ExhibitThe Five Senses

ExhibitThe Five Senses

For Paper Dragon Publishing:
Managing Editor
Natasha Naseem
Acquisitions Editor
Evan Pille
Copy Editor
Nicola Everding
Design Director
Sarah Walkowiak
Marketing Director
Dominic Yarabe
Production Director
Denise Chin
Printed in the United States of America
Copyright © 2016 Paper Dragon Publishing
All Rights Reserved by the publishing team of Denise Chin, Nicola Everding,
Natasha Naseem, Evan Pille, Sarah Walkowiak, and Dominic Yarabe.

Introduction page 6
Associations Page 9
Francis augustus silva’s Seascape page 10
7:32 PM Page 11
citrus page 12
The Fresh Scent of Tomorrow Page 15
The Nose knows page 16
Donna Rae Page 17
next of Kin page 19
Eyes of Palistine page 20
Mouth of Chicago page 21
if i might speak page 24
You Stare at me page 27
Acknowledgements & Author Biographies page 28
appendix page 30
Closing page 31


It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the senses. They’re how we experience life; all
of the information that we receive comes through our eyes, our ears, and all the other parts of
our body. Without these parts, we would be no more than brains in vats. Perhaps we would still
think and feel, but we would have no context for any of it. We’d be stranded in an island of consciousness, the distance between each other an impassable ocean. There would be no way for our
thoughts to be shared, for experience to be gained. It is not unreasonable to say that the importance of our senses is only surpassed by our minds.

But how does one pay tribute to this colossal part of our lives? In some many ways, it’s
done without realization. All art is observed though our eyes and our ears and our hands, all of
it relies on our ability to observe and to feel. But this is simply using the senses as a medium of
exchange. Words on a page are read through our vision, but the ideas behind the words might
very well be focused on something else. If someone wanted to take a moment to recognize the
importance of the senses, how would they do so?

The simple and straightforward answer is to refer to the senses directly. In this way, a piece
of art might focus not on the observed object, but on the act of observance. Instead of telling
what is seen, it speaks of the act of seeing.

But a piece can speak of experience without capturing the feeling of observing. When
this happens, what occurs is more like a scientific comment than a piece of art. It explains on a
rational level, but not on an emotional one. When this occurs, the homage fails. Because while
it explains the senses, it does not make their importance tangible. It does not help others realize
what their senses do for them on a human level.

The solution then, must be one that emulates the feeling of sensing. It has to evoke that
sensation within the audiences mind. Anything less than that might work in terms of understanding, but it cannot work within the bounds of appreciation.

With these thoughts in mind, the following pictures and literary pieces were chosen.
In each of them, something resides that calls towards a particular feeling or feelings. A picture
might call up a particular scent, a poem might focus on a certain texture. Whatever the motif, all
of them strive to make us pay attention to our senses in a new way. It is not enough for a picture


to be of a beautiful scene, or for a poem to describe a wonderful setting. By either focusing on
the feeling or by subverting expectations, these pieces ask us to rethink the relationship between
our minds and our senses.

For some, this means giving an intense examination to a particular sensation. In these
pieces, the idea is to recapture the feeling, to let it be re-experienced and by extension allow it
extend beyond its normal means. Others seek to take one sense and translate it into another,
thereby achieving a level of synesthesia. This than forces the persona observing to consider
the link between the senses, how they can have such vast differences and still all be considered
feeling. The third tactic is to turn the sense itself into the representation of an idea, essentially a
metaphor. This then shows the connection between feelings and thought, how interlinked they
are with our body and mind.

Whatever the tactic, all of the pieces in this magazine ask for a deeper understanding and
appreciation of our senses. Experience is a constant in our lives, and it can be easily accepted
without much thought. For that reason, these pieces have been gathered so that a reader might
observe them and in turn, ponder their observation.
Written by Evan Pille, Acquisitions Editor.


Photography by Nicki Everding

There’s a bruise on my breastbone. It stands out, a smudge of story on
my parchment of skin. Reminds me of the grape hyacinths we used
to smear on each other’s legs, striped with grass and dandelion and
spotted with crimson bug bites – children’s war paint, camouflage. It’s
like the scrapes on our hips when we’d bounce at the edge of the pool
– weight from toes, hands, ribs, knees, and out – and emerge with the
burn of chlorine in our eyes and throats.
Tastes metallic, iron in a glistening bead of blood; we always said
mangoes tasted like pennies. Tastes like salt and sunscreen, a burning
prickle and slippery nag at the back of my throat; like lime, algae,
rubber, and ethanol.
Smells like the leather slipping through my fingers, breeze tickling endorphins through the ends of my hair, like the angle of resistance from
mouth to wrist to shoulder to hip to withers, maybe a spice, maybe a
tang, maybe a dullness resurrected by association.
My bruise aches like growing up – leaving things behind… and being
left behind. Pangs like failure, throbs like regret. Like the reminder
that “you’re too old for that,” or remember when you believed that?
Like a punch from a friend.
Sounds like super-audible mosquitoes or neurons; sounds like a lightening strike as the storm front blows in, wall of frigid fingers chasing
away the sun, rattling windows, hammering hail. Oh, God, it’s good to
be alive.
It hurts, but I don’t mind it.


