Sunday, October 3, 2010

LUNGFULL! magazine: I recommend it; & do read the small print

Issue 16, photo by Tracey McTeague
LUNGFULL!  affiliate John Most recently mailed me an issue, for free and for fun, and I decided I'd mention it here if moved to. I am moved.  Poems, stories and art are, each and all, good reads, as in of individual merit, as in reflecting original perspectives, as in bucking the (alleged) trend of averaged-out workshop poems & co.

There are several art series. I fell in love withTracey McTague's eight black-and-white photographs of neighborhood kids in summer. They're real kids with attitude, expression, conflict, charm, kid-collusion. McTague's unsentimental and grand affection for them is very much in the work.

Many LUNGFULL! poems are presented opposite their drafts. Remember drafts? Edith Wharton, John Keats, Langston Hughes wrote and rewrote, some retyped, their work on pieces of paper in a concerted and effective effort to keep generations of academics analyzing, publishing and therefore not perishing. While I have no particular interest in drafts, even when they're of the very great and exhibited at the Morgan Library, I like knowing they exist. I'm old enough to have started writing on a typewriter, and retyped stories many times; I'd rather not tell you how many. But in reading lit., I'm after the experience, not the process. Still, some readers will pore over them and that's good. I don't know why, but it is.

Alex Galper's draft is in Russian. His absurdly touching "Che Guevera's Diet" contrasts American sweets and our collective and his personal aching to lose pounds with Che. The translation could be lots better, but I was enchanted and didn't mind. As a friend once said, to stop my dramatic editing, "Hey, it's a poem [already]!"

I'm encircled by blueberry cheesecakes,
it is everywhere,
at work, home, guests'
bad capitalist cheesecakes.
Like Guevera was ambushed and captured,
I absolutely, coincidentally entered a bakery,
bold revolutionary hollowed,
"You can't kill me!
I'm the very Che Guevera himself!"

More could be sung of LUNGFULL!, all of it positive, cheerful, encouraging and respectful. I will end with what won me over right off the bat. On page three, with a jump to the inside back cover, is mock Patient Information in wee tiny print just like a P.I. printed on thin white paper folded like an Auto Club map to Hell. If it were FDA-approved info for Xanax (I wish) or Carvedilol (who knows) you'd be warned there was a possibility your eyes could become dice and roll from their sockets onto a craps table in a Polish neighbood in Chicago, your skin turn to store-brand lemon jello without the floating fruit, your heart start courting your spleen and the two run away to honeymoon in a nicer body.

I have proofread Patient Information inserts for ad agencies. If only Big Pharm would pay me to read LUNGFULL! I'd be a happy woman. (And thus: Sarah Sarai will never be a happy woman.)

Editor Brendan Lorber &/staff of LUNGFULL! write(s) in their P.I.  (by way of one tiny example): ". . . The price'll go up over that time so if you don't act now you'll be like those people you hear about who had a big New York apartment that they sold for some sea monkeys and an old shoe in 1979."  If that's not an inducement to read and subscribe to LUNGFULL!, God help you all.

Go to lungfull.org for subscription information and more.

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