SLUSH PILE MAGAZINE HAS PROVIDED ME my first experiential understanding of aging: when I put up the first issues at the tender age of…ahem…[the age that I was a year and a half ago] they seemed to fly out of my hands and onto the screen. I could hardly contain my youthful vigor. I was putting them up at a rate of one per month, which now seems both laughable and impossible. And here comes the lesson: turns out that getting older means that you just can’t get things done as quickly as you used to. These days, Slush Pile goes up at the leisurely rate of whenever I feel like it. Of course, I’d be much more gallant about finding you all (and myself) these edifying morsels of lit if someone felt like paying me to do it. Do any of you? Funny, I never thought to ask. Ahhh, money: the key to eternal youth.

Meantime, regardless of our age and poverty, we aren’t quite ready for retirement!

In fact, I am just busting up with excitement about this issue. Remember last issue when I said that we were paring down to just Short Fiction and Art? Yeah, turns out I was kidding. Our Featured Poet this issue is Becky Thompson. I exploited a few connections and stalked her a bit in order to get her here, and you can see for yourself how handsomely I was rewarded for my efforts.

Another exciting thing about this issue, is that my dearest and brilliant friend Sara Petras is finally showing some of her art in a gallery. In honor of this event, Sara has condescended to put her own work up in this issue. Details of her show will be listed in the Art Section where, for the first and only time ever, Sara Petras Curates: Sara Petras.

And, WOW, the fiction this issue! It’s spectacular. Let me start by welcoming back Suzanne Barnecut to Slush Pile, who has sent me the first story of hers that I ever loved, called Maps, which is (yet another) honest slice of human interaction, treated with perfect amounts of wonder and bewilderment. In the same vein are Lee Landers’ story Ones for Tens, a story about that one unforgettable teenage crush, and Max Ross’ Ecuador! Chile! Peru!

Then there is The Missionary by Ashley Mayne. I kicked up a conversation about Slush Pile with this girl in a restaurant in Manhattan six months ago and this is what she sent me. I think she is far too young to be writing such good fiction.

The last piece has arrived to Slush Pile Magazine all the way from Australia via Jane Dickenson, To the Next Girl Who Dates W, and it is the best story about dating that I have ever read. It’s clever, and funny, and maybe its my time of life but it, like, totally resonated with me. And I would like to dedicate it (with your permission, Jane) to W himself (that ass), to all the guys that I have dated in the past year or two, and to the guys that my friends have dated in the past year or two. In fact, I would like to dedicate it to men everywhere. And to women everywhere! Here’s to Mars and Venus and all the ways they don’t understand each other. And here’s to that guy who wrote that book about it.

So, to W, and J, and S, and O and all the others to come: may we all grow old together! Or not.


— M.R. Branwen


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