Talia Everding

At Coney Island, Francis Augustus Silva (c. 1880)

Francis Augustus Silva’s Seascape
Nicki Everding

The strident calls of seagulls blend into
the rush and hiss of waves. Along the beach,

The steady swell of viridescent sea
churns, foams, roils, rushes to and from
the coast.

the salty air is thick with reeking fish
and brown, decaying seaweeds leach.

The static bank of clouds floats in hazy
roseate and blue and crème above the

The tepid wind persuades the sails to wave
taught and slack, taught and slack, a feeble

The golden sun glows in the lookingglass of compacted, seawatery sand.


green tea stained rings decorate the top of a red trunk on wheels and sometimes when i
rest my feet on top of the seemingly stable surface, it wobbles, and i retract my weary limbs
again. instead i curl beneath a red fleece blanket, crumpled and wrinkled because sometimes
i’m too desolate to fold my laundry, and i hold a stuffed panda head with a loose black button eye to my chest and in that moment, the weight of the world slips off my stiff shoulders
like some delicate silk lingerie i can’t afford and in that moment the tea stains don’t remind
me of the messiness of my life and in that moment the blanket isn’t my only source of comfort and in that moment i can forget that pandas are dying out like dimming stars and in
that moment, i can forget that i am living.

7:32 P.M.

Oli Versaw


When I think of you,
I think of you peeling an orange,
or maybe a nectarine,
its nectar dripping down your fingertips,
all the way down your wrists,
sticking to you, like the most glorious sunsets do.
When I think of an orange, swollen and sweet,
I also think of grapefruit, ruby red and ripe.  
And when I think of grapefruit, your studio fills my mind,
painted pink, yellow-orange, and sea-foam green.
And when I think of your studio, and all of its little shapesof circles, and lines, and delicate things,
I can’t help but think of limes.  
Lime, the lightning in your eye,
an explosion of electric citrus across your iris.  
And I suppose, if I am to think of limes,
I must also think of lemons, that zest filled summer.
Zest, that when left on my tongue, tickles my nose.
The spice of your lips on my lips,
lemon-lime sunshine days,
when you were mine.



I don’t know if you think of me,
but if you do,
I hope you think of blackberries and blueberries too,
staining the white sheet of your memories,
like mulberries do.
I hope you drink in the memories of me like wine,
or the morning dew.
Because when I think of you, that’s all I do.


Photography by Israel Egîo


Melle. Fitz-James, de l’Académie royale de musique, rôle d’une asperge dans un ballet de légumes.
(c. 1837) Illustration from the New York Public Library.

Photography by Nicki Everding

The Fresh Scent of

It was the breath of a kiss,
silently pressing to the planes
of my skin,
imparting prayers and wishes
against my flesh.

Mikayla Butts
It was not just the hills,
it was not just the wind.
It was not just the dew,
settled on the edge of my pane. It was the gentle coo,
the constant presence.
It was the soft padding of the It was the slow measurable
beating of a heart,
the rain that soothed my slum- ringing in my ears and in my
the rest I would awake from
when the sun rose.

It was the first glimpse of
the rays that shot needles of
It was a voice,
luminance through my wina voice that sang me lullabies
until the moon fell.
The hand that combed my hair, The sweet scent of nectar,
the warmth that liquefied my cascading around my nostrils.
It was not just the night

it was not just the hand
on my waist,
it was not just the song in
my ear,
flowing in and out of
It was those eyes,
orbs so trusting I fell in
Lips so inviting I leaned
Lips so soft I knew only
It was the next morning
when I awoke, my senses

The nose knows what the nose wants,
which smells are attractive to him,
and why she loves those certain ones that tickle the upper
The nose knows what the nose hates,
the pungent smells that assault her very being,
and the subtle ones that annoy him at an increasing rate.
The nose knows what you ask of it,
the questions of if there’s something in the air,
or if an odor is still tolerable or must be removed.
The nose knows the troubles of allergies,
because he is clogged by them most seasons,
and other seasons has her dripping mucus like a waterfall.
The nose knows nothing but what you tell it,
because you decide what smells good and
what smells bad.
The nose knows, the nose knows,  
and cherish the knowledge,
because someday soon you may not be able to anymore.

