FALL 2020Volume 3, Issue 1

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

I’ve always had this hunch about Moonlight Sonata-it doesn’t require any special brand of dexterity, but you better be at least the best artist in your neighborhood to have any hope of getting the cadence right. But that’s all art is really- individualistic cadences; altered rhythms of the same shared tunes. We are not in a search for new subjects. Our realities and our fever dreams are linked to the same broken chains, now more than ever, and escaping into plot or genre is a kind of abdication; It’s theatre, not conviction of purpose. We find ourselves and argue for our positions inside cadence, and forge identity through emphasis, more so than even imagination. The world is laid out before us. What is it that we’d like to do with it? And which part of the painting do we wish to give our attention? We may have more choice than we’ve been led to believe. 

             

I’ve been an Emersonian since college. And yet, ironically, I’ve frequently been accused of many of the things he derides—been castigated as one of his “meek men” hiding out in libraries,  been told that I am a man imprisoned by reference, consumed by history, and overly influenced by and responsive to things that move and stimulate me. I plead guilty to all these charges. But while Emerson had the concept right, I think he had the reference point backwards. I’ve come to think that it is far more dangerous to be imprisoned by the smallness of contemporary citizenship than it is to be driven to distraction by a line of verse or a few bars of Dylan, Coltrane or The Alabama Shakes. We are besieged by smallness because we are stuck watching only the channels that feature small people, forgetting that when a man in black walks on stage and says, “I’m Johnny Cash,” the smallness goes away.  The moment in history we must unburden ourselves from is the one happening right now. And no, that didn’t just become true all of the sudden in this year of years.     

 

It's all so impermanent anyway, and that’s good news; permanence is one of those cravings we’d despise if we ever actually achieved it. There was a marathon of Season Four of The West Wing on the day before this November’s election. That season originally aired during the time that I was an intern/speechwriter for Sen. Kennedy, and I was struck by a tangible memory of how much it all use to mean to me, how much energy I used to have for it, and how far away I have drifted from that feeling now. In our little corridor of the Russell Senate Office Building were the offices of Sens. Kennedy, Kerry, McCain, Ted Stevens, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell. I’m not yet 40, and none of those men remain in the chamber, and half of them are dead.

 

I have too often been a sentimentalist masquerading as a romantic--one of Whitman’s “corpses” lingering a little too long in the old comfortable doorways—and its past time we all behave like romantics now.  I’ve always enjoyed the rusty eternity of Dublin and was worried we’d all lose some of that in the whitewash that inevitably follows a notoriously bad year. But it turns out that that was never really the point anyway and I should have had more faith. I’ll see you in the spring.

Cheers,

Joseph M. Reynolds

STAFF PICKS

Books/Literature

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Amber)

Mermicide by Mina Rose
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Eri)

 

Light in August by William Faulkner

The House by Tom Murphy

The Sea by John Banville

Providencia (poems) by Sean Frederick Forbes (Joe)

An American Sunrise (poems) by Joy Harjo

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and home by Sonja Boon

How to Love a Country (poems) by Richard Blanco

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

Unlearning Race: Self-Portrait in Black and White by Thomas Chatterton Williams (Sean)

Cherry by Nico Walker (Tom)

 

Film

Pleasantville (Eri)

Moonlight Kingdom

You Can Count on Me (Joe)

Adrift

Dimplin' (Sean)

Parasite (Tom)

Television

The Owl House (Amber)

 

Animaniacs (Eri)

The Simpsons - Season 5

Bojack Horseman - Season 5 (Joe)

The Good Lord Bird (miniseries) (Tom)

 

Music (Albums)

We Fell in Love in October  by Girl in Red (Amber)

Beetlejuice: the Musical (soundtrack)

35mm: a Musical Exhibition by Ryan Scott Oliver and Matthew Murphy (Eri)

 

Once (Soundtrack)

White Ladder by David Grey

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauren Hill

A Young Man's Country by Daniel Donato

Thirds by James Gang

Really by J.J. Cale

The Witmark Demos 1962-1964 by Bob Dylan

Easy Beat by Dr. Dog

Vignettes by Wesley Shultz (Tom)

Songs

"Cocaine and Abel" by Amigo the Devil

"Hell and You (grotto sessions)" by Amigo the Devil

"Stronger then Dead" by Amigo the Devil

"The Pot & Kettle" by Rumjacks

"Burn the Witch" by Shawn James (Eri)

"Midnight Sky" by Miley Cyrus

"Blue Curacao" by Quisol (Sean)

EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor in Chief / Fiction Editor | Joseph M. Reynolds
Managing Editor | Samuel Marx
Poetry Editor | Sean Frederick Forbes

Nonfiction Editor | Thomas Keith
Book Review Editor | Amber Smith
Film Review Editor | Cassandra Steele
Music Review Editor | Kevin Carr
Layout/Design | Erica Lauer

Head of Fundraising | Loretto Leary