From Joyland, The House Breathes, by Brandi Wells, tells the story of Crim as she awaits the return of her parents to their shared home. But her parents are gone, and what’s left is her ever present boyfriend, Sal, and the shifting reality of something she once held precious.
Also from Joyland, The Party, by Rion Amilcar Scott, is a very dark story about a child’s birthday party. I mean, it’s dark–it starts with a suicide attempt and just gets darker from there. It’s an interesting take on how the image people project of themselves to others is seldom true, but instead a carefully constructed facade meant to conceal years of emotionally challenging history and personal failings.
I have a personal affinity for freight trains and railroad culture. I have also spent a considerable amount of my free time collecting bones from the railroad tracks. Bones are often the only remaining vestiges of the MANY animals killed by trains. Dead Things, by John Tormey, is an insider’s glimpse (from a rail worker) of the daily confrontation with animal carcasses, in this case, not yet decomposed to the skeletal state. It’s in this week’s issue of Covered with Fur.
From Midnight Breakfast, Sarah Griffin’s essay, Deconstructing an American Apartment, addresses the issue of identity in a foreign culture and the feeling of being unwelcome in your own home. But really, what is home?
In Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair, Nishta Mehra describes her experience of adopting a black son with her partner, Jill. She tenderly tackles issues of “otherness,” “color-blindness,” and assimilation with language that is sensitive and empathetic, yet honest. I will freely admit that this essay brought tears to my eyes, mostly because love is strong and real and Nishta Mehra’s love for her family is palpable. In Guernica.
Also, read this beautiful poem–Stray, by Rae Gouirand. “To stay with yourself/ you wander,/ to stay with myself/ I make a line–/ you invoke me/ as you go.” In The Fanzine.
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