The Nose Knows
Chance Clinchers


Donna Rae
Alyssa King

I started drinking coffee,
because you always did.
I hated the taste.
Steaming black liquid.
Bitter and always too hot.
I thought maybe,
this cup of coffee would
make me feel close to you.
Maybe the burning of my
tongue would drown out the
burning of my heart.
Maybe I would find traces
of you in the swirling cream
and sugar.
I hoped my memories of
would start to feel as real as
the pain in my throat.
I hoped that choking down
this drink,
would help me swallow the
fact that you are gone.
I wished that I could study
your face,
like I studied my own blackened refection in the cup.
I wished that I could enjoy
this coffee, because I never
got to enjoy you.
Photography by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal

from the
British Library,
taken from
Nebraska, its
resources, and

Next of Kin
Lori Nevole

My mother grew strawberries in the back garden until I was in high school.  They were tiny and
darker than the ones that come from the store in slitted plastic containers.  The dye of the juice
in the small backyard berries didn’t have to cover as much flesh.  Mother cut the leaves off with
a sharp paring knife, towards the pad of her thumb.  And if any of the berries were pale and sick,
when she cut off the leaves she let the blade slice her calloused skin and the berry would suck her
blood until it was as red as the others.  She usually ate those, or sometimes reburied them in the
patch.  She set them in the left corner of the cutting board and sucked on her thumb, shaking
sugar over the good slices—the ones that reddened by themselves—piled in the green casserole
dish my father’s mother gave them as a wedding present.  She was too careful.  Her blood never
got on the sweet ones.  One day I stole a bloody one from the corner and bit down before she
could stop me.  The juice burned and burned like a fireball candy with that distant cinnamon
promise of relief that didn’t come until Mother handed me a glass of water that sloshed over our
fingers, sloshed over my tongue.
I asked her why her blood burned.  She said it was a grown-up thing and never to do that
again.  Then her splayed fingers slid from my shoulders.  She touched my hair, stood, and picked
the knife back up to wash off the juice.
Years later a bad storm ripped up her strawberry bushes and she hacked apart the stems at the
roots.  She tossed the spidery mess into a paper bag along with the broken sticks I’d picked off
the lawn.  I thought she’d replace the bushes, but she planted lilacs instead and pruned off small
slices of purple flowers for my room in the spring.  The smell stuck to her fingers, and the smell
of her stuck to the petals—dirt from the garden and liquid hand soap, the warm breath of her
skin.  The warm skin of the flowers.  Mother spreading through the still air around a plastic cup
vase, intangible.
I tried to buy my own strawberries the first spring I lived away from home.  None of them needed juice.  They were gorged and bruised, and sour mostly.  I cut a tiny painful slit into the pad of
my thumb and pressed it to a splotchy berry, but the juice just stung and the berry tasted like a
broken lip.  I washed out the cut and threw the whole box away.
I came home for a week while my apartment building fixed my air conditioning.  “Remember
your strawberry bushes?” I asked her as we drank coffee at the kitchen table.  She nodded and
sipped from her porcelain Oregon souvenir cup.

“Why did you eat the bad berries?”
She smiled.  “Because I was the only one who could.”
I didn’t know if she meant they were inedible or that no one else was allowed to eat them, that
they were only for her.  She talks with confused meanings like that.  When she talks.  We communicate better through our eyes and hands than our mouths.
“Didn’t they burn though?”
She dragged the coffee mug in a slow twirl on the table.  “Must be the mother in me.”
There’s something hellishly cyclical about swallowing your own blood.  It draws up images of
snakes eating their own tails, of lions eating cubs.  And yet I’m jealous that I am an observer and
not a participant.
That day at the table, drinking coffee: I had brought her strawberries from the store, but the knife
never sliced past fruit.  They were sweet with sugar from the cupboard.  She smiled at me and
brushed the top of my head with bony fingers, skin cool, cinnamon blood pulsing faint and blue
at her wrists.


Mouth of Chicago
(above) and
Eyes of Palestine (left)
Photography by
Alanna Kay Johnson


Photography by Nicki Everding


Photography by Denise Chin


If I might speak
If the throb of my voice
Will carry out the sound
I hope it reaches deeper than your ears
And the sound sings itself in your heart
Your name on my tongue
A quiver of lips
The pulse in your neck
Beckons vibrations of voice
Sweet confessions
Bitter remorse
Yearning and loneliness
Confusion and doubt
Drink them in like wine
Let the verse intoxicate reason
Sweet merlot of passion

It courses through veins as a fever
And colors skin like poppies
Pulsating desire’s fire
You strip me bare
Down to the soul
Unfurl me like ribbons
And string me like pearls
Dip your tongue into my mouth
Take my words away
Conduct the heat
And melt the ice
That has found its way in me
If happiness can be pure
Whisper it in my ear
Breathe it into me like steam
Release my hidden wings
Unbind the fragile plume
And air and love shall sustain
The heart’s ever hungry flame.

