Editor’s Note--Crisis and Resolution
Blood Orange Review 4.1

Everyone is feeling the pinch. Economic crises affect much more than monetary flows: they affect how we perceive and dream. They affect how we philosophize and write. On a day-to-day basis, I don’t notice the stock market plunges as much as I notice the shops that have, without warning, closed their doors and the talk around work about spouses laid off, pink slips, and bills. It shouldn’t surprise me that our submissions have addressed similar stresses like poverty, divorce, and emotional withdrawal.

For me, one of the most memorable pieces of writing in this issue of Blood Orange Review is Bridget Bell’s poem, “Locks,” which recounts the gutsy-ness of rebellion and then continues in a lament:

I don’t protest anymore. I’m still liberal but I’m tired
of all these drawn out fights.

The exhaustion in “Locks” returns again in Jon Boisvert’s poem, “Poor,” in which the poet begins by announcing a surrender, of sorts:

You are feral in ways:
the thermostat at fifty-eight,
you live exclusively
in the warm spot, the attic,
no longer shaving
or putting trash in bags.

Boisvert’s poem is a dark missive from the doldrums; it illustrates stagnation:

Being poor is a landscape.
It’s the closest planet to the sun,
and it doesn’t rotate.

The narrator’s financial burden is so overwhelming, it is its own unmovable planet. It is as if the speakers in these poems are frozen and unable to act. Perhaps we all are on alert and have been here too long: we wait while our bodies pump adrenaline and we still don’t know if it is time for fight or flight.

Leah Browning’s poem, “Spring and the Clocks Go Back,” takes a slightly different spin: in her poem, the crisis is over and the speaker still feels a loss, but the poem is about acceptance more than regret:

because I loved him so much,
I really did, but then the clocks didn’t stop
and we walked out of the drugstore
into the sunlight and became other people,
and all the animals grew old and died
and one of our fathers had a heart attack
and now we can never go back,
and to tell you the truth I don’t want to go back

The revelation at the end releases a long held tension and suggests time will be made right again. Let’s hope so.

One exciting thing to note is that the newest issue of Blood Orange Review includes audio recordings of a few poems from past contributors. We are thrilled to introduce this new component, and we hope you enjoy listening to the poems as much as we have.

H.K. Hummel, editor
Blood Orange Review







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