ALL OF THE STORIES in this issue have the underpinnings of a fable or legend, which would be especially apparent if you translated them into, say, Old English. But then, most things would sound pretty legendary in Old English.
Already I digress.
Here’s what we’ve got going on: First of all, an editing project. A few of us endeavored to edit pieces of classic literature into something new. Luke Jones came through with a fantastic trio of stories about seafaring, then Roland Goity remixed some D. H. Lawrence and I myself up-ended some Lewis Carroll to get in on the fun. Rounding out the fiction this issue, we have two new strange fairy tales from Cezarija Abartis; a cautionary family tale from Slush Pile newcomer Tyler Sage, and a lovely, haunting piece from Catherine Parnell.
As an aesthete, I must admit that the titles of the fiction in this issue please me especially. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did pick most of them. But listen: At Sea, Filthy Lucre, Tinto, Vivre Le Mystere! That’s a healthy and intriguing mouthful.
And they’re going to be even more fun to read. (read more)
HER FATHER WAS A HORSEMAN, a traveler, but he settled in the village and married Chariclo. He left the band of raiders, reformed or maybe, in his heart, was never completely one of them.
His youngest daughter was said to have the gift of prophecy, but really it was intuition and wisdom, the understanding of consequences, of cause and effect, which most people blithely ignore. She had learned from a sailor how to predict... (read more)
ALICE HAD BEGUN TO THINK that very few things indeed were really impossible, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately.
She walked a little and then found herself, at last, in a beautiful garden, among bright flower-beds and cool fountains. A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it–shaped oblong and flat... (read more)
SHE WAS A BEAUTIFUL but bitter woman, burdened by her children and the failed prospects of her husband. People never noticed, saying of her, “She is such a good mother. She adores her children.” But she and her children knew otherwise. They read it in each other’s eyes. (read more)
DEATH IS AT ALL TIMES solemn, but never so much so as at sea. A dozen men embark upon the wide, wide ocean. The lost man is seldom mentioned. There are no new faces to fill the gap. He knew his work and did his duty. God won’t be hard on the poor fellow.
Some had heard that he repented. Never having learned to swim, he knew he would meet his death by drowning. (read more)
CALUM CAMPBELL'S SUMMER PLACE was on the other side of the island, separated from us by a long stand of hemlocks my aunt planted twenty years ago. Calum’s place was a mess. The cottage, painted corn worm green, listed to one side, having been built on stacked rocks where the terrain was uneven; the cedar shingles on the boathouse and the rest of the outbuildings had faded to a sad gray. (read more)
LARRY HAD A KID. He told himself that this was his defining feature. His great contribution to the world. He had poured his soul and himself into a woman and a boy had come out, connected to him, mystical, love and blood stretched like some arcing current the half mile across the city to where the boy lived. (read more)
VIVE LE MYSTERE! an hour with the artist Paul Richard
PAUL RICHARD LOOKS COMPLETELY out of place in the year 2011.
He comes clattering down the hallway with Ranger, his dog, in tow. Ranger is the kind of energetic, big-jawed dog who scares non-dog lovers. And he smells like a dog. He’s a man’s dog, that’s for sure, and I’ve seen a YouTube video of him eating a t-bone steak in three zealous bites, a whole raw chicken, a pork chop. It’s a video that Paul made. It’s graphic, and extremely unappetizing. And, like a good deal of Paul’s art, it’s difficult to know how you’re meant to feel about it. (read more)
FEATURED ARTIST Sabrina Mansouri
SABRINA MANSOURI WAS BORN in 1977 in Silver Spring, MD and raised in Tehran during her early formative years. She attending the School of Visual Arts where she received her BFA and she was also an Ellen B. Stoekel fellowship recipient from Yale University. Her work deals with issues of identity and imperfection. Sabrina lives and works in New York City.