“I’ll start again— / slower this time / with less lying,” the poet, Nicolette Ratz, opens up in her poem,
“Orbital.” As creatives, our works are born and raised right beside our hearts. There is little room left to lie, to leave obscured. Yet still, we drag along mystery and wonder with every word and artistic decision. Some say it is a part of the creative process, that there will always be a part of our work that we never anticipate, and I wholeheartedly agree. While going through the wonderful submissions to our Issue Five, I found myself shackled to the pieces that were most unlikely to resonate, their material requiring my mind to bite through. In Bender-Murphy’s “The Darkness That I Was After,” the speaker gives into their hankering for feeling and unfeeling, expressed by literal repetitive self-destruction. Never did I think I would read the lines “All of us then touched each other’s bloody knees, fingering the sinews and bone. Nobody exchanged numbers.” The end of the piece was another beginning. Residing within the sentences was an entirely new story.
That experience was shared with Fraley’s “[Say creation story in fits and starts.]” The first read-through
of the piece blurred my comprehension, but there was something pulsing in the poem's interior. Listening to its sirenic voice, I too “May mistake clotheslines for veins. May be naïve. May be lovesick.” I lived life twice and many more times while reading through these pieces. For hours on a Saturday night, I laughed tears at “the thought that big bird was meant to be on the challenger shuttle,” as written by thompson in “telemachus learns a fact about big bird.” There, the speaker’s questions are relentless, and death and morality are interrogated again and again. Such is the world we live in now. So I ask of you, reader, to remain inquisitive and in remembrance of all moments, brief or permanent. To be able to look into another’s eyes and admit, “this dirty sky is yours, if you want it so damn bad.”
Alongside these dizzying works were pieces that marched straight into my chest. The grotesque and
nonchalant “How to Process a Deer” features a speaker both well-accustomed to daily violence and the public’s reaction to it—constant fidgeting. Delos-Santos’ “DAIQUIRI” illustrates in vital detail danger and its common physical manifestation—drunk men. These two pieces yelled at me to listen, and I was more than happy to. In Issue Five are stories both honest and dishonest. They make up a landscape worth exploring, however dangerous and tumultuous. For months, even I tried to keep these pieces as secrets. To conceal my excitement about the gems that are these works. But there is a dead deer on the table, people dressed as Directors at the Museum of Knives, and even a yellow feather coated in rocket fuel and still burning. How could I hold back? Please enjoy Hominum Journal’s Issue Five.