The Divorcees

As I close out on this wonderfully wordy ride, I’d like to go back to where it all began for me. When I was a freshman, the first copy of the Dodge that I came in contact with was issue 50/51. For that reason, it has a bit of a special place in my heart (yeah, yeah, even I’m not immune to nostalgia). The first story that I read from AD was “Plastination” by Brian Beglin (and I know I’ve already mentioned this story so I won’t get too caught up on it). This story is one of the most recent examples of a story that creates its own world-logic. The thing is, the logic isn’t even anything different from our own, it’s just applied to a fad that in our world is physically impossible, but the driving emotion is all too common.

But I don’t want to get hung up solely on “Plastination.” I’d like to also talk about Lynn Levin’s re-imagination of Eve and Lilith. I often find myself turned away from literary re-creations of biblical figures because I find that they often don’t really develop the characters of the existing cast. But Levin’s characters are different. Adam’s wives have not just fled the pages of the Bible, but have fluttered into a department store to escape the Bible’s sexually-constricting script, finding themselves unchained from any implied guilt, even while a mysterious eye looks on.

Reading Levin’s poems gave me a feeling of empowerment. Seeing these traditionally strictly casted women liberated from their original characters gave them the ability to shine in a way I haven’t seen in other reproductions of biblical lore.

 

With this, my last summer hit, I bid you adieu

—autumn, Editorial Asst.

 

 

As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.

This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.

Posted in Poetry, Summer | Leave a comment

Story-Teller

Now that I’m nearing the end of my summer literary adventures, I feel it is only right that I introduce you to another one of my small passions: mythology. To me, mythology is not just a set of fairy-tales imbued with magical god-creatures, it is a fantastical way of explaining the world as we see it, a way of portraying the hidden. A favorite element of lore for me is the stories’ connection with oral tradition. Each story travels and changes each time it is told: although many details may be tweaked, and sometimes even completely erased or added, the core purpose of the story remains.

So, today’s hit is sampled from Artful Dodge 38/39, a small set of myths on crocodiles and caiman complied from Colombian students studying to become teachers in their communities and supplemented by oil pastel drawings done by Luis Fernando Arango and Kathryn Arango. The myths themselves depict caiman as a source of magical power, and their pastel pals are quite the beautiful addition to the stories. For example, one set features the story of a woman who marries a magical man who transforms into a caiman around regular people. The woman is the most beautiful in her village and could have married any man there that she wanted, but instead decides to run away to what everyone else assumes is solitude. Of course, Arango’s re-telling is much more detailed and breathes more life into the story, so I would go ahead and read his version if you get the chance.

I’d also like to mention that Ananya found these myths a few years ago and provided an excerpt in a blog you can find here:

https://artfuldodgewooster.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/crocodile-love/

 

Best,

autumn, Editorial Asst.

 

Remember: you can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Art/ Graphics, Prose, Summer | Leave a comment

Trouble in the Neighborhood

Have you ever had a chill run down your spine? My mom tells me this happens when someone walks over your grave. As a kid, I never really understood the dynamics of someone walking over my plot of grass when I was still alive and well. But despite the illogic, it’s still a morbid idea, though not even as eerie as Eric Anderson’s “Quiet Neighbors” (AD 48/49). Here we have a case of someone’s death following them. Maybe even following multiple people. That’s how I choose to read it.

In this short prose poem graves become puppies—following the narrator and his family around, coming in uninvited. The graves have even more power than the devil to enter the family’s home. But what I really love about this piece is that I missed it when I first read it. I had been skimming and didn’t actually absorb what had been going on. By the time it was over I realized that something was amiss and I needed to go back and figure out what it was. This piece has some of the essence of what I’ve been talking about all throughout these ‘hits:’ the poem builds its own world, and the reader is left to fall in.

 

And so, down the rabbit hole we go

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Poetry, Prose, Summer | Leave a comment

Lucifer Unemployed

I wanted to spend today’s blog post talking about something slightly less emotionally charged. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like many of my recent posts feature writing that is kind of heavy. So, in order to keep my morale at its best, I found something that I think you’ll enjoy for its tongue-in-cheek critique of European values.

