Thomas Hawk Flickr
What makes one an outsider? I've been asking myself this question since day one. Sometimes it's as simple as being caught out in the rain. Sometimes it's not so simple at all. Sometimes it's jails, institutions and nearly death. Sometimes it's the things that are done to us and the things that we do to ourselves. Being at odds with our bodies, the places and people we come from, what shaped us and what broke us. I've not held to a single mold by which I've tried to fit the pieces in this journal together. I let the one's who come across Anti-Heroin Chic and who sometimes rest here for a night or two guide and inform me. Some are outsiders in a very obvious way, other's in a not so obvious way. Do I think that we are all outsiders in some sense? I do. Life ain't easy, even when it looks from afar like one has it all down, we've all been that bag blowing in the wind.
It wasn't until afterwards that I realized a theme was emerging in this round of submissions; love, good, bad and indifferent. Failed love, lost love, parental love, earth love. Addiction, eating disorders, and some of the darker topics explored here are all signs of love's collapse. Too many of us fail to get the things that we need early on. Either too much of what shouldn't happen does, or the things that should happen don't. Sometimes a relationship runs its course or turns toxic and must be released like a scream. Sometimes we're too young to get to decide what is happening to us. Years later it still doesn't add up. We let the poem or story carry it, that interminable question mark, the fuck was up with that? There will never be anything the fuck up with that, as Cheryl Strayed says, the horrible things done to us. The horrible things we do to ourselves.
This big beautiful issue is triple the size of our last one, and so commenting on each piece individually is simply not possible this go around. But hopefully I'm speaking to the spirit of the goods brought to the table this changing of the seasons. I envision us weary artists all sitting around a big warm fire, breaking bread and astonished that we made it this far. Isn't it a miracle? Everything is a miracle or nothing is.
I want to thank all of the spirited and resilient voices who came to rest their feet and stay with us a while this September. I do not take it for granted how much of a risk it always is to send the most vulnerable parts of ourselves out there into the world. It takes guts to create and it takes damn near everything we've got to share such things with others. Thank you for letting us in. For telling us where it hurts and where it also sometimes sings with joy. Now, dear reader, won't you step inside this house? Let us sing for you a song. We'll tell you about just where we've been, it shouldn't take too long.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.