Editors’ Notes
Blood Orange Review 2.1

The collection of writing in the newest issue of Blood Orange Review came together with surprising, surrealistic cohesion. Perhaps it is winter that demands things be looked at with a certain elastic sense of reality-this is the season of shadows and blurry weather after all.

I have a fondness for nonlinearity; it admits ample room for dream-speak. Some conversations must be had in a more forgivable language than technical English. Poetic devices like metaphors, similes, symbolic language-the 2x4's, nails, and plywood of poetry-give us a structure for a more complex form of communication.

In this new issue, "The Fishes He Caught" by Scott T. Starbuck is one such poem. It begins:

The Fishes He Caught

had faces of dead pilgrims.
They had arrowhead fins
and their eyes glowed
like coals on foggy nights.
They spoke in unknown tongues
like sounds of human voices
around distant campfires.

The mysterious imagery makes the synapses in one's brain fire pleasurably with surprise. These fish, weird as sturgeon, seem to have swum out of our collective unconscious. While symbolism and abstraction have the danger of leaving us confused and even more disconnected, when applied just right, both can also facilitate unique, potent understanding.

H.K. Hummel, Co-editor
Blood Orange Review


For this issue, we have blue cat poems, a dog trilogy, rowdy seagulls, and fishes with the faces of dead pilgrims: our literary zoo. I was surprised how quickly the writing in this issue developed its own gravity, both playful and earnest, and how the pieces started to choose each other. While each work has its own oddness, there is an undercurrent of longing and desire that runs throughout this issue, a familiar absurdity they all share.

I am not always a fan of the absurd. I think it sometimes excuses the writer from finding connections. It's one reason we love sharing our own bizarre dreams but rarely enjoy listening to the dreams of others: and then there was this bunny, only it wasn't a bunny it was my third grade teacher, and he had this really big hat made out of snakes and the snakes were going to bite me but then they didn't and then I was lost in a desert.. There is enough that is senseless in this world without us adding to it.

But the work collected in this issue of Blood Orange Review has a purposeful absurdity, strange but not estranged from the world we know. While taking leaps, these pieces are well aware of the ground they're leaping from. The voices speak with authority and create a reality within the poem that hovers above our own.

This selection from Colie Hoffman's poem "Paperwork" demonstrates the convergence of the literal and the literary that is evident throughout this issue:

Sometimes I think we are all working together here:
This factory of the literal and the literary,
Translating our Babel of divergent intentions
Into polar fleece and synthetic pine,
Products both useful and pleasing to the touch.

In this issue you will find poetry, fiction, and non-fiction hard at work, divergent intentions all, some perplexing, some hilarious, but ultimately, we hope, pleasing.

Stephanie Lenox, Co-editor
Blood Orange Review


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