First, apologies for the late appearance of this issue. A number of factors contributed to the delay; they all, rather eerily, appeared to be manifestations of “things” going wrong.
It often does seem that “things” are against us. Les choses sont contre nous, as the French have it. It’s an idea that Paul Jennings anglicised and elaborated in his sixties philosophy of “resistentialism” — the graduated hostility of things, the marmalade-downward incidence of dropped breakfast toast varying directly with the quality of carpet, and so on. In our glitch-ridden electronic age, the resistentialist creed is making a comeback. But of course whether you see a thing as malevolent, beneficent or neutral, it’s really all in the eye of the beholder. At least I’d better say that, since the things are probably watching.
There are lots of ways of looking at, and interacting with, things — as the range of thing-ideas from our writers demonstrates. While Norman Ball’s “Stubborn Belly Fat” certainly seems to have definite resisentialist leanings, Judith Graham’s “25a Schumann Street” goes in a somewhat different direction (one I can identify with, being in the midst of a house move as I write this) with a kitchen that “sprouted cupboards” while knick-knacks “flowered” on shelves — somehow the things seem to have escaped human control. This is much like my keyboard with a mnid of its own.
Both those authors are making their first appearance in this issue. We have a number of other new names as well: Chris Bullard, John Byrne, T. S. Davis, Richard Joines, Kean Kaufmann, David Stephenson, and Christopher Whitby. Making return appearances are David W. Landrum, Rick Mullin and, yes, Catherine Chandler. Special congratulations to Catherine — six out of six!
Again we have two Editor’s invitationals. Michael Juster offers some advice, in a new sonnet and a short essay, for would-be winners of the Nemerov Award — something he ought to know a thing or three about, as a triple winner. And from former selection panelist Rose Kelleher, we have the fine sonnet “Neanderthal Bone Flute” (fitting this issue’s theme) along with her succinct observations on sonnet selection — would-be submitters, please ponder.
My thanks again to the selection panel and our artist-photographer. (Detailed acknowledgments and links are here.)
Issue 7, due out December 14, with the New Year in sight, will focus on the theme of Beginnings, interpreted in any way the authors choose.