Volume 4, Issue 4
Issue 4 of Volume 4 spotlights illness and the body: our relationship with our body, others’ bodies, sick bodies, and well bodies.
In “Fruiting Body,” poet Lane Fields imagines the body as plantlike, “fertile with compassion” for a lover’s body.
Deshawn McKinney’s poem “These Stretchmarks” embodies the speaker’s relationship with their stretchmarks, glorifying them, celebrating them.
Jessica Mehta’s mixed-media art “Chamber Coda” is a heartbreaking reminder of loved ones lost to addiction, of the marginalized communities that are often hit the hardest.
In the creative nonfiction piece, “All About the Context,” Jora R. Lam recounts the true–and humorous–story of her father pulling his own teeth because he couldn’t afford the dentist.
Mário Coelho’s flash fiction, “I was Here Before the Monster” explores the mind of a cancer patient’s lover during the last weeks of the patient’s survival.
Lastly, in Sam Kaspar’s flash fiction piece, “You got a fast car, you showed off with it and pissed us off/ (body as asset),” the speaker compares themselves to a rival, who was “born into riches . . .DNA and assets.”
Art & Photography
“Chamber Coda was created exclusively with the pills found in the artist’s mother’s room after a final (successful) overdose. The nation is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, but marginalized populations are at dramatically higher risks.”
“Earth in Distress is an abstract fluid painting that I created, in order to symbolically emphasize the impact we have on our earth such as nature, wildlife, the gradual decrease in resources, as well as the relationships with each other as human beings; given the past several months of chaos we’ve endured together. I used an analogous color scheme with cool colors to represent land and sea along with black for contrast and balance. Each color was mixed with floetrol and water, poured into circular layered shapes onto the canvas, balanced for even distribution, and tilted back and forth to achieve the desired design.”
“I like the edge of things. Edge as in poignant and slightly threatening and edge as in interconnection. I like things that already exist. It’s not just about my ecological stance and the future but about mystery and the past. This piece, however, is really all about the now.”