Rule 655: A Short Story By Elena Sanders

The world is bleak. You can agree or disagree, I’m just simply saying four words. If I were to ask someone “what their image of a utopia is?” their typical response would be a lush environment. Funny thing is, that’s how the Earth used to be. There were no cars, minimal infrastructure, and trees as far as the eye could see. Overtime, we have progressed. We have learned more efficient ways to go about accomplishing tasks. Rather than walking, we discovered how to build automobiles. Rather than hand sewing garments, we built factories and machines to do 99% of the work. Efficiency. That’s the most important thing in this world. I’ve learned that max efficiency yields the max amount of product, which leads to the most amount of revenue. All of that economic talk states that anything getting in the way of this ideal process should be eliminated immediately.

Rule 655: Human interaction is outlawed in the United States

Silence. Voices no longer echoed throughout the streets. Laughter wasn’t heard in any restaurant, and the simple joy of an embrace didn’t exist anymore. This one rule that the government enacted two years ago has changed the society that I live in forever. You might be wondering, what led us to this point? It’s a long story, but, we were slacking. This shouldn’t surprise you, but people went to work and socialized. I’m sure everyone has hidden out in the back room to avoid the crushing weight of their job at some point. Yet, this laziness in the workforce was becoming more and more apparent. With the excessive use of technology in our lives, we were no longer able to focus on a task for longer than ten minutes. Our minds were never in the present, they were constantly thinking about what was next in our schedule. The United States was falling behind in production and productivity. We simply couldn’t keep up with other countries such as Germany, Ireland, France, and the United Kingdom. The government saw this problem and rationalized that the only way to solve the issue of laziness was to eliminate distractions. One of the biggest distractions they recognized was other people. By eliminating human interaction, we would be able to focus all of our attention to the task at hand. No interferences. Some of you may be thinking that this rule isn’t terrible. I mean, who likes talking to other people, anyway? I’d agree with you, for an hour max.
The silence is like a blanket that engulfs our country. At first, it was okay. A nice cozy break from society. Then the silence gets insanely hot and unbearable, and the only thing you want to do is to shove the blanket off. The only problem is that you don’t have a choice. It begins suffocating you, but you can’t speak anymore. Your individuality is gone. I need you to understand that people have essentially become machines. They wake up, get dressed, go to work, work, then come home to sleep and repeat their mundane tasks every single day. With the occasional meals strewn in the mix. This is not how I want to live my life. I grew up in a world where every day was a new adventure. Where each conversation created new memories and stories. I lived during a time where people could talk to each other when they were going through a tough time in their life. People were there for each other. People cared.
As I looked down on the world that has been made for absolute efficiency, I frowned. What happened to society? I stepped off the ledge of the 33rd floor of the Ritz-Carlton and fell to my death. One loud thud occurred. My mangled body strewn across the sidewalk, blood painted the building, and not one eye turned to look. The only response was silence.

Get Your Ink Ready

October is a month filled with spooky pumpkins, the changing of leaves, and wearing oversized sweaters. Like the weather, there is going to be a change in the artwork you see on social media. Artists are getting ready for the worldwide phenomenon called Inktober. In this special event, artists create different pieces of artwork every day in October using solely ink.

So how does one prepare for this event? Some artist like to plan for each day; however, this event is all about having fun and growing as an artist, so feel free to just wing it! For me, I like to organize my thoughts into my drawing journal because it helps me keep a schedule. Others like to make a digital piece. Whatever works for you.


Now you need to gather your materials to start this fun project. First, you are going to need paper. You can either use your sketchbook for this or get special paper, like watercolor or mixed media paper. Personally, I like to use watercolor paper because I found that it soaks in the ink very well and prevents smudging or smearing. Next, you want to get your ink. There are TONS of different types of ink out there; you just have to find the one right for you. I normally use black India ink with a pentel aquash watercolor brush pen, different sizes of watercolor brushes, and a pental pocket brush. Or, I will use precision pens such as micron or Prismacolor.

