Gigan for Contemporary Autumn by Aerik Francis
Issue 7 cover art by Austin J. Remington, in addition to art for "Pearl Farm" by Lucy Zhang.
Start from an unusual point. Not what you have been told is the beginning. Go back much further than that; or skip to the ending and keep going until you find out that it wasn’t an ending at all. Readjust your view of your life anyway you can to keep going. Take a walk. Walk further, faster. Where you thought the meaning was, it’s not there anymore, dried up and blown away. Try dropping into the middle. Try wandering without telling. Try paying attention to the ants and the grasshoppers, the driftwood afloat on the bay, the curvature of the Earth. Try listening to your friends who have slipped between the cracks while you were eyeing some other prize. Try becoming a breath, try following the light through the darkened marsh.
Many of the pieces in our 7th issue drop the reader into the middle of a story, or a time before the beginning, or long after we’ve forgotten the ending to the story we thought we knew. This makes sense to me, given that we’re living in a time of many befores and afters. "There's not a Platonic ideal among us," writes jonah wu in their essay about the control of bodies across the many permeable boundaries of air and national borders; the same could be said for the stories each of us harbors and endeavors to write down.
There's another big after sitting quietly in the room, one which feels gauche to talk about about in an intro to an issue such as this, and yet, it's probably the main way many of you found out about this little journal in the first place. I like to think, however, that small literary journals that are out here doing the real work will be just fine without online platforms steered by small minded men. When you've worked your way through our issue, I recommend heading over to beestung magazine to read the new issue, and then, if you missed their launch earlier this year, check out ALOCASIA, a journal of queer plant-based writing. You have Stellium Lit publishing exciting new work by Black queer and trans writers; jonah wu recently started the journal eggplant tears to explore transmasculinity; and The Seventh Wave is celebrating their 7th year of supporting writers long after their publication with a journal, workshops, residencies, and more. There are more than I can name here, and I name them not just to provide a list, but to say that together we can build new architectures of mutual regard and art.
-- Cal Angus, Managing Editor