Hot and Cold
It's winter in New York where Phil and I and our ever-growing staff of editors, publicity specialists and manicurists toil to bring you your favorite webzine every three months. That means it's getting cold here, the streets will soon be covered with a grayish, slushy snow and the people will soon be heading indoors to cuddle and stay warm. For some of our readers, though -- people in Louisiana and Australia and Brazil -- the weather is much hotter. Those folks will soon be sitting out on the stoop, wiping sweat from their brows and praying for rain.
Well, whether you're hot or cold this time of year, ducts is always cool. And we're happy to be the heating blanket or the tall glass of lemonade you're craving.
We have collected a diverse group of writers, artists and photographers who will warm your heart, chill your spine and generally make you happy you popped on your computer to read.
Thomas Ziorjen returns to the ducts with a series of marvelous, abstract paintings. Stroll through the gallery and check out "Jazz." Christine Walters and Thomas "Naked Man" Fast offer photographs of two very different countries. Christine captures the joy and spiritual beauty of "Italy" as well as the absurdity. And Naked Man offers us a glimpse into the many "Masks of Japan." You'll find them haunting and engaging.
Everything you wanted to know about dating (and some things you probably didn't want to know). In this issue, Bachelor Girl answers all those questions you've been dying to ask... but haven't (hint, hint).
These