I’ve spent the last several days on the west coast, and the cooler temperatures of the Bay Area have been a welcome respite from central Florida’s summer heat. The last couple of mornings, I’ve run along the trail at Coyote Creek, and the fifty-five degree mornings have been glorious. In spite of the name, I’ve seen far more warehouses and delivery trucks than coyotes–honestly, there hasn’t been a single coyote sighting so far, and their absence here reminds me of their absence back home in Florida, where new construction seems to have driven them away. But still, I watched a field mouse take shelter under jasmine, and alongside the sounds of trucks and of planes taking off and landing at SJC and SFO, there’s been birdsong of a different kind here, and mountains nearby, and the vast open water beyond the bridge.
There is water at the center of the summer issue: the “full body thirst” in Rachel Federman’s short prose, the drowning music of the Shenandoah in Rich Follett’s poem, the push and pull of life’s tides in Katharine Cristiani’s series, the “oceans of glass / creatures” that Noel Wingard’s speaker finds at the edge of the sea. And perhaps, this movement through water allows some purification, some cleansing, some move (however slight) toward hope after the loss expressed in many of the issue’s early pieces: the loss of betrayal, the loss of a child, the loss of naivete and innocence. As, for instance, we see as the narrator of Matthew Krajniak’s “Porch Light” responds to loss by discovering beauty and light in its depth.
In Issue Twenty-Five, you’ll find poetry and prose from Stephen Barile, Andrew Hudson Barter, Kathleen Calby, AG Compaine, Katharine Cristiani, Rachel Federman, Rich Follett, Goddfrey Hammit, Ute Kelly, Matthew Krajniak, George Looney, Rachel Mallalieu, Jessica Lee McMillan, Al Ortolani, Karl Plank, Betty Stanton, Stefan Sullivan, Noel Wingard, and Anastasia Vassos as well as an image by Patricia Merlino and two handmade collages by Howie Good.
Digital and print versions of our summer issue are available through Mag Cloud. Digital versions of the issue are free, and perfect-bound copies of the issue will cost twelve dollars. You can order print copies and read the issue online at this link.