Editor’s Note -- Soft Light
Blood Orange Review 3.3
I used to live a couple of blocks from Raymond Carver’s former home. In the evenings, I’d walk past on the dark street and peer in through the warm light of the undressed windows to see walls of bookshelves in an empty living room. I always half expected to glance in and see him sitting in a worn chair, reading in the soft light. Somehow, it was comforting to think that at one point, he sat right there, in a little house at the intersection of two anonymous streets. He and I shared the same view of the sometimes turbulent and sometimes pacific Strait of Juan de Fuca .
When the cacophony of human life becomes hushed and I am granted the chance to observe discreetly, I become mesmerized with the tender, tragic theater before me. When I stride anonymously along the unlit sidewalks and look into windows at the sheeted birdcages and abandoned dining rooms, I can imagine the lives of the people that had just slipped invisibly out of sight. I love them, the ghosts that haunt my nighttime meanderings. This is the way literature blends in with my day and blurs at the edges. It is the way I carry other writers and their creations with me.
The writing and artwork in the current issue of Blood Orange Review has captivated me in much the same way. Douglas Bruton’s short piece, “A Pebble from the River for Annie” shows a character during a crisis moment that will re-shape the very essence of her being for the rest of her life; the young girl will haunt me as much as Dickens’ Miss Havisham. Laura Ring’s poem, “Grimes Grave” is one that must be read out loud to feel the muscle and grist and hear the scrape of metal on stone.
The issue is compact and powerful, but it isn’t all seriousness or tragedy; Brandon R. Schrand and Calvin Mills offer two humorous contemplations on the ways two writers confront failure. And Jane Linders’ photography (Mike Ross’ Big Rig Jig is show above) is quirky and marvelous.
The September 2008 issue of Blood Orange Review has come together in the midst of intense political, economic, and social anxiety, and I think that it is palpable in the issue. It feels like a strong vibration in the air, perhaps something like oboe music drifting in from the neighbor’s backyard.
Heather K. Hummel, editor
Blood Orange Review