It’s a little like saying you don’t like apple pie or puppies or brown paper packages tied up with strings, but I don’t really care for springtime in the Rockies. It’s too unpredictable, too capricious. One gloriously sunny day you think you’ll pack away your heavy coat, gloves, and sweaters; the next day you’re scraping three inches of snow from your windshield, the eager bulbs that emerged just days before now frostbitten and chagrined by their early arrival. It’s an unstable season, the temperature often out of sync with the calendar’s saccharine images of songbirds and blossoming buds. But instability in fiction—that’s an altogether different, even desirable, thing. It’s often the very element that draws us in, and the stories in our spring issue reflect this. Janis Hubschman’s “Fearless” takes us to Italy, where three women traveling together find themselves negotiating the ever-shifting dynamics of their friendship. In Kent Nelson’s “Turquoise Water, Terns Hovering,” a man’s ex-wife suddenly—after years of chilly silence—wants to change the terms of their relationship. The budding friendship between two young men in Joseph O’Malley’s “Land of Motionless Childhood” is threatened when one begins to undermine the other’s romantic relationship. And in Jordan Rossen’s “Age of Adjustments,” a couple must return their newly adopted infant when the adoption is revoked, shattering their fledgling parenthood and altering the trajectory of their marriage.
The essays here too are situated in states of flux and disorientation. Christine Kaiser Bonasso ruminates on the discomfort of living in the vast expanse between inaction and involvement—indifference and compassion—in her lyric essay “Throwing Doves.” In “Go Away and Stay Right Here,” Christopher Citro riffs on the push-and-pull nature of electricity and the somewhat disconcerting truth that so many of us don’t really understand how this fundamental force works. And in “Barnacle” Emily Fox Gordon looks back, through the lens of her mother’s old letters, on her childhood self, attempting to reconcile the pain and wonder of that time.
Enjoy the selections here, and may the push and pull of spring be gentle on your soul.
More often all the time, I am given to lament the mindlessness of change and to strike out, if only in imagination, in anger at these unfamiliar days. Damned internet. Damned hip-hop. Damned uncorsetted strangers in their silly little hats. Thank goodness for the spring. It is the mercy of springtime to show the deep intelligence of change and the Blazon of the New. Our poems this time around avow and avow. They notice and avow. See Lindsey Alexander: “it’s all golden and fresh.” See Mary Elder: “rolling to the robin birthday.” See Rick Lyon: “Seasons change, dead things come alive again.” Hey-nonny-no was hip-hop long ago.
Featured in This Issue
Lindsey Alexander, Ruth Baumann, Christine Kaiser Bonasso, Terrence Chiusano, Christopher Citro, Mary Elder, Molly Lou Freeman, Sarah Gambito, Emily Fox Gordon, Miriam Bird Greenberg, Janis Hubschman, Colette Inez, Justin Irizarry, John James, Brandon Krieg, Mike Lala, James Longenbach, Lisa Lubasch, Rick Lyon, Catherine Marvel, Matt Morton, Jenny Mueller, Kent Nelson, Timothy O’Keefe, Joseph O’Malley, Christopher Phelps, Catherine Pierce, John Poch, Maya Catherine Popa, Christina Pugh, Ethel Rackin, Dough Ramspeck, Juliet Rodeman, Jordan Rossen, Craig Morgan Teicher, Gale Marie Thompson, Marina Weiss, Rae Winkelstein, Kathleen Winter, Ronnie Yates