In Memoriam: JFR Editor Steven T. Seum (July 19, 1978 – December 29, 2017)

Dear readers, Jet Fuel Review has established a memorial page for our dear editor Steven T. Seum with some of his work as well as tributes from his peers and professors. This is work-in-progress as we will continue to update the page with pieces about Steve from students, faculty, and others. If you have anything you’d like to say about Steve, please send it to our JFR blog editor Michael Lane and/or Simone Muench, and we will post it on this page as we are able. If you would like to donate groceries to his family, there is information at the bottom of this page for a GoFundMe organized by Steve’s brother, Michael Seum, as well as a link to a food delivery service called Meal Train created by Amber Ruland.Simone Muench

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Steve Seum at the JFR Issue #14 Launch on November 30th, 2017

The Chronic Appeal
by Steven Seum

(Written for Dr. Jen Consilio’s Advanced Writing course)

“We are not to blame for our illness, but we are responsible for our health.”- Victoria Maxwell, BPP

Being overwhelmed by multiple, debilitating chronic health issues at any time in my life was mind-bogglingly unanticipated.  My back has been sliced and diced twice (once through my back, and the second time through a six-inch opening starting at my navel and going down past my waist).  I now have an artificial disc in the lumbar region of my back, I deal with chronic neuropathy, I have limited control over my right leg, and I have dealt with Crohn’s disease, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, for the past twenty-six years of my life, all at the age of thirty-eight.  Unable to anticipate each day bares an undesirable burden.  I am incapable of anticipating when my back will seize up, as various muscle groups compensate for the injured region, or the surgically repaired and replaced areas of my back will ache a deep ache, pulsing in time with my heart, or if I will be stuck running, no, sprinting to the bathroom because of my Crohn’s disease and the side effects which come with it (the fatigue, the vitamin deficiencies, the joint pain)—a daily routine was ruled out long ago. This is how it is for anyone dealing with anything chronic or invisible, or those close to it—our family and friends—and the side effects that come with chronic illness and the depression, the lack of routine, and the inability to live a “human” existence (the “human” existence is simply a dream I have of a life apart from this dysfunctional body of mine).  There is much I would like to say, to those new to these chronic issues, which would provide a positive story or feedback of a structured regimen, but even the best of us know that the struggle for remission is an overwhelming and intimidating burden of this disease.

“As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.” – Neil Gaiman

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Three Perspectives on “Snowpiercer”

Below are three perspectives on the 2013 film Snowpiercer.


Sarah George
Engine or tail; where do you belong on the train?

In 2013, Bong Joon-ho directed a film that received universal acclaim for keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. Snowpiercer is an action, drama, and science-fiction film that introduces viewers to a world where the lines between good and evil are blurred. Chris Evans portrays Curtis, the tail-section passenger determined to reach the front of the train. Jamie Bell plays Edgar, a young man who worships Curtis, but never seems to be able to impress him.

As the film progresses, Curtis is able to form a plan that gets tail-section dwellers to the front section. As the audience goes on this journey with Curtis, we see his horror as he realizes that the insects on the train are being used for the protein blocks being fed to the tail-section passengers.

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Jet Fuel Review Special Section: Bouts-Rimés

The Jet Fuel Review is hosting a bouts-rimés dossier for our Spring 2016 issue in addition to its regular content. A bouts-rimés is essentially a collaborative sonnet in which everyone uses the same proposed rhymes in the same order. Please feel free to send us 1-3 bouts-rimés using the rhymes below in their specific order. You can submit your work here. The proposed rhymes are as follows:

a: envelope
b: orange
a: telescope
b: singe

c: eyelash
d: wire
c: mustache
d: fire

e: underhand
f: render
e: ampersand
f: tender

g: photogenic
g: pomegranate

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
bouts-rimés, (French: “rhymed ends”), rhymed words or syllables to which verses are written, best known from a literary game of making verses from a list of rhyming words supplied by another person. The game, which requires that the rhymes follow a given order and that the result make a modicum of sense, is said to have been invented by the minor French poet Dulot in the early 17th century. Its wide popularity inspired at least one notable tour de force, an extended satirical poem by the French poet Jean-François Sarasin.). The fad was revived in the 19th century when Alexandre Dumas invited French poets and versifiers to try their skill with given sets of rhymes and published the results in 1865.

“Jamie” by Gina Capperino

Gina Capperino
Gina Capperino

An introductory note on the short story “Jamie” by Gina Capperino:

I used to live in a small suburb close to Midway airport — it wasn’t the best area, but I was too young to notice what was really around me. I fell in love with the rainy days in my neighborhood because there would always be a lingering fog that was hard to describe in such a small amount of words. Being a dog person, I was always looking to tell a story about how letting go can be for the better.

Gina Capperino is a junior at Lewis University and a member of the Jet Fuel Review staff.

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Three Perspectives: Why Halloween is a Classic Film

Three Student Perspectives on the Endurance of John Carpenter’s Halloween:


Ahimme CazarezHalloween_cover
John Carpenter’s Halloween is one of the most enduring American horror films ever made because of the sense of obscurity, mystery, and abnormality we receive from the character of Michael Myers. When first introduced to Myers, we are not sure of his past or why he behaves in the way that he does. We do not understand why he kills his sister or what his motives are for killing others. As the audience, we try to answer those questions ourselves and comprehend what is happening. In my case, I would argue that Myers was feeling some kind of grudge toward his sister for not taking care of him properly and not providing him attention. His sister was attending to her boyfriend and not him, which angered him tremendously, making him want to kill her.

