Those who practice the power of positive thinking may not like this magazine. It isn’t that we practice negative thinking, or that see ourselves as a beacon of despair, but someone, somewhere, must scratch the rewards of negative capability onto some friendly rock. This magazine is a perfect but imperfect tablet. Our hope is that if you find this rock you will discover a pleasant and curious read. Afterwards, hurl it where you may, at a window, at a supremacist of the blanched variety, at some caricature of some president. Consider Rachel Heimowitz. Her sensuous, “I am ready / now to sleep / with your braid in my mouth.” Or Barbara Daniels’ lines “I’m tired of explaining / what love is—stubbornness, rage, / extravagance. It flourishes everywhere / like weedy wood violets.” So much can happen on the way to the end of a poem or story, one where we climb the mountain only to find another mountain. Infinity knows no bounds, and when blessed with totally limited omniscience, the endlessness begins within. Most issues of this magazine are fraught with the belief the editor will not survive its printing. The panic of logistics is so real. Not so with this one. Loyola College in Baltimore and the University of South Carolina-Aiken provided us with two interns. Megan Hultberg assisted our designer Jessica Lynn Dotson, and Anniebelle Quattlebaum became our author liaison. We’ve even managed to make a new blog post every Tuesday although we frequently forget to share them until later in the week. Ugh. Sharing. Am I right? Instead we were hysterical about losing our writers. The first was Mick Fedullo, whose book The Maze we had published in 1989. Mick had spent almost 40 years teaching creative writing to Native American students of all ages, among them, Takes The Gun, also viii known today as Supaman – The Rapper. He had returned to writing poetry and had sent many pages to us and a few other friends. Then he died. Then came the hurricanes and the fires. For a month we lost contact with the fabulous Puerto Rican poet Sergio Ortiz. On the West Coast, we struggled for word of poet Elizabeth Herron, whose home was in the midst of 23 wildfires. The car was packed, she later said, and she was trying to locate her list of passwords. Frankly, this world isn’t all about the positive or the negative. Success and suffering are such close cousins. When we ask you not to merely gaze at the world but to actually open a window and stick your head out we mean for you to stick your heart out there as well and risk a little of it, for this itchy rock.

Barrett Warner