There are many opportunities for regret when you run a literary journal, many moments you can point to as lapses in editorial judgement. I was recently reading through the reviews left for Volume 4 on Amazon, and was delighted to see things like “A hot bed of excellent writers, future thinkers, philosophers, and dreamers.” Oh, thank you so much! Very pleased with my writers as well! But then I saw “The only hitch in this collection is the editor’s affection for quirk, which seems to take the place of good story telling in some entries.”
Oh, hold the phone. Quirk? QUIRK!
Apparently, one or two of my selections in Volume 4 failed the dignity test with one of my readers. Was it the story about David Bowie and space aliens? Surely not the one where the wallpaper comes alive and goes on a murder spree?
Quirky. Come, come, now.
Everyone has their criteria. I happen to like people and stories that are whimsical, surreal, odd, atmospheric, and…interesting. The title of Volume 5, “Wild Mercury,” relates to this. I have involved conversations about Bob Dylan with my associate editor, when we’re not thumb-wrestling over font size, and he happened to mention that Bob Dylan called the sound for Blonde on Blonde “that thin, wild mercury sound.” Hmm. Wild Mercury. And that was that. So Volume 5 tips our hats to one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, a brilliant storyteller, prolific creative force, and certainly, by any measure, a quirky fellow.
“Wild Mercury” is graced with the art of Mary Heebner, a meticulous, passionate artist who makes wondrous paintings. You may find her contributions on the cover as well as in the word-image pieces in the section dividers. Sonya Heller, our guest editress of song, has given us well-crafted words in “Works of Art.” Our poetry section is curated by guest editor Shelly Lowenkopf, a writer, teacher, and editor of some renown. As always, I wish to thank with lavish affection all of the volunteers, contributors, friends, and family who gave their time, support, art, and words to make this volume possible.
Happy Camping by William Conelly
A Street Without Secrets by Terry Sanville
My Heart by Sharon MaHarry
The Man In The Chicken Suit by Shelly Lowenkopf
The Man in White by Georgine Getty
To Heal the World by Laezer Schlomkowitz
Of a Verbal Silence * To You, Who Saw Fjords and Coral
by Millicent Borges Accardi
Spring Song * Thelonius * The War * Believe Me
by Aram Saroyan
Elegy to Cold Springs Canyon * Die Elbe
by Gudrun Bortman
Hoodwinked by Emma Trelles
Better than Expected Holiday * ArtMan
by Raven Wylde
DNA * The Way * Prophesy * South of Laramie
by Doug Anderson
Ode to the Schorren * Evening * Couple on East Beach
by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
A Doctor Watching Sunset with His 87-year-old Patient in Wuhan * 87-year-old Wuhan Patient Saying Goodbye to His Doctors by Wang Ping
Lead Us To Water * Underneath
by Michael Debenham
Don’t F*** with Me, Argentina * Elusive Angels
by Bill White
Winter Trees on Riverside by Mary Edwards
Sleep Won’t Come by Sonya Heller
The Song of the Lil’ Seeker by Elle Kokkonen
Bench by the Sea by Tammy Jann
‘Cause of You * Don’t Give up on Me
by Vicki Genfan
by Stephen T. Vessels