Artful Dodge Vol. 3 No. 1 features Chapters 6-11 of Alexander Wat’s “Lucifer Unemployed,” translated by Lillian Vallee. In it, Lucifer is dodging around town, talking to different people, trying to find something, the truth maybe—or perhaps just his own self-esteem. The truth about what, I’m not quite sure. Every once in a while, I even thought Lucifer was trying to preach. Lucifer, unfortunately, seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick: he barely ends up with more understanding than when he started, and it seems that he is unable to make any impact in a world already turned heathen.

 

Tune in tomorrow for another exciting revelation!

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Prose, Summer, Translations | Leave a comment

Tiny Dancers

I’m having a hard time finding the words to talk about this prose poem. I guess it’s like what I was talking about with the poem “Foreign” from last week. The poem “Tent Worms” appears in AD 32/33 and was written by Kathryn Youther.

What made this prose poem strong in my eyes is the use of one moment to make another later moment stronger. I think something similar happens when we start creating an attachment to a place: we make memories with someone somewhere and that memory develops a more complex relationship with that person or place. When I think of the idea of a ‘shared experience’ I find that it makes a lot of sense in the context of Youther’s poem: the narrator’s mother is unable to understand why the narrator and her father have an image of Ruth dancing. And it hurts the mother, although it’s not because she feels left out. Instead, the mother believes the father and the narrator to be insensitive where, in actuality, the mother cannot understand the dance because she never experienced that part of Ruth’s life the same way the narrator and the father did.

Simply put: this story makes a lot of sense to me, and I think Youther expertly wove together two moments to create a compelling piece.

 

Happy reading!

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.

This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.

Posted in Prose, Summer | Leave a comment

Find Your Happy Place

Artful Dodge 34/35 opens with work by Orlando Ricardo Menes which centers on the struggles of family during and after their immigration to the U.S. from Cuba. I’m not sure what I should tell you in order to really sell his original works, but I was surprised by them. I was a bit jolted by the open interplay between English and Spanish. Although I had to lean on the footnotes to completely understand the poems’ inner dialogue, I found that the Spanish created a melodic reading, and an honest voice.

Of course, Menes’ introduction to the José Kozer poems in this issue explain not only a piece of Kozer’s history, but a part of Menes’ personal history as well. Kozer is a poet of Jewish heritage, who also grew up in Cuba. Like Kozer, Menes uses his personal history to set a strong cultural backdrop, and give astute and intimate portrayals of his family’s life. So, if you find yourself with a copy of AD 34/35, be sure to pay attention to the first few pages—you don’t want to miss out on something quite special.

 

Weekend’s greetings

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

You can get a dollar off if you order a copy of the Dodge from now until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live (we should also have online ordering of issues optimized through Submittable as well). This offer stands for any back issue and our current issue, #52/53 (making back issues $4 and our current issue $11). Just make sure to send in your cash or check with either a note saying “autumn sent me” or a letter in response to one of the hits.
Posted in Poetry, Summer, Translations | Leave a comment

Going No-Where Fast

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion but I’m a little tired of reading stories showcasing overzealous romance. I’m tired of seeing that people end up with who they ‘should’ and everything gets worked out in the end. The more honest side of me knows it’s because I’ve seen things end badly before, as is the case with many marriages nowadays, but the hopeful side of me thinks that my distaste of ‘the happy ending’ is more to do with the idea that a ‘bad ending’ is just as powerful (probably more powerful) than a ‘good ending.’

For example, I really loved reading “Anywhere But Here” by Michael Grau (AD 28/29) because it didn’t have a cookie-cutter happy ending. While reading I was just waiting for something to explode between Travis and Kattie, but even that didn’t happen as I was expecting it to. To me, the written ending was more positive than a ‘good ending.’ There was a sense of catharsis knowing that something definitive happened and neither character would be left guessing anymore.

I’ll have to stop with that though—I don’t want to give out any spoilers!

 

Happy reading!

—autumn, Editorial Asst.—

 

As a thank you for partaking in my efforts to stay sane this summer, I’d like to offer you a discount on all Artful Dodge issues (well, aside from the ones we don’t have, of course). I would be tickled pink if you sent me a letter in response to any of my summer hits along with a check for a Dodge of your choosing. Or, if you’re not the letter-loving rascal I thought you were, then it is just as acceptable to send in a small note saying “autumn sent me.” That, dears, will get you a dollar off any of our issues (that includes our current issue, AD 52/53), making back issues $4 and our current issue $11.
This offer stands until September 1st, when our online submissions platform goes live, and you can order issues directly through Submittable.
Posted in Prose, Summer | Leave a comment