"I’d often see the president wandering the office as if a designer of great importance. . ."
"A name unburdened / under a tangling / like the door / to an unknown tunnel / that leads to the fragrance of the world! "
"Happiness and love, both are exotic, and unbelievably so to a mind that has never known them before. "
"Without the protection of some beauty, / those horns . . . / How against them one's gaze would go"
WE WANT TO SAY:
It’s time for the May Issue. Past time, really.
We have been looking forward to getting this one published.
Haggard hangs our hair this month, and late into our loved one's beds we typeset, revise, summarize and present a range of exciting work.
It’s the time to get a spring check-up with the doc before setting out on holiday (and everyone feels it, no? that reverberation of youth, the anxiousness at the collar to be out doing whatever for three long months). I’ve been getting some regular exercise, you tell the doctor, and this month I've got a plan – a balanced diet: bacon, bacon, bacon, and bacon.
It doesn’t matter what the doctor says (sautéed kale, peaches, cherry tomatoes swiped from a neighbor's garden), you've got your plan and we provide the slab and slice:
Robert "Mr. Bob Detonator" Detman -- provides us a unique look into the office storage space that holds within it, in a cloistered sort of way, something (someone) special. A tiny Alice, Detman discovers a secret passage in the backspaces of the architecture firm he works at.
But this isn’t some supernatural discovery or trick. Non-fiction, right? It’s a dark discovery, head bowed, but a human one and thus grounded. We’ll let you figure out what’s in that closet, and how best to respond.
Alan Johnston’s poems have that Spanish and Caribbean quality we love so much here, especially as the weather takes its warming turn.
They are the faint porch lights glowing, laughter and adventures brewing, the bird’s enticing call and we know - trust - that excitement is on the way soon. These are lusty poems. Sweet and salty. The breeze of summer rolling in from distant seas. . .
One citrus-scented evening in dark tresses and one riding the whorls of some player's solo, a rambunctious, dripping piece that's catacombed in some basement, the door shut so the body heat begins to loosen buttons on its own accord.
From the haze and light, Shibani Chattopadhyay douses your wrist in island-scent. A quick spritz from her spray bottle, a snort of dried flower-essence. Then it's you and Malcolmia, the unfortunate-in-name ship hopper with whom you habit a magical world of water-stones and knife-leaves.
We drew Rushdie and Marquez early out of here (the sun, humidity, the impressionism, the presentation of the story as a layer of cycles, the lack of psychological study in favor of actuality and presence).
And later, Samuel Delaney who's Tales of Neveryon has much of this small community understanding; this island world that towers in its innocence, a clean white slate to explore human relationships and intention.
Stephanie Adams-Santos gives us beautifully lined poems (uncoverings),and rappels us into tombs, Arabic tombs where "the bodies' cold [comes] suddenly from cellar or from moon" into the "underground-of-man".
World-engulfing poetry. Horns grow into and reflect us in dusty streets (the devil's suit is not always ebony; nor is the goat always high in the mountains) of Calcutta. Studies in perspective, all.
These writings circle back, take in the lathes, the roundings, Stephanies own 'wild-solos' as the spool of the issue falls sloping towards a punctuated snapping halt.
Make sure you read these aloud. It's a great way to hear how mature you are, now that you're not six years old.
You're more likely to read your own work aloud if you do it with others, which only steamrolls into better revisions and thus better writing.
Then send that in (hell, include a recording) to us.
We read it all.
Be safe out there, springsters. With much snow and rain comes wet soil. Wet soil is loose soil. And in loose soil, seeds grow.
- Eric & Jason
Shibani Chattopadhyay is a 25 year old writer and artist residing in India and refers to herself as a writist-in-the-making. This is her first published piece.
Robert M. Detman has published fiction in the Antioch Review, Elimae, Evergreen Review, Homestead Review, Santa Monica Review, Spork Press, Wisconsin Review, Word Riot and numerous other journals. His short stories were selected as finalists for the New Letters Literary Awards on two occasions, and his work was awarded fellowship for the 2007 Abroad Writers Conference. He has penned numerous reviews for Rain Taxi, New City and The Southeast Review. Detman is a graduate of The University of Michigan with an MFA from Goddard College.
Allan Johnston has been writing and publishing poetry for over thirty years. His work has appeared in Poetry, Poetry East, Rattle, Rhino, Weber Studies, and more than forty other journals. Among other awards, he has received a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a Pushcart Prize Nomination, and First Prize in Poetry in the 2010 Outrider Press Literary Anthology contest. He's published one book of poetry, Tasks of Survival, which appeared in 1996, and two chapbooks, Northport, published in 2010, and Departures, published in 2013. Besides writing poetry, he writes on American literature and other topics, and is the president of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Education. He teaches writing and literature at Columbia College and at DePaul University, both in Chicago.