The sixteenth issue of Inklette Magazine is here. Publishing these issues makes me feel like I am retelling the contributors’ story not to you, but to myself. There is something comforting in writing to you— the reader— as if I am with you. I like writing in this epistolary mode more, perhaps more than I should. There is something about my apostrophe to you that helps me locate myself in the present. Outside of this relation, without the listener or the other, it is hard to know or sense oneself in the present.
In her editorial note to our last issue, our prose editor, Anouck, wrote about the other. It struck me as strange since I thought, going through this issue over the past few weeks, that all the writers and artists here have someone in mind, even if they are not necessarily the ‘other.’ What is the form of those others— their presence or their absence?
In ‘Shelter Number Twelve‘ by Omi Anish, the ‘we’ breaks down into a ‘you’ and an ‘I.’ Oliver J. Brooks starts his poem by asking us to pause: “Let me stop you right there—see how my love revolves around you?” In Susan Rich’s poem, the narrator admits that like so many of us, “I’ve always desired a different life than the one I am living.” I’ve wondered what it takes to write these relations into sentences that seem to be drawing inside their own bodies, between I and oneself, between oneself and the world.
With this issue, I thought of pairing some of the artwork with each piece. I was resistant to imposing the artwork on the writing, uncomfortable with the idea of ‘making’ two things speak to each other. But language, I know, is all about making, forcing, wrenching. So often I dream of a language that is a collage rather than a legible portrait. So often I wonder if I can ever write about or as someone else, not merely from the depths of another’s perspective or language, but from the negation or loss of it. If these pieces speak to each other, or to others we’ve published, I shall let them. And if you find yourself, too, in the company of these pieces, wondering about intimacies and distances between speaking, writing, and relating one voice to the other, I hope you won’t say, “I didn’t notice you, because I didn’t know who you were.”
Editor-in-Chief, Inklette Magazine