If I Might



Sherry Wine Glass, John Dana (c. 1937)

Photography by Pasquale Vitiello


You stare at me
with eyes as warm
and dark as the
You walk with me
with breath as smooth
and rough as the
dusk mist
You fall on me
with hands as soft
and hard as my
own ribs

You Stare at Me
Denise Chin


Acknowledgements & Author Biographies
Talia Everding: “Associations”
Talia graduated from UNL with a degree in Animal Science and minor in English. She loves Lit classes, cats,
being outside, and summers in Canada with her family.
Nicki Everding: “Francis Agustin Silva’s Seascape”
Nicki Everding is a junior English and Spanish major at UNL. In her free time she enjoys listening to music,
taking pictures, and journaling.
Alyssa King: “Donna Rae”
Alyssa King is a senior studying Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lin
coln, born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. King has written poetry since her youth, and professes it to be the
best way to cope with life’s tough times.
Sarah E. Walkowiak: “Citrus” and “If I Might Speak”
Sarah Walkowiak is an English Major with a minor in Art and Art History. Her main goals in life are to make
beautiful art, tell wonderful stories, and enjoy everything life has to offer. She hopes to graduate in August of
Mikayla Butts: “Fresh Scent of Tomorrow”
Mikayla Butts is studying psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She enjoys her free time reading,
writing, and spending time outdoors. She loves being adventurous, engaging in activities such as rock-climbing
and parkour.
Oli Versaw: “7:32 P.M.”
Olivia Jordan Versaw is an eighteen year old student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. When not in the
dorms, she lives at home in Bennet with her mom and dad, four siblings, two dogs and her kitten. She’s often
found writing, reading, studying, playing games with her siblings, or on the internet. Olivia prides herself on
being an intersectional feminist, and is an avid supporter of civil activism and social justice. These political
themes tend to influence her writing.
Chance Clinchers: “The Nose Knows”.
Chance Clinchers is a senior studying Classics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and parttime poet,
writing out what comes to mind. A Native American, Clinchers is proud of his heritage and believes the
knowledge of the past is especially prevalent today. He hopes that someday all people will be united under the
umbrella of peace and love despite evidence to the contrary.

Alanna Kay Johnson: “Mouth of Chicago “and “Eyes of Palestine”
“I am a journalism student at UNL with a light background in photography. I didn’t grow up with a camera
in my hand, but rather learned in the later years of my college-life. I work for Joel Sartore, alongside his Photo
Ark project, editing his photos for National Geographic. I grew up in Weston, Nebraska on a farm of alpacas,
goats, and chickens”
Lori Nevole: “Next of Kin”
Denise Chin: “You Stare at Me”
Denise Chin is a current senior studying psychology and English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She
enjoys eating blueberries, reading science fiction and fantasy novels, and is PDP’s very own
Production Manager.


At Coney Island, Francis Augustus Silva, 16 x 24 inches (40.6 x 61 cm), oil on canvas, c. 1880
Avery Galleries, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Accessed via WikiMedia Commons, the Free Media Repository.
Photography by Israel Egîo.
Estambul, Fatih, Turkey.
Accessed via Unsplash.
Melle. Fitz-James, de l’Académie royale de musique, rôle d’une asperge dans un ballet de légumes.
Louise Fitzjames, c. 1837 (Paris)
Lithograph, colored, 26.2 x 24 cm.
Accessed via New York Public Library
Photography by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal.
São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Accessed via Unsplash.
Image taken from Nebraska, its advantages, resources, and drawbacks by Edwin A. Curley (page 385).
London, 1875.
Accessed via The British Library on Flickr.
Sherry Wine Glass by John Dana c. 1937
Medium watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paperboard (29 x 22.7 cm)
Index of American Design
Accessed via the National Gallery of Art.
Photography by Pasquale Vitiello
Accessed via Magdeleine

all images included in this magazine have been used with permission from thE artist(s) or are otherwise classified as public domain images from listed sources.


We thank Dr. Beverly Rilett, our Editing & Publishing
classmates, and all those who submitted their work
for publication.
This literary journal was made possible by your love
for literature, the dream of publication, and the multitude of combined talents.
Thank You.


ExhibitThe Five Senses