January 21, 2024
Not a lot to bang on about in the editor's letter today. It's been a busy week, busier than I've had in a while. I'm real tired, but it's the good kind; the kind you get when you're spending your time in a worthy way, in a way that makes you hopeful for the future. I've been juggling magazine work with press work, drafting fun micro fics, and sneaking some work on my novel here and there.
Life spent in the pursuit of your passions is a life well-spent, I think. My heart's certainly singing this week in a way it hasn't for a long while, and I think that pursuing my passions – and connecting with people who do the same – is healing a lot of hurt from recent years. Wherever this finds you, I hope you're finding similar solace in working on whatever means the most to you in your life.
I'm always floored by the quality and depth of the work that comes through the M7 inbox, and this week's mixtape is no exception.
Kip Knott delivers a gut punch with the two-line"Backpack Song." Eclectic song choices always pique my interest, but I wasn't prepared to be quite so winded when I clicked through. "Backpack Song" is as much a Congress petition as it is a literary feat.
"Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" captures the pure essence of what M7 was founded for – to honour the way a song can colour memory and suspend time forever in a few beats or bars. Take a sweat-drenched, bewildered wander with Marissa DeSantis through foreign streets.
Ashley Varela pitched "The Last" to me as a "duplex that tunnels into a moment of personal crisis," and holy shit does it deliver. The relief of arriving safe and quietly triumphant after being dangled at the precipice of this poem's midpoint had me in tears. Send it to someone who might need it today, and hug your loved ones a little closer.
"Fader" is a soft, desperate lament for a relationship on the brink of collapse. Sometimes pieces capture you with voice, with perspective, with neat tricks or turns of phrase; Joseph Linscott soaks you in the absolute ache of the inevitable.
Terri Linn Davis suspends us in familial patterns with "The Song That Never Ends", a meditation on the ways we learn to love – for better, or worse – from our parents. The one-two combo of "the finale is an ache, a starving" to "love me, love me," will leave you punch-drunk with recognition: we're all stumbling on love through the lense of emotional legacy.
Gwen Hilton's "The Swing" nods at Ghostface while cataloguing more casual violence: the kind traded between kids in unfinished basements, the kind visited on us by loved ones, the kind that lingers in our memory.
Hope you enjoy volume 7, and hope you're keeping company with who – and what – makes you most happy.