One theme that seems notable across many of the pieces included in this exceptional double issue of smoke and mold is that of reaching out, a coming togetherness that often feels impossible, but somehow the few fleeting moments when it really feels real are enough to keep striving to repeat the feeling. Son Kit’s “To each each other” manages to capture this through slime molds, while remaining humorous and serious at the same time. Indeed, the whole themed issue brought together by Charles Theonia centers fungal models of connection, mycellial communication, and other(ed) ways of constructing a subject that fungi allow us to imagine, whether through metaphor or hallucination.
I’m ecstatic that smoke and mold is able to bring you the 8 writers featured here across two issues, at the same time as it’s able to grow and welcome three new assistant editors. Two of these editors started their relationship with the journal by submitting work, which is now featured in this general issue. I think this is emblematic of the work this journal is trying do of building relationships over the work, through the little adjustments and invitations and email chains. And it will remain so, even as the journal changes and shifts with the new energy and ideas brought by all three of these exceptional editors and writers, as well as whoever may join us in the future (until we inevitably explode into the sun).
For now, enjoy burrowing into spring with this abundance, tunnel through the layers of empty space in Jo Gosh’s “Lithology 1” toward greater meaning and that last line, which represents a lot for me right now:
“To know this is to release my held breath.”
—Cal Angus, Managing Editor
"The bathrooms were white and eager basins. The sinks hung like sea cliffs off their walls. My hands incurred the debt of falling water."
Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch
"sometime in early june, the sound of you typing from the kitchen / the only way to remember you’re still around"
"Despair and panic remain, / long after the dust settles. / Welcome to the Bureau of Land Management’s / fenced freedom domestication."
"Carmen wasn’t sold on all the tropes. She was a tight rope walker always leaking over the edge."