Creative Writing, Prose

Pushing Up Through the Pavement

by Chloe Jacobs In an alcove before the Rad Cam, there has been a shipwreck. Some small vessel has run aground on the cobblestones and left the debris of life behind, floating on thin waves of pure foam. Or, perhaps, these are the remains of an ancient civilisation. Great Pyramids have spilled onto English pavements, […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Ishtar: A Review

Poignant, dark, and fun – Ishtar is proof that age does not matter, and that some stories are timeless. Bringing to life of one of the oldest poems in the world from Ancient Mesopotamia, Ishtar tells the story of the eponymous Goddess of Love and War (Leela Jadhav) as she ventures into the underworld to […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Blood Wedding: A Review

by Chloe Whitehead ‘Let the Bride awake!’ Intrigue and betrayal reigns in this adaptation of Federico García Lorca’s 1930s classic, Blood Wedding. The Burton Taylor Studio provides an intimate and compelling venue for the drama, with only two rows of seats before the scandal-riven world of rural Spain encroaches upon the audience. Despite only watching […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Hedda: A Review

Review by Amanda Higgin Photos by Georgia Crowther Oriel’s College’s own Poor Print had the first set of eyes on this much-anticipated Playhouse production in dress rehearsal. Even without making allowances for the adjustments and polishing that will take place before opening night, Hedda was excellent. A carefully curated, visually stunning, compelling masterwork – it […]

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Comment, Culture, Prose

Slow Travel: Colonised by Capitalism

by Tobias Thornes It was with some regret that I set out again to sea, and left the magical island and its comforting solidarity in exchange for days and nights sliding across the empty waves. This time, though, my journey was to be much shorter than before, and it wasn’t long I had to wait […]

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Comment, Prose

Potential Power

by Michael Angerer Our life in a modern state is made comfortable by our trust in the power of its institutions: we know that administrative difficulties are not our problem, but that of the civil service; the presence of the police makes it so much less likely that we will have to defend ourselves against […]

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Poetry

untitled trio

by Chloe Jacobs 1. We work in silent tandem as I, A spray of warm citrus, work open skin and you Lick sugared History from your spoon 2. “I mean, is it worth it?” As I work life back into my hands, you, the sheen of rain on a cheekbone, nod towards them, long limb […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

In Extremis – Stones of Light

by James Page Crofton’s Seat was built upon an ancient rock overlooking the fields below. The single wide tower was surrounded by a low wall into which a great pair of iron gates was set as a mouth. It seemed as old as the land itself, and as likely to be abandoned as sheltering a […]

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Poetry

‘The Charges of Patroclus’

by Cora MacGregor He who once, child-like, wept, seeing needless Death, now, clad in bronze, attacks a fourth time. Ablaze with another’s glory, heedless, Like something inhuman, like something divine.   In costume, playing once the hero, but already The god. And dormant ambition is freed: Instinctive, his spear in his hand steady, As he […]

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Poetry

‘Cosmic Background Radiation’

by Michael Leong I wrote you a poem – It was a twin fangled star’s crossing the park end of the universe It was a covert signal, a beep beep beeeeep fax machine beaming quiet whispers to desert islands Where jawas, marooned in silver storms would ponder our deepest secrets Huddled around broken words they […]

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Poetry

‘Shorter Every Time’

by Fanxi Liu DREAM THE FIRST There’s a man in your soap bubbles, you notice on Wednesday. You almost swirl him down the drain with the rest of your day, but snatch the suds out in the nick of time. Indigo-gold-dogwood membrane films his features; nonetheless, you get the distinct impression that he’s addressing the […]

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Humour, Prose

Improper Ponderings

It is clear what the theme of this issue is trying to push with its electric blue lettering and call for, and here I quote, ‘electrifying submissions’, so, with my hand forced, I gleefully put pen to paper. It is with a jolt of inspiration that my mind turns to sources of power, then wanders […]

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Interview, Prose

Oriel Interviews: ‘We are always here for a chat’

By Soo Yi Yun Shelley Billington, Oriel’s first female night porter, supports feminism and enjoys her relationships forged in the college. Her last day as the night porter at Oriel was 16 February 2018. I started working at Oriel in July 2016. I was looking for a job with different challenges, so I decided to […]

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Poetry

‘Virtue’s March’

by Tom Saer Any grip I had as a child On the warrior’s earpiece Amassed a certain sympathy with Freudian audio and the plaintive Cry of a caterpillar The other cups Made out of moral tortoise shells Say nothing about the grief of the immortals Or the baby dragon in her eye Or the formula […]

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Poetry

‘Weather (or not?)’

by Alexander Walls The night is dark. The rain – it lashes down, Its persistent pattering, dolorous To my ears. The dull, sombre sky has drained. Hearing the downhearted drops of the rain, I think of such boundless, untold concepts. But, like the rain, I find myself discharged, Resigned to the asseveration from Above. Now […]

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Comment, Culture, Prose

Meme Analysis: Expectation vs. Reality

by Emma Gilpin “Expectation vs. Reality” is a classic meme, one that has achieved its success through the relatability of its wry analysis of the sometimes seemingly unrelenting disappointments of modern life. The internet is a strange, ethereal space where we are able to connect with people who have similar, or wildly different, interests and […]

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Comment, Prose

Dissonance Management

by Michael Leong I’ve been meditating again recently; 10 minutes a day is a relatively low cost for a sense of having dedicated time and space to take care of myself. One exercise I’ve always struggled with is visualisation – imagining a ball of light at the top of your head, sending warm, spacious sunlight […]

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Poetry

‘Washing Cycles’

The rhythmic hum of the washing machine reminds me that not all metronomes are perfect and that water smells like flowers sometimes and that sometimes it smells like mud and that you are still in the room. You sent me teardrops in damp envelopes and poems you didn’t write. And I realised your voice doesn’t […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Ad Extremis – The Call

by James Page Beyond the tumbling hills, the great storm brewed on the horizon. Katherine found it mesmerising: its devastating vastness, the way it twisted and changed from moment to moment, the flickering light from within it flashing and fading. There was something strangely calming about its intricacies, despite the inevitable destruction it contained. She […]

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Comment, Music, Prose

The Sound of Instability

by Lauren Hill Dissonance pervades our world. Tensions and conflict can tear apart the perceived stability of our lives, shifting harmony and order into a harsh cacophony of sound.  In relation to psychology, cognitive dissonance can be explained as the inner mental conflict which results from simultaneously holding contradictory and incongruous beliefs; in order to […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

A Tale of Two Halves: A Review of Twelfth Night

by Chloe Whitehead Five English students, a medic and some wholesome Shakespeare – a day out made in heaven? We thought so. On a rainy Thursday in January we went to see Twelfth Night at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, and on the whole witnessed a brilliant performance. Despite being an English student, I’d […]

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Poetry

‘Mind’s Eye’

by Tom Saer Please, my deer, sell your tiger’s hides and Harvest my empathy I promise it’s worth it? In an anxious Greek murmur of the brazen-clad I found your stone antlers Weeping words from a cherry tree In a fucking dance I will grind you into a paste I’ve met you before synthesised waltz […]

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Comment, Prose

Pleasant Discord

by Michael Angerer It seems that the most desirable thing to achieve in life is harmony – that is, at least according to many religions and a sizeable number of personal coaches. Your life is supposed to run along like a well-crafted symphony: all dissonances are to be resolved at the end. That is also […]

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Music

Wave

An original composition for piano, by Chris Hill. Download the score here

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Comment, Prose

Slow Travel: Rich Lands

by Tobias Thornes It was nearing summer in the Northern Hemisphere when my boat at long last docked, but somewhere along the way we had slipped imperceptibly into the South, and – for now at least – winter was setting in around me for the second time in six months. I didn’t know it then, […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

The Sound of Sheer Silence

by Amanda Higgin Xanda and I, reluctantly and rushed by timetables, exchange our goodbyes a few times in between final parting witticisms. I really do have to go!’ She laughs, ‘Bye!’, and with a click of her mouse and a low bee-doop Xanda disappears from my laptop screen. I lean back in my chair, still chuckling […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Beautiful Thing: A Review

by Amanda Higgin It is often said that simple things are beautiful, and this show was certainly a Beautiful Thing. This straightforward but delicately told story brings its audience to three neighbouring flats in a London council estate. Jamie lives with his mother, Sandra, and her boyfriend, Tony. On one side lives Leah, who has […]

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News, Prose

Oriel to Fly the Rainbow Flag for February

by Teofil Camarasu Oriel’s Governing Body voted on Wednesday to fly the rainbow flag in February from 2018 onwards – except days when the college flag takes precedence. February marks LGBT History Month in the UK, an annual event that aims to raise awareness around discrimination against the community and interrogate heteronormative attitudes in society. […]

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Comment, Prose

Current Narratives

by Michael Angerer To us, narrow-minded land-dwellers that we are, the sea has for millennia been the great unknown, the Other, a fear to be overcome. Even now, in the age of submarines and recreational scuba-diving, it has managed to remain enigmatic: it is one of those so-called interesting facts that less than five percent […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Love Note to Oxford

by Shirley Russell I suppose it should come as no surprise that I’ve fallen completely in love with you. After all, this is a return and not an introduction. I’ve seen you before; I’ve seen your spires and your streets and your narrow little lanes and cosy coffee shops. I’ve been in your libraries and […]

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Poetry

‘Hypnogogic Waves’

by Michael Leong hey! what are you doing            begone, the night should not gather here            disperse your images of            me clutching you tightly, arm wrapped            like saran around your waist, warmth         […]

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