Volume 5 Number 4
Autumn Cover by Teresa Tunaley. The theme for the issue is finality, completion of a circuit, the progress of life...|
The theme for the Autumn issue is finality, completion of a circuit, the progress of life and the quest for meaning, and the perils of the self. Here you will find authors chasing universal experience: finding one's voice, narcissim, surrender, the flight of the mind, striving with or objectifying others, dominance and submission, and leaping into the abyss. This is the purpose of myth - to identify and discuss, clarify and extend, what has been felt and known in common since man told his first story. Ten stories await you, all under 1000 words, with the exception of our Special Feature: Cabin at the Top of the World by Mark Allan Gunnells. Read on...
Sans Toi... by Sarah Downey
How often have you buried your words, and held your desire like a stone in the belly? Not narcissism - that's really a way of denying desire, of depriving it of meaning -- but if we were to open the box that holds your secret words, what would they ask for?
All for the Taste of a Pomegranate by Gerri Leen
Marriage is death. Dying. Don't ask anyone to accept this until they've been married long enough to understand it, and not to fear it. There is a part of the self that is free, and a part that is bound. The horizon of the self is no longer a fixed line between dark and light, but a grey expanse, in marriage. Those who do not grow into this do not last, in one way or another. Leen gives us a third installment in her series that began with The Weight of Things Forgotten and continued into Selective Memory.
Indignity & Instinct by Jasmine Fall
Infidelity is the narcissist's surrender. It is not the flight from emptiness to meaning, but the flight from inadequacy to emptiness. It is the denial of meaning - the meaning of one's words, of one's commitments, one's honor, of both the self and other people. Lewis' piece is about what the walk of this shame does to everyone involved.
When You're on Fire by Grá Linnaea
What is the point at which the imagination denies the monotony and shallowness of experience? At what point does the soul reject the stimuli that are supposed to feed it, and begin to burn itself up, if only to burn hot and bright? What happens to the Walter Mitty of your mind?
The Bonny Swan by Erin Page
In a generation of smaller families and only children, it is easy to forget the perennial rivalry. The family competition may drive us to defeat fathers or mothers, as easily as siblings. It can even come in the disguise of satisfying the other, which of course finally triumphs over their expectations. How easily we come to define ourselves by those who have the easiest access to our inner life, demanding always that we share, always holding out either violation or destruction or exile. The story takes many forms, but when told clearly, it is always timeless.
Hershel and Gertrude by Marie Shield
Do you love children? First interview question for teachers and caregivers. Hard to objectify children, when some of them show you their best and others mock anything unique, show no respect for anything, or plot the suffering of others. These children tell you who their parents really are - monsters or amorally weak or despicable abdicators of their own responsibilities. It's hard to believe anyone who claims never to have wanted to teach them a lesson.
Ouroboros by Bruce Stirling
Dreaming is perhaps the mind imagining itself. It's easy to spend so much time thinking about ourselves thinking, watching ourselves behave, never really being in the moment. How often have you thought about your performance in bed, how you looked on stage, what your voice sounded like on the phone, whether your smile was appealing, (fill in the blank)? Maybe the moment you let go, the cycle simply takes a different shape - and perhaps letting go is required.
Life Sentence by David Tallerman
Life can be relentless. Again, either you get this, or you don't get it - yet. Wishing its hold on us away won't ever work. In such moments, you can either hold out hope that, when you finally break, there will be something new, or you accept what life is and find the good in it. On the other hand, we may know that, but there are some of us who never stop looking beyond and continually leaping into the abyss.
Bluebeard's Step-daughter by Angie Rega
We have such a long tradition of dominating one another and, in turn, sublimating ourselves to those who rule over us. Perhaps we don't think of our relationships as a pack, but there we are - cowing to those power brokers at work - or making others cow: bullying and punishing or getting out of the way on the freeway, keeping our kids "under control", setting up all kinds of unwritten rules about what we'll allow and not allow in our homes, and what policies we'll support regarding foreigners, minorities, the aged and the young, or for ourselves. It's too easy to look with disdain on the submissive house frau, but then which of us can cast the first stone; and, if you're holding up that stone, who are you trying to dominate, and who and what are stopping you - to whom are you submitting?
Special Feature: The Cabin at the Top of the World by Mark Allan Gunnells
Gunnells! GUNNELLS, GUNNELLS, GUNNELLS! We don't have to tell our regular readers about Mark's work. We've been quietly building an anthology in our archives of this much-requested writer. This time, he's getting us ready for December in his own particular way, honoring that tradition of getting started while the bloom is still on the rose. So grab the season's first mug of cocoa, get ready to smile, and sit down for a Special Feature of 4400 words from our Fiction Writer Laureate.
All for the Taste of a Pomegranate
Indignity & Instinct
When You're on Fire
The Bonny Swan
Hershel and Gertrude
Cabin at the Top of the World
There is always more, of course. All past issues are available in our Archives. You can use our Index to find any particular story, poem, article, visual art, or author. Looking for poetry by Elizabeth Barrette or John Grey? Fiction by Brian Ames or Bill West? Essays or reviews by Mary Pat Mann? Want to see previous covers by Teresa Tunaley or others? The well-organized Archives won't disappoint.