If we look at the situation in a Freudian way, we could even argue that Myers had some kind of physical attraction to his sister. But we never really know his true intentions, and it is that type of secrecy that really captivates an audience. The use of normal, small town, teenage characters also allows for viewers to identify with what is happening, making the story more impactful. At some points it even becomes believable. A deranged stranger that hunts for his victims on a night like Halloween sounds like something that could actually happen. All this, topped off with the iconic violent scenes that spawned the usage of slash and gore in horror film, makes this movie revolutionary.

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​​In Memoriam: JFR Editor Lucas Boelter (Sept 23, 1990-Sept 24, 2015)

Dear readers, Jet Fuel Review has established a memorial page for our editor Lucas Boelter with some of his poetry, which deserves to be read. There are also tribute comments about Lucas from students, faculty, and others. If you have anything you’d like to say about Lucas, please send it to our blog editor, Michael Lane, and we will post it on this page as we are able. You can also read an interview with Lucas here



Imagine I have a hook
and your body splayed above me,
hooked, and it is as if each cut
breathes, like a mouth, into my

We are kissing, darling,
how I have prayed for this.



Lucas Boelter’s intellect, imagination, and conscientiousness allowed him to be a striking writer and excellent editor. The qualities of his poetry, which you will see below, embrace the marvelous, contain an affinity for oddities, and involve dreaming and liminal states as they drift between levels of perception, invoking magical and dazzling tableaux with their lyrical complexities. They revel in the imagination, creating strange landscapes, refreshing tonal changes, and complicated sonic terrains as evidenced in his poem “Waterfall,” in which he creates sonic pulses, echoing the rhythms of falling water by building on the “w” and “l” sounds:IMG_2165

. . . It will be my
waterfall and we will have children who
will rest on my shoulders. I will be a
waterfall god of sorts. The children will
be called Cougar and Matthew and in the
parks we will stroll.

Although Lucas’s poems are quirky and whimsical, and often conversational, they are counterbalanced with gravitas as they investigate and pose questions about the nature of “being,” as in the closing lines of his sonnet with the loaded title “Rest Room”:

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Student Book Review: Zone One

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Sabrina Hill, a student of Dr. Dawn Walts at Lewis University. Sabrina has written a book review and it is posted below. You can read her full bio at the end of the post.

Not Your Usual Zombie Apocalypse: A Review of Zone One

Zombie apocalypse books, graphic novels and horror-survival’ games read or played via the Xbox or Playstation or what have you essentially surround the “hack-and-slash” genre of blood-splattering good-ol’ “shoot ‘em in the head” kind of zombies. Zone One, by Colson Whitehead takes a drastic turn from this blood-lust pandemonium that has swept the country (most notably in the graphic-novel-turned-immensely-popular-AMC-TV-show The Walking Dead) and focuses more on the intimate experiences of one B-grade mediocre man humorously dubbed Mark Spitz.

Mark Spitz is “their typical, he was their most, he was their average,” man who is the best suited to survive the end of the world. (Whitehead, 9) The novel takes place in New York’s effectively labeled ‘zone one’ area that is the island of Manhattan where a group of three amusing and well-rounded characters partake in “sweeping” the buildings for leftover skels (short for skeletons) and stragglers (skels who have reverted back to their old routines) left behind by the military. Though society has crumbled, a new order has risen out of the ashes of New York taking Buffalo as their capital. Mark Spitz and his company of two are in the process of sweeping zone one in order to make Manhattan once again habitable for humans.

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Reflection on Emerson & Thoreau

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Samantha Little, a student in Dr. White’s American Literature class at Lewis University.  Dr. White’s students were to submit some of their public posts for the class to the Jet Fuel Review Blog as an assignment. Samantha has written a reflection on two works by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Disobedience”

In “Self-Reliance,” Emerson says, “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men—that is genius” (Emerson 533). This idea suggests that you should “trust thyself,” as well as trust your thoughts and intuition (Emerson 534). Many people do not speak what is on their mind in fear of what others may think about what they have to say and Emerson sees this as a problem. Although you may not think so, but you are unique and have genius thoughts and you need to trust yourself enough to sound these thoughts because that is the only way they will be heard and the only way that people will recognize your genius. Someone who is able to voice their opinion and thoughts should value themselves greatly and see themselves as equal.

Emerson & Thoreau on Environment

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Peter Jokubauskas, a student in Dr. White’s American Literature class at Lewis University.  Dr. White’s students were to submit some of their public posts for the class to the Jet Fuel Review Blog as an assignment. Peter has written his post on the environmental opinions of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

One of the great questions of today’s world is the status of the natural environment. Between global climate change, pollution, deforestation, and any number of other man made assaults upon nature, many question whether the environment should be protected closely or simply left to be harvested and divided up for profit. Were they still alive today, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau would have much to say on these issues. Both Emerson and Thoreau found a deep connection between themselves and nature, and they would surly argue that the natural world must be preserved and protected. The writings of these nineteenth century men are important to modern audiences because contain the idea that within nature, man truly finds himself, and as such, nature and the environment must be preserved and protected.

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Questioning Faith in Hawthorne


Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Katie Esposito, a student in Dr. White’s American Literature class at Lewis University.  Dr. White’s students were to submit some of their public posts for the class to the Jet Fuel Review Blog as an assignment. Katie has provided her post on the questioning of faith in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, “Young Goodman Brown.”

 The Questioning of Faith in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”

All American people have the tendency to question who they are at some point in their life and question the faith that they believe in.  Many Americans experiment with different religions throughout their life in an attempt to see which is best for them and what makes most sense to them.

One of the authors and texts that I find most interesting in Early American Literature is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” (1835) because in this text, the main character embarks on a journey to find his faith.  Embarking on a journey in order to change oneself is a habit that most Americans have, including me.

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