EDITORIAL REMARKS by M.R. Branwen
PROSTITUTION, DRUG ADDICTION, troubled marriage; tea parties: welcome to Issue Fourteen. It has the usual assortment of uplifting content that we love over here at Slush Pile Magazine.
In fiction this issue Jerry Whitus takes us into the death rattle of a failing marriage, Jackie Thomas-Kennedy has written a lovely rumination on unrequited love and power outages, and M. Elias Keller does a fantastic job of humanizing a prostitute as his neurotic protagonist falls for one, against his better judgment. Wally Rudolph, meanwhile, has contributed a drug-riddled escape narrative through Colorado; it’s still dark, but it kind of reads like an action movie. In non-fiction, Slush Pile alum Tove Danovich takes us on a trip through Norway and nostalgia while exploring the way that emotional memory colors our experience of physical locations.
And speaking of small doses of melancholia, our featured artist delivers them in intricate mixed media compositions on Japanese paper. Thanks to the efforts of Sara Petras, our Art section mastermind, David Curcio has contributed his work, which, in the words of the artist, “call to you from across the room and drag you over, closer, closer.” I suppose you can only get so close to your computer screen, but don’t let that stop you from giving each of them a good look. Not only am I so enamored of them, but David has also contributed a beautiful, honest, and articulate interview, which can be found in the Art section.
I am also really excited about our poetry this issue. Remember Matthew Hotham, our former Slush Pile poetry editor who used to procure us all of that fantastic poetry in the early days of Slush Pile? In Issue Eight I reported that he had been “eaten alive by North Carolina.” That did, in fact, happen. But he has come back to us from the great beyond! Not to work, because he has a way fancier gig now as the Editor-in-Chief of The Carolina Quarterly, but with two beautiful poems about heartache.
Then, because I didn’t want to leave you heavy-hearted and reaching for the whisky, I threw in a few nods to the not-dark side: Douglas Burgess has contributed an extended piece about tea-taking neighbor-ladies whose feud runs amok and Jeffrey Gross riffs on Wallace Stevens about hipsters. So I guess you’ll find that funny, or not, depending on your tolerance for irony and/or if you’ve ever lived in Williamsburg. (Brooklyn, NY, not Virginia) (although, who’s to say they don’t have a bunch of twenty-two year olds running around with obnoxious handlebar mustaches there, too?).
Then I went and did something completely unexpected, so you’ll have to let me know what you think. If you recall, once upon a time at Slush Pile Magazine we wrangled David Thorpe into writing some music reviews for us — I wonder if you realize that I am always speaking in “the royal we,” here? Anyway, this issue I really got to missing a music feature. And of course, I listen to music as ferociously as ever. So I just decided, on the spur of the moment, to include a column of youtube videos featuring some of the songs that I have had on repeat, lately. I called it NOW HEAR THIS, which I thought sounded both kind of humorously pompous and reminiscent of The Princess Bride. I thought maybe it would be of interest to some of you folks who exert less time and energy maniacally finding new (or discovering old) awesome music.
Let me know what you think about it. I can do it every issue, if you like it. Actually, I might just start doing it every issue because I — I mean, we — like it.
— Mister Branwen