Salt Hill 34
What is simpler than the human need for good relationships? What is more complicated than the fragile and shifting relationships themselves? In this issue, we found ourselves drawn to stories that explore the nature of loneliness and the thorny landscape of love.
J.A. Tyler shows us two young boys feeling self-conscious for the first time as they fall “downward into something like love.” In Ben Loory’s “The Cape,” a beloved object goes missing, and we feel its loss as tenderly as if we’d broken up with someone. A.L. Ingham reminds us that not having a boyfriend can mean going to a St. Patrick’s Day party and then realizing you’ve forgotten to wear green. And, of course, everyone keeps trying to set you up. Ingham reminds us of the hunger of loneliness, the desire to love and be loved, and of the love objects that someone might bring into your life and then leave behind: a father’s ashes, a pair of speckled owls.
Issue 34 orbits around the scenery of loneliness—the landscape is so large that it’s easy to get lost. It’s as if we’ve been plopped into the center of an infinite field, nothing around us but tall grain. Jennifer Chang opens a window to “howl my No, / the weakest of thunders.” Noah Falck tells us “There’s a good chance we have no chance.” And Lillian Kwok steers us into the impossibility of love: “We’ll put three hands over our mouths and not tell one another that we love each other.” Lindsay Herko’s excerpt from her nonfiction piece “Laika” discusses love’s complications and the problem of self-love. Herko asks, how do we self-narratize our own (love) stories? Her memories flow, connected, into one another with a savage energy and modified repetitions: “Now your love object returns like Pluto following a 247-year orbit around the sun.”
Of course, the pieces in this issue also evoke hope: not for the rom-com notion of easy and completely fulfilling love, but of love and hope for the self, that we might own a place in this world. Somewhere in the landscape we stumble, and Ruth Baumann’s voice comes to us from some cloud above, ad- dressing us: “Hello, pretty hope-scavenger.” And that’s what we are—roam- ing hope-scavengers, searching the field for something or someone to share it with. The editors of Salt Hill, in putting together this issue, have been hope-scavengers, and it’s an honor to now give these words to you. We hope you enjoy our love object, the thirty-fourth issue of Salt Hill Journal.
Emma DeMilta & Jessica Poli
Ruth Baumann, Maari Carter, Jennifer Chang, Kyle Churney, Christopher Citro, Noah Falck, Emily Kendal Frey, Sarah Gambito, Ken Haas, Chas Hoppe, Lillian Kwok, Tyler Cain Lacy, Else Lasker-Schüler (translated by Brooks Haxton), Joseph O. Legaspi, Jake Levine, Michael Mlekoday, Kevin Phan, Anne Marie Rooney, Sean Rys, Sam Sax, Kent Shaw, Brian Sneeden, Emma Sovich, Talin Tahajian, Jonny Veach, Steve Barbaro, G.C. Waldrep
Laura Adamczyk, Arthur Flowers, Ian Golding, A.L. Ingham, Ben Loory, Becky Tuch, J.A. Tyler
Lindsay Herko, Brian Lance, Andrew H. Miller, Steve J. Singer
Susan D’Amato, David Delruelle, Donald Groscost
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Editors: Emma DeMilta and Jessica Poli