The deer in the field were startled by the first shot, were you? You in your pews a thousand feet away there praying for sins praying for life while gun club gunshots rang in the holy morning, frightened the deer
and the bobolink.
Or you, while the tactical defense cleric in police surplice preached a safety sermon to the congregation there from the sacred pulpit: carry your faith defend from evil shoot to kill all lives matter…
From my window all I need to know of Earth this morning: her ombré sky indecisive her sun bold no matter glowing green buds of spring / that flash of red? a cardinal who was singing just a moment ago a duet like a record baby spider spinning another masterpiece as shadows fly across the lawn they bob and weave and somersault punctuated by bee bee bee bee the pond ripples with morning traffic turtles and ducks and frogs peep peep peep while the trees in unison sing Watch Our Here I Come!
Broken Pencil Magazine has been supporting zine culture and independent creative action for more than 25 years. Published four times a year, each issue of Broken Pencil features reviews of hundreds of zines and small press books, plus comics, excerpts from the best of the underground press, interviews, original fiction and commentary on all aspects of the indie arts. From the hilarious to the perverse, Broken Pencil challenges conformity and demands attention.
For all of those reasons and more, I was gobsmacked to see that MANIFEST (zine) was featured in their 25th Anniversary Issue! The cover of REFUGE, the quarantine zine, appears on page 38 – because, as they say, “the pandemic is the ultimate zine sourdough starter.”
So here we go…feel free to post your own WWWs in the comments below!
What are you currently reading?
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
“An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter.”
I’m taking my time with this one, holding on tightly to the separate stories that are dancing around each other from page to page.
What did you recently finish reading?
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History Art Spiegelman
“A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.”
Truth be told, I am not a fan of the graphic novel approach — but this book got so much press after it was banned by a Tennessee school board, I was curious and felt compelled to read it.
What do you think you’ll read next?
What Do People Do All Day? Richard Scarry
“An illustrated panorama of the animals of Busytown at work, describing the occupations and activities of many of her citizens through detailed drawings with labels indicating processes and equipment used as they perform their jobs.”
Research for the next issue of my zine, MANIFEST (zine), I can’t wait to revisit a favorite illustrator and favorite characters from my childhood. Who could resist?
A woman takes a knee by the side of the road thinks: “Surely the Mourning Cloak I spied this morning is mourning. Having surveyed our condition from its higher vantage point, it must wonder, as I do, if the storm that fell so many trees, that destroyed this holy place, did so on purpose. Barring us from passage. Asking us who we think we are, as Frost wrote, insisting always on our own way so. Our own way. God help us. Who DO we think we are…littering these open spaces with our trash, leaving our detritus and dog shit behind? Dragging our noisy selves and our machineries along paths as if we have some lofty right? Infesting the woods with our toxic nature, our assumed religions, our fabricated joy? Infesting the world with our opinions, our politics, our petty, pathetic proclivities? Insisting on our own way and ever ignorant of the ripple effect, the consequences?”
A woman takes a knee by the side of the road — butterfly, startled, flies away, a world away a world dies — and we think she is praying.
My first family was soft and warm, and covered me with enough love and affection to keep my heart hopeful for decades. My second family was threadbare, though, worn down so much that it hardly covered the dysfunction anymore, left me sick and unable to breathe. My third family fell apart at the seams. My fourth has been a patchwork of cotton and corduroy — thin in places, strong in others, woven together over time and enough to pull up to my chin, close my eyes and remember the little girl skipping, blanket always in tow, her Mom and Dad laughing.