VERY appropriately, this issue, ‘The Devil You Know’, was pelted with poetry. Inundated. A tsunami of images came over the virtual transom, and it’s a tribute to our poetry editor Marissa Bell Toffoli (see her poem this month, ‘Garden of Unease’) that she caught them gracefully in her poetic catchers mitt while in the midst of creating her own…and, by the way, giving birth to her first child. That’s what we call poetry in motion.
Read the poems. No, I mean really READ them. The variety and lushness (and, in poet David Budbill’s case, the precious sparseness) will catch you from behind and lift you into spring. We’ve always been enthusiastic fans of the work of Charles S. Kraswekski, but ‘Down in the Station’ takes us past fandom and into a new way of looking at a world caught in a tightening circle. David Selzer’s ‘Exterminate the Brutes’ grabbed us by the throat and shook us. (Liverpool EAPers especially, take note…his look at Churchill will doubtless jibe with your own.) And Kirsten Rian’s ‘Migration’ soars, even as it sorrows.
There’s so much more, too. Of course, the prose. Both the excerpt from ‘Tales of the Devil’s Wife’ by Carmen Lau, and ‘The Broken Vessels’ by Ronnie Pontiac, are examples of the kind of modern fairy tale that EAP believes helps to change a tired story. Keep an eye on both of those authors; we’ll do what we can to cheer them on, though neither of them probably needs any help to get aloft.
And don’t forget to have a look at Brian Griffith’s ‘War Horses’, an excerpt from his upcoming book “Animal Wars.” The Devil we know is pretty close. That’s true, and it’s not a bad thing to realize it. In fact, it might be the first step to turning the Devil into…well. You know.
(Postscript: You may have noticed the next issue’s subject: ‘This May Be the Last Time’. Aside from it being the pendant to the winter ‘Firsts’ issue, it kind of points to the fact that I think this part of the EAP experiment is nearing its end. It’s been a wild ride, and a fruitful one, and a lot of amazing work and relationships have come out of it—too many to mention here—so now it’s time to see what all that means, and which one of the forking paths upward to take next.