|The Scanner No. 4|
|Udolpho Vol. 26|
The art on the cover is by Gerald Gaubert: Jael & Sisera from The Song of Deborah, which I mention only because I played Jael in our middle-school production of Judges, driving a stave through the head of an imaginary man in a dome tent set up on the gym stage.
I don't know why it makes me so happy that people were publishing literary journals in Aurora and the Isle of Wight from 1988-1991, literary journals that specialized in horror and gothic fiction, and that people today are celebrating that there used to be these physical objects that had beauty, and we can still preserve them with the bits and bytes we use today--all these things makes me happy. It makes me think that this little putting together of bits and bytes that we do on the internet--this act I perform now, typing on my keys--has value.
I was thinking the other day about art, how perhaps what I mean by art is an object that carries meaning. I've been thinking that gas should probably cost $100 a gallon, if we're going to cease carbon emitting, but that means we would have to stop buying cheap plastic crap and start making things again. Things like wardrobes. Boats. We'd have to grow trees and cut them down to harvest.
And then we'd make them into literary journals and make woodcuts from the cross-cut milled cedar dipped in paint we'd figured out how to use our minimal petroleum products into, and again we'd be creating objects that carry meaning, objects that have beauty. Or maybe we wouldn't. Maybe again I'm just subsumed with optimism, for whatever reason. Or maybe I'm just reading too many books about sailing. Three at the moment, including:
On the Water by Nathaniel Stone
Given the merest assistance the blades release themselves from the water. Press down slightly on the handles of the oars while gently twisting the grips toward you a quarter turn. In an elegant instant the spooned blades abandon the stroke and feather into nearly horizontal forward flight toward the next catch. Release leads to recovery; remember, reach for the toes and slide into a crouch on your way to the catch.