Volume 3, Issue 19

“And this tub like a shining womb around me, will be my altar. If I stay underneath this water long enough, I’ll change like in the stories. Maybe I’ll be a mermaiden or a nymph, an Alabaman Aphrodite. I want a tail, shining and green. No! I hope it’s purple, the color of royalty. ‘Cause that’s what I am. Don’t matter though. The water welcomes me and now I welcome it.”

-DW McKinney, “Just Like the Tales Mama Told Me”

Untitled 202005 | Visual Art

“Mermaids are mysterious, seductive, and dangerous. In stories, they lead foolish men to their watery deaths, and I was inspired to depict a portrait of an enigmatic woman, crowned with coral, as a ship sinks far in the horizon. Instead of the usual flowing fishtails and hair, I wanted to focus on the subject as a person and stare straight into her eyes. Is she malicious, or can she be blamed for the actions of those seduced by her?”

Just Like the Tales Mama Told Me | Fiction

“Love? I had some of that for Freddie. But when I saw that water, I saw something greater than our sweat slick bodies tangled in my discount sheets. There was no other man, just my reflection rippling in the moonlight. A goddess like the Lady of the Lake, a woman of power. I saw the me I should’ve been, and I wanted to slip under the cool water and embrace her.”

Out: Testimony of an Alabama Queer | Nonfiction

“If I close my eyes, I can still smell the chlorine of the Friendship Baptist baptismal pool. Despite the warmth of the water, my clenched teeth chattered. At the age of five, I had made the decision to be saved from eternal damnation, taking the plunge as a public profession of my faith. This was an act I repeated as a fifteen-year-old, craving a second helping of that holy acceptance. Looking back, I wonder if the two cancelled each other out.”

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Interviews

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Book Reviews

Art & Photography

Three Sisters | Photography

Three Sisters | Photography

“Three silos stand watch over the farmland in northern Montana, a trio of robust sisters huddled together in private discussion. A string of birds enter the circle from above, eavesdropping on the sisters’ conversation, collecting gossip to spread to the residents of the neighboring fields.”

Not Indians | Visual Art

Not Indians | Visual Art

“In the mid 1950s there was little sensitivity to indigenous people or the possibility of disrespecting native traditions via caricature. Most of our costumes were handmade. My mother substituted lipstick for war paint. The legend on the our candy bags plays off the real nature of the collision of Native and European cultures. Found text and anatomical elements hint at that violence.”

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