120 Seconds with … Risica Caputi

Meet Risica Caputi. She is the author of Keep Your Left Up & Chin Down (Volume 14).

  • Day Job: By day I work as a cashier at the local Circle K. I am also a licensed massage therapist, and do that gig on the side whenever I have the time. 
  • 3 favorite authors: Ray Bradbury, Charles Bukowski, and Agatha Christie. 
  • 3 artists I admire: That is a tough one. I have always wished that I could have Marina Abramovic’s courage and passion. I am constantly mystified by Bernini’s sculptures. I have visited the Borghese Gallery several times and I can’t figure out how someone could make something so perfect. Lastly, I admire Dali— he embraced his weirdness. 
  • Bragging rights: tell us about something you’re really proud of. I’m proud that I have finally learned to love myself. It’s taken a while. 
  • What’s the toughest criticism of your work you’ve ever received? How did you respond or deal with it? I once sent a sonnet I wrote to an online magazine. They told me it was too rhyme-y. How did I deal with it? I stopped rhyming. 
  • Must-have item for my workspace: Quiet. 
  • Where do your ideas come from? What can you tell us about your creative process? My ideas come from what I see at my tedious, stressful, and crazy job. I get inspiration from my interactions with others. For example, I had a male customer recently tell me that I should re-paint my nails—he could see the polish was chipping. So I wrote a poem about how women are seen as the property of others; how some men see it as “okay” to tell a woman how to look, dress, or simply be. 
  • How do you know when a piece or project is finished and needs no additional work?I never really know if a piece is done. It just comes out of me, and that’s that. Sometimes I go back and change things around or edit. But then again, sometimes I don’t. 
  • Tell us about an under-appreciated artist, gallery, writer, or bookstore do you think people should know about. My friend from high school, Nick Sirotich. We rode the bus together for 2 years, and we were really good friends. He is an illustrator and tattoo artist; he’s the coolest guy ever. You can find his work at nicksirotich.com
  • 3 things that will be obsolete in 10 years: cursive writing, CD players, ugg boots (I hope). 
  • Any fun plans for the summer? My plans for the summer are to work, write, garden, and to finish up the courses I need to become a licensed body piercer. 

120 Seconds with….Jon Walz

Jon Walz is the artist behind Untitled.

  • Day job: Glass artist
  • 3 favorite authors: Oscar Wilde, Orson Welles, Henry David Thoreau 
  • 3 artists you most admire: Marc Chagall, Gustav Klimt, Theo Jansen
  • Bragging rights: I brag about everything…
  • What’s the toughest criticism of your work you’ve ever received? "I could do that"
  • How did you respond or deal with it? "Go right ahead"
  • What is the must-have item for your workspace? Other than myself and paint… Lots of wine.
  • Where do your ideas come from? Usually people who piss me off.
  • What can you tell us about your creative process? It’s never really the same twice so I just put my self in a position to create and sometimes good things happen and sometimes they don’t.
  • How do you know when a piece or project is finished and needs no additional work? When I roll it up and start the next piece. I can’t leave work out or I’ll keep messing with it until its a completely different work so I just have to put it away. 
  • Tell us about an under-appreciated artist, gallery, writer, or bookstore do you think people should know about. Steven Powell. He’s an amazing glass artist out of Danville Kentucky.
  • Name three things that will be obsolete in 10 years. Wish were obsolete or actually? I wish: Ugg boots, reality TV and religion. 
  • Any fun plans for the summer? Some friends and I are in the early stages of starting a clothing company so hopefully we can get that up and running this summer. 
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (via scribnerbooks)


Vol. 13 MOMENTUM: Cali Chesterman - “Two-Millionths Sneeze”

“It is about two friends who are in some unspoken, petty argument. It relates to the theme of momentum because there is a need to move on: either the friend can apologize to mend the friendship or they both go on to see new, unplagued people.”—Cali


You sneezed and filled my head with a thousand pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, so a sneeze must be worth a million.

The point is, I don’t want your sickness anymore, your lack of self-control to PLEASE cover your nose or at the VERY least bring with you a goddamned box of tissues, it’s an issue when your runny nose drips onto that doorknob, the one I gripped just yesterday so it didn’t hit this sultry lady’s heels.

Those fine, red heels.

 Now she has it too, the flu. All thanks to, well, me. See I too am plagued by your friendship, it’s difficult to quarantine myself from a commitment built over ten whole years, a commitment you had “accidently” forgotten, so willingly threw away, just like that tissue you never seemed to get hold of.

And what am I to do? Perhaps I could be like you, abandon everything. I’d rather follow this sultry lady with red heels, I trust that when she gets sick her sneezes aren’t so carelessly lethal, that she keeps them calm and contained and somewhat friendly.

Or maybe you could swallow your pride like that glob of phlegm that just made its way down your throat and utter the two millionths of a sneeze we need to repair our friendship:

 I’m sorry.


Cali Chesterman, a senior at Central High School in Philadelphia, spends her time people watching. These mundane observations develop into fictional characters that she uses in art, writing, and film projects. She plans to study digital animation in college.