Saturday, July 24, 2004

Bulls Eye

I've got a great magazine to report on, as I hinted at earlier, but this is going to be a two-parter. Just because I haven't gotten through the whole thing yet but it's THAT exciting to share immediately.

I got my hands on Gargoyle, No. 47, and so far, it's everything I feel a literary magazine should be. This gargoyle wards off the demons of convention and triviality.

Gargoyle was started in 1976, you can view its history here: Gargoyle. It's based in Arlington, Va., a suburb of Washington, DC. What's not so very important is that way back in the 1980's, it was one of the first lit mags I ever purchased, as a gothy young punk rocker and aspiring writer, but I lost track of it over the years.

So, it was a pleasure to run across it once again -- apparently it was on hiatus for a spell during the '90s. It may be a localized publication, but these days, if word gets out it's so much easier than in the past to get a literary magazine regardless of where it's from; I got my hands on my copy of Gargoyle No. 47 through, though I suppose with a little more effort I could have found it carried locally, since it's operating from my stomping ground.

I have to admit, despite being a writer, poetry isn't my "thing," though I have my history of writing what I dub "bad poetry" whenever a relationship of mine broke up (none of it for submission, being "bad poetry"). Most men didn't serve as poetry (or short story) muses until the affair was done, with a few exceptions (and this ain't that kind of blog, ha!). But anyway, if lots of modern poetry made me feel that something was lacking -- words like "pretentious" and "confessional" spring to mind -- not so with this issue of Gargoyle. Faves include Olive Oyl's perspective in "The Olive Oyl Tapes," by Debra Daniel; "engine company," by Alyson Palmer; "Band Fantasy," by W.T. Pfefferle; and "Fashion Magazines," by Adrienne Su.

And, there's a great doubleheader: "I Should Have Been Crazier," and "Gay Italian Man," both by Silvana Straw.

Those are just my favorites, I give gold stars to most of them. And I'm saving the part deux of this post for the fiction section of the magazine, which so far, has been blowing my doors off.

So anyway... thank you Gargoyle... for the focus on sharp, dark wit, irony, fearlessness, and disregard for the flat conventions of yesterday. Even though I haven't even finished turning the pages yet, this issue (which I believe was the 2003 issue, as it's published annually) was worth every last penny I spent, in my opinion. (And it's full of those Post-It flags I mentioned in my last post!)

Write on,



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