonne looked. The bike rested upside-down with its handlebars on the sidewalk and its wheels in the air. The wheels were higher than they should have been, though. The bike was nearly as tall as Bettie, and the whole thing was spray painted a shiny gold color. Bettie reached over and gave the front wheel a spin. “What do you think?” [Continue reading here]

Nikki Mayeux  teaches creative writing to children and teens at Centre for the Arts in New Roads, Louisiana and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at the University of New Orleans. Her work has been featured in Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression and an upcoming anthology from Main Street Rag Press. When she isn’t obnoxiously taking up tables at local coffee shops to write, Nikki enjoys doing old-lady crafts, taking photographs, and biking around the French Quarter.

     “Don’t you flinch when you see a low-flying plane?”
The speaker’s topic is resilience, but she works in
that since 9-11 we all have PTSD,
which doesn’t sound all that resilient to me.
In my research paper class, one of my students
wants to write about gun control. He’s against it.
Whenever I try to push him gently in the direction
of the opposing argument, he asks me,
Do you really feel the police can protect you?
He asks it again and again, until finally,
feeling beleaguered if only by him, I say,
I feel pretty safe. He’s a Marine, a veteran
of the War in Iraq, wants to be a high school teacher
and will in fact be a fine one, handsome
and smart and with that chip on his shoulder
all Marines seem to have. He looks around the classroom
where the other students are bent over their work
and I don’t know what image he’s conjured,
but there’s the most astounded expression in his eyes.
I guess I feel pretty safe too, he says,
except he says it as if he is falling.. [Continue reading here]

Bethany Reid earned her MFA and PhD at the University of Washington, and teaches American Literature and Creative Nonfiction at Everett Community College. She lives with her husband and their three daughters in Edmonds, Washington. Her second book of poetry, Sparrow, won the 2012 Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize, selected by Dorianne Laux, and will be published in October of 2012.

The Literature Section at Escape into Life is continuing the open call for submissions for a wide variety of literary mediums. Our editors are searching for the best in contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction, as well as reviews of new works and essays on the literary and visual arts. If you have a passion for art and vigorous writing style, please e-mail us at EIL Submission Manager.

What is Escape Into Life?

Escape into Life, online arts journal, pushes the boundaries of visual art and literature, blending the two together until they become a work of Visual Poetry.  Established as a new media experiment to mingle, interrelate, bind, juxtapose, and interpenetrate the two forms of art, Escape into Life aims to uncover the core similarities between literary art and visual art through technology, community, and inquiry. It embodies the fusion of the two mediums, revealing what happens when a journal allows both forms to meld and grow as an organic whole.