Now one of the questions that get’s passed around is: can I use ink that is not black? Some artists out there are sticklers for the traditional black ink, while others believe in adding color in their pieces. The people who only use black believe that it is a classier way and that it is the “true way” of this project. However, the ones that use color may want to put emphasis on an area or just brighten their day up with color. The creator of this event, Jake Parker, doesn’t specify in his rules to use or not to use color; he just says to use ink!

Now you’re ready to start creating your masterpiece! Remember, this is supposed to be a fun and relaxing thing to do, so it’s ok if you miss a day or don’t think your art looks good. Don’t forget to post it with the #inktober and #inktober2017 and make sure to send those beautiful creations our way! Happy inking!

September 25- Poem of The Week

Mouthful of Forever
by Clementine von Radics

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.


This poem comes from von Radics’ book, titled Mouthful of Forevers, published in 2015.

You can buy the book at

Kendrick Lamar: Albums Ranked Best to Worst

Kendrick Lamar is my favorite music artist by far. It’s rare for me to go a day without listening to at least one of his songs. I’ve been hooked ever since I heard his first album, and it’s been great watching him grow as an artist and become one of the juggernauts of the music industry.

A couple months ago, Kendrick went on an L.A. radio show, Big Boy TV, and was asked to rank his albums from best to worst. Many people, myself included, were surprised by his answer. The order he chose was nearly the exact opposite of what I expected. So, I thought I would take this opportunity and share my thoughts. Here is my ranking:


My rank: 5

Kendrick’s rank: 1

This is Kendrick’s latest release. After dropping The Heart Part 4, one of his best songs ever, as a teaser a few weeks prior, I was hyped out of my skull. That’s why I’m sad to say I was quite disappointed in this album. I felt like he had very little to say and he didn’t tread any new territory. The instrumentation felt uninspired and never stuck with me. I thought the spacey, ethereal singing that was used on a lot of the tracks was overdone and annoying. In all honesty, it was just boring. Loyalty ft. Rhianna may be one of the most “meh” songs I’ve ever heard.

To be fair, it’s not a terrible album. On a technical level, Kendrick still performs well. He maintains a good variety of flow and his rhymes are on point. The two notable highlights, DNA and Humble, are songs I listen to regularly.

untitled unmastered.

My rank: 4

Kendrick’s rank: —

Kendrick didn’t include this album in his ranking, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not like his other full-length projects. It’s a collection of B-sides, including songs that were cut from his 3rd album, To Pimp a Butterfly, and songs that he’d previously only performed live. Most songs don’t even have names (hence the album title) and instead are numbered 01 through 08. My main reason for including this album is to illustrate that even Kendrick’s side project was better than DAMN. 

Kendrick comes through with the same lyrical prowess as always. I love the raw, unpolished aesthetic of the tracks. This album’s length plays to its advantage because I can play the whole thing and have a short yet complete listening experience. That being said, untitled 02 and untitled 08 alone carry it the album to greatness.


My rank: 3

Kendrick’s rank: 4

This album showed me Kendrick’s potential as a rapper. He displayed a lot of passion that came through in every song, even among so many different styles of rapping. Despite an attempt at some loose continuity between the songs using skits, Section.80 really thrives off the power of its singles. Rigamortus, ADHD, and HiiiPower are my personal favorites. Lamar makes two major missteps in this album: No Make-Up is cringe-inducing and preachy, Tammy’s Song is a misled attempt at comedy. Finally, there’s tragically underwritten The Spiteful Chant. 

Despite its inconsistencies, I still love the album overall.

good kid, m.A.A.d city

My rank: 2

Kendrick’s rank: 2

After Section.80, Kendrick took a crack at a true concept album, and succeeded with flying colors. good kid, m.A.A.d city became an instant classic. He weaves together an excellent story based on his life growing up in Compton and the societal pressures he faced living there.

