Summer Solstice, 2017
I know it looks like a lot, this issue.
I know you’re thinking, “What will I ever do with so many words? Where will I put them? They’ll go bad before I ever get to them all!” But trust us—you can make room. Even the bad words have a place.
Maybe especially the bad ones.
This is what is summer is all about: abundance. Excess. Doing what feels good because we’re alive, and we can.
Here’s what I want you to do: take a few of the poems in this issue and eat them, raw. Right now. Savor them. Get sticky.
Then, grab a story. Hack it into chunks. Sprinkle it with sugar, or salt. Share it with friends.
What happens next is up to you. Maybe you want to pack some of the words from this issue into a suitcase and take them somewhere. Or, maybe they’ll take you. Maybe you’ll transcribe these words into the sand and let the tide wash them away. Maybe you’ll unscrew the top of the issue and let the words drift out—maybe you need to set them free. Maybe you’ll let them take root in fertile soil, go to seed, proliferate. Maybe someone will brush up against these words, become itchy and inflamed—or maybe these words will be the balm to cool and soothe a riddled soul.
No matter what you do with it, there will still be plenty of this issue left over. This is by design. If we know anything about summers, it’s that they end—metaphorically and otherwise. And yet, the savvy reader can return here, time and again.
Come autumn’s melancholy and winter’s dearth, we hope you will revisit this issue. Follow the links down. Run your mind over the nuance of their poems, this prose. Admire them, lined up so neat and tempting on our archive shelves. Marvel at their colors, the way they reflect the light that shines through the basement window. Pop something open; dip in a finger or a tongue.
Remember what summer tastes like, through the natural magic of words.
Shannon Connor Winward