"Only then, or perhaps later in the night, / Alone, will the suspicion strike you, sharp / As the taste of spice"
"My wife sees herself in my stories sometimes in ways I would disagree with. But then maybe that's the problem with trusting the subconscious."
"Holy cow! Look at all that water, son!' I could make out his teeth, squinting, bared, smiling. "
"And Hart, I need you to make trails on this one. It's got somebody's arm."
WE WANT TO SAY:
We've missed you & you us (fingers crossed). But not to fear: grandma's got the crème this time around, and you'll be making an appointment with the dentist after putting down this handful of sugar.
We bump this month off with poems by Femi Osofisan, a writer who's had influence not only in our local microcosm of the universe, but also (and especially) in Nigeria and the entire African continent.
Femi's poetry has been caressed by the delicate touch of the Goddess, and “A Woman of Promise” is a good place to start your readings and familiarize yourself with her. After you cruise through that, venture on to Femi's nod to fellow poet Niyi Osundare on his 60th birthday, a poem realizing the tendrils of age; it speaks to the transition/s of poets who've been on the battlefront for awhile now, and who are pausing to consider the sharpness of their weapons before stepping back into the fray.
A new piece from our trusty co-editor, Eric Westerlind, is about the essential stuff in life -- agua. Worth more than gold in the desert lands of Colorado, this is a seemingly endless search for hydration. Opaque and ambiguous, the topographical and demarcating lines in this story are blurred at best. At what point does consciousness and dream-life intersect? How far apart are illusion and rationality?
This little tale of sand and mirage will spin you, and before you know it, you might be giving away the things that keep your life going – so tread carefully, and be sure to pack a compass, because in the canyons of Water, it's hard to tell north from south.
We'll take south, though, by geography, to Tennessee, where one previously-mentioned S. Craig Renfroe Jr. sits waiting for us (tardy to the party) in a Starbucks. Kind enough to answer some of our questions, Renfroe discusses professorhood, the perks of the sex joke, and the power of the subconscious in this tiddly of an interview.
Dutiful, graciously, he helps us fill in the man behind On Bondage.
One more flatboat south. But ain't the south dangerous, you ask? Of course. And that's why we go. . . To Bayou lands. Is that how you spell that? Bijoux. The jeweled home of crocodiles. A new word for us out of this one (let you track it down): SuperCroc. 'Something you see on 60 minutes'.
It's clean and gnarled, a story like an old working man's hands. Taylor Brown selling it straight. Head to his site for more gobbling, some of which– after us– is half-chewed.
That's it, siblings.
June for you, June for me.
June got caught in the Mayleaf Tree,
holding Jimmy's hands,
Taylor Brown's short fiction has appeared in CutBank, Plots with Guns, Thuglit, Pindeldyboz, storySouth, Porchlight, The Dead Mule, The Liars' League, and The Press 53 Open Awards and Press 53 Spotlight anthologies. His story "Rider" received the 2009 Montana Prize in Fiction. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and his website is taylorbrownfiction.com.
Femi Osofisan studied in Ibadan, Dakar and Paris and taught theatre and comparative literature at the University of Ibadan for 34 years, a post from which he recently retired. In addition to his work in the theatre—where he is to be found playing diverse roles as actor, director, song writer, composer and company leader—Osofisan, aka Okinba Launko is also an outstanding poet, translator, critic and theorist of literature, and features as one of the regular columnists in Nigeria’s leading newspapers.
Osofisan has written over fifty plays, which have been performed in various parts of the world, and some of which were commissioned by theatres in Europe and America.
He is a Fellow of Interweaving Performance Cultures, International Research Center, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (2012), working on Performance in an/Other Space: Recreating the Genre of European Crime Fiction in an African Context.
Eric Westerlind co-edits this journal. He's trying not to consider this cheating. He's working on keeping some geraniums alive, pink bastards that they are. His blog, his work.