Salt Hill 36
Writing is about connection. We write to connect with others across time, across space, even translated across language itself. Words form the web that binds us together.
It’s interesting then that so many speakers in this issue have trouble connecting, or connect in strange, flawed ways. In John Jodzio’s “Athens, Athens,” a lonely DEA agent reflects on his relationship failings while surveilling a happily married smuggler. In Alison Strub’s “Lillian, Fred” poems, the pieces themselves seem to speak past one another; Lillian is always instructed, Fred only reported on. Leigh Gallagher shows us a husband who imagines himself as two disconnected halves: “his own real self a floating, migrating self inside this second, subsuming self, the self everyone will comment up, recapping history, when the man dies.” Meanwhile, Victor Florence gives us a husband and wife bonding over videos of hotdog-eating contests played in reverse, watching as the contestants “look with deep solemnity at the long table of hotdogs/ they pulled from their heavenly bodies.” In “Party,” Peter Myers' speaker is introduced to a woman and they discover, to their delight, that they’re on the same antidepressant. They bond over the side effects, the absences created by their medication.
Perhaps this issue, with its yearnings, reachings, and failures of connection, is an attempt at shaking that human web. We hope that these stories and poems act as a vibration that you can feel, a reminder of our common ground.
David Gustavsen, Abbey Numedahl, and Rachel Wakefield
Yasmin Belkhyr, Luke Brekke, Callista Buchen, Doug Paul Case, Ashley Chambers, Meriwether Clarke, Dalton Day, Spencer Everett, Victor Florence, Ceridwen Hall, M. Ayodele Heath, Strummer Hoffston, Josh Kalscheur, J. Kates, Benjamin Landry, Gerry McFarland, Rachel Morgan, Marcus Myers, Peter Myers, Nick Narbutas, Tatiana Neshumova, Elsbeth Pancrazi, Alexis Pope, Corinna Rosendahl, Katy Rossing, JD Scott, Catherine Stearns, Julia Story, Alison Strub, Sara Wallace, Samuel Wein, John Sibley Williams, Joshua Young
Jonathan Escoffery, Leigh Gallagher, John Jodzio, Becky Mandelbaum, James O'Brien
R. Dean Johnson, Jessica Lanay, Mike Nagel, Jeremy Trussa
Josh Alan, Hadass Gerson
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Editors: David Gustavsen, Abbey Numedahl, and Rachel Wakefield