From time to time I like to highlight memorable work from some of my favorite online literary journals. In addition to the ones featured below, I regularly read Anderbo, Narrative Magazine, DMQ Review, and The Pedestal Magazine. Scoff all you will at the iPad/iPhone cult, but I’m in love with mine because they allow me to catch up on these journals without wasting work time at my desktop.
Wag’s Revue issue #6 , “Truthiness”, features fictional, nonfictional, and metafictional musings on the blurry line between fact and…everything else. One person’s assault on authorial credibility is another person’s mixed-genre innovation. Sometimes they’re the same person. With Stephen Colbert, you’re never quite sure. The man who coined “truthiness” speaks with editor Will Guzzardi about how things become true because we believe them. “My performance of myself, I think, testifies to the omnipresence of art, inasmuch as the artistic gesture ultimately comes down to an intrusion into semblance—exposing, in its brute state, the gap of the real.” Yes, that’s Colbert–or is it Guzzardi inventing what Colbert might say, if he deigned to be interviewed? Does it matter?
Other intriguing readings in this issue include an essay on the nonexistent Hiroshima poet Araki Yasusada, and Tony Tulathimutte’s story “The Man Who Wasn’t Male“, whose protagonist’s solution to the burden of performing masculinity has its own bloody, twisted logic. (Is “nonexistent” really the right word for a poet whose biography is fictitious, but whose work genuinely exists, though written by another? Read the essay and decide.)
Hallie Rundle’s “Asphalt Sky “, the winner of Gemini Magazine ‘s latest fiction contest, is an affecting story narrated by a girl who works for an escort service, as she seeks genuine understanding of the people she meets in a profession that depends on disconnection and illusion. The runner-up stories are also good reads.
In DIAGRAM issue 10.3 , Emma Ramey interviews Miss Peach, the trippy but fierce protagonist of Catie Rosemurgy’s new poetry collection The Stranger Manual. I enjoyed Rosemurgy’s earlier collection My Favorite Apocalypse and will have to pick up this volume very soon. Other useful or ornamental features in this issue include diagrams of “Antecedents of The Wasteland” and “How to Hit Back at Dive Bombers”, and Amy Marcott’s “Flying the Coop“, a story about Alzheimer’s caregivers that’s written as a discussion thread on a fictitious online message board.
Wisdom (?) from Miss Peach:
“There have only ever been two kinds of poetry: narrative and lyric. And some other kind that is sort of lyric but in a new way that sounds like a breakdown but doesn’t lead to the hospital because that’s a narrative. I say, don’t worry: narrative and lyric hate each other, but like the rest of us they share a house and make babies. They buy one another the perfect gifts.”
“To find something beautiful one must have no idea what it is.”
“Call me optimistic, but I believe that inside every girl is someone who is not a girl but who looks like one and laughs.”