The overall sound of this album is more mainstream than those before it. No song exemplified this better than his big radio hit, Swimming Pools, with its glitzy trap-influenced production, short verses, and lots of refrain. Some view this as a negative, but I believe it is one of the album’s greatest strengths. The songs are extremely catchy and, despite this being a concept album, they work great as singles. I can always listen to Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe if I want to mellow out and get hype at the same time, or m.A.A.d city for some aggressive, high-intensity bars, or the aforementioned Swimming Pools for a catchy hook. It’s no mystery why this album led to so many new Kendrick Lamar fans.

To Pimp a Butterfly

My rank: 1

Kendrick’s rank: 3

I was amazed by how much this album grew on me. At first, I was turned off by its instrumentation, its heavy-handed and sometimes confusing message, and the name of the album. But I’m glad I kept going back to it, because it is now my favorite album of all time. Kendrick takes listeners on a journey of self-discovery and metamorphosis that captivates from beginning to end, so much so that listening to individual songs often feels like an injustice. That’s why I’ve listened to the whole thing dozens of times. Nowhere else have I found such a complete music experience.

I love everything about this album. Kendrick’s wordplay and flow are more creative and experimental than ever. The raw, jazz-influenced beats are masterfully arranged and set the tone perfectly each time, ranging from downright groovy to painfully somber. I love the way the songs are tied together with a poem that gets longer as you go through the tracklist. To Pimp a Butterfly is truly a masterpiece, and for Kendrick to rank it as his second to worst album was heartbreaking.

All things considered, though, I shouldn’t be too mad about the rankings. None of the albums are so egregious that I can’t see why he likes one over the other. Also, it makes perfect sense that he thinks his latest work is his best. Kendrick is the type of artist who wouldn’t continue to make music if he didn’t feel he was putting out his best. Maybe in a few years he’ll come to agree with me.

September 18th- Poem of the Week

Upon Asking the Cashier at Kroger to Scan That Old Tattoo of a Barcode on My Forearm

Anna Journey

Turns out my body’s a dollar sweet potato
her register’s screen said, as she lifted
her scanner, and I laughed. I can finally call myself
Garnet, Georgia Jet, Carolina Red. Those names
of tubers—my accidental totems. So many
varieties. I might slather
my arm in marshmallows, burrow
deep into the Southern earth. I’d gotten
the tattoo at nineteen, drunk, after Alicia and I
sneaked into the Jefferson—the fanciest
hotel in Richmond with its old
Deco fountain in the lobby
where pet alligators swam circles
through the Jazz Age. We sat on velveteen
love seats wearing ripped jeans among the suits
of Virginia politicians and Baptist preachers,
daring each other: I’ll get a tattoo
if you do. We discussed passion
vines on biceps or matching dragonflies
winging our asses. I swirled my plastic
flask’s bourbon, decided we’d make
a statement about consumerism—blue
barcode stamped on each of our forearms.
After the hotel manager kicked us out
for vagrancy I tore a page from a book
of grocery-store coupons so the tattoo artist
would have an image to copy: a barcode’s
exact marks. I didn’t think to stop
and choose which vegetable,
which object, didn’t know my body
would soften beneath the lines. Ten years
later I’d finally ask a woman
to scan the ink, wondering why
I’d waited this long to find out
I’ve always been sweet but slightly
twisted, I’ve always been
waiting to disappear like this,
bite by bite, into someone’s mouth.




This poem can be found in Journey’s book, The Atheist Wore Goat Silk.

Check out to discover more.

The Chronicle Blog

Welcome to The Chronicle’s newest adventure: a blog!

Just as The Chronicle magazine is a representation of the creativity, talent, and personality of Clemson University’s student body, The Chronicle: The Blog is a representation of the staff behind the scenes.

As a literary and arts magazine staff, we strive to be a group of individuals that value personal expression and the promotion of the arts. In creating an amazing magazine, our main focus is to uplift and advocate for student artists and writers. In doing so, our own works are often forgotten or left behind in the pursuit of promoting others. As a staff, we felt our own creativity needed to be harnessed; and thus, The Chronicle: The Blog was born.

We hope you enjoy this inside look at the minds behind The Chronicle, but most importantly, we hope you are inspired to continue creating, continue growing, and continue exploring the world of literature and art.

-The Chronicle Staff