It seems fitting that in a time of increased conversations around the world about globalization, migrations, immigrations and border crossings that we are publishing this folio. Short shorts, I think, hold particular promise in providing encapsulated but unique ways of seeing. These short shorts set out to see the world around us, allowing us to see and be seen. These shorts, just as I hoped, present political, social and cultural experiences and complicate our understanding of concepts like home, freedom and belonging.

Three pieces do so by bringing together image and text: Kristen Nelson’s and Noah Saterstrom’s “Ghosty,” François Lemieux and Malcolm Sutton’s excerpts from “1001 Xanadus” and Quintan Ana Wikswo’s “Oh Appomatax This Antidote is Our Undoing.”

Alexander Jorgensen, Elizabeth Colen, and Jaimee Wriston Colbert write of haunting and hellish past experiences with regards to the belonging, or lack of belonging, that comes with familial relationships. Sherrie Flick, Ian Goodale, Lauren Godwin Slaughter, and Edward Hagelstein furnish perspectives on domestic spaces, home and coming of age—these stories will linger with you well after you’ve read them.

Karina Borowicz, Shome Dasgputa, Mikael de Lara Co, Edward Hagelstein, and Anjie S. Reynolds include the magic of a child’s imagination, the mourning of a dead tractor, creation myth, the memory of killing an animal, and a walk through a sheet of music bar after bar after bar.

Eric Bennett, Susan Tepper, and Kirby Wright’s pieces speak to failed romances in compelling and un-cliché ways. Kaveh Bassiri and Deepak Unnikrishnan’s works touched me deeply in terms of their stories’ representation of the immigrant experience.

I feel like Charlie in Renee LaGue’s short short when I’m reading this folio: “love gently to the waves, watching it leave no mark except some bubbles…[s]he puts on…old glasses the traffic lights become haloed green yellow red, blinking and signaling to the missing hills and the flooded marsh flats he is weightless boatless and in the practice of a motion again and again.” I hope you feel a similar magic in motion as you read this folio.

Deborah Marie Poe, fiction editor
June, 2010