Issue 2: Old Things — Editors’ Note

On Jan. 1, we put out a call for submissions of old things. Our vision was for an issue steeped in days gone by, their antiquities, and preservations. Surely the Grimm Brothers’ iron chest could contain any number of old things: The fairy tale’s instance of discovery presupposes a thing having first been lost; and in this issue, we explore that loss in relation to time.

In one sense, old things are familiar to us, since with any old thing we share some history, some link, albeit one that may be forgotten or not explicitly known. There’s something familiar about the buried crescendo of sound that swells from within Adalena Kavanagh’s short story “Dumbwaiter,” for instance; something about the smudged handwriting in Rose Swartz’s poem “A-frame” we recognize as having been read before.

Yet old things, too, are surprising, for the very fact that they’re from a time different from ours, one that can cast a strange light on the present. Such is the case in “Kinda Big with the Ghosts Back Home,” the poem by Dustin Parsons whose populations of townspeople—some living, some dead—intersect and lap at one another in ways that turn strange the look of a pebble, or the cast of the whole sky at sunset.

This is an issue of old buildings and abandoned lots. Tupperware babies spilling everywhere, multiplying. Ghosts. Phantoms from the past that can’t be shaken or dodged. Burials, and things that just won’t stay buried. This is an issue of myths. In this issue we delve into the territories of the old, yes, but also the space between us and those territories—between the then and now, the there and here, the lost and found.

We have resident illustrator Libby Burns to thank for this issue’s art. Please note that Issue 2: Old Things features two new downloadable formats, ePUB and MOBI, in addition to its free PDF and web formats. Many thanks to each of our contributors.

— Susan Anspach, Carlea Holl-Jensen, LiAnn Yim
June 2013

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