The Poison Ivy League


I picked up this zine last week at Tower Records and when I went up to pay for it, the cashier looked it over and declared it “not ours.” Apparently, it had just been stuck there on the magazine shelf in an act of guerrilla zine distribution, and it was mine for free. After reading this amazing, sad, vitriolic, poetic collection of mostly college-related musings, it totally made sense that Lesley Arfin, the Long Island iced teen responsible for it, would go around the normal channels for getting this publication to the masses. Among the deliciously angst-ridden pieces was a depressingly right-on “Long Island A-Z,” which included A for accents, P for Pat Benatar and X for X-rated strip joints. Also, the dreamy, pop-art-slang-filled “Why My Friends Are Rad” was in itself quite rad. But perhaps the most memorable part of Poison Ivy League (aside from some splendid color xeroxed portraiture on the cover) was its collection of apocalyptic recipes, including this one:

Anxiety Inducing Poison Cake

21 longwinded explanations

1 package Black Cat firecrackers

1 tub plain yogurt

2 lbs. assorted pre-prepared sushi from supermarket

1 bottle castor oil

2 big broken hearts

We were going to build a robot instead of doing this whole cooking thing. It was too hard to find the motor to make the robot’s head spin, and we don’t have any money. Our motto is “If Something Is Too Hard, You Should Quit.” Today, for instance, Dustin was going to get out of bed. But, as we all know, gravity is a bitch. And what’s so wrong with sleeping all day? Nothing. Another example: Jesse was meaning to “make sense” of his life, but he became very confused. So he stopped thinking all together. Now he’s fine. Would you like to join us?

Send zines to Michael Giacalone at the Long Island Voice, 393 Jericho Tpke, Mineola, NY 11501-1205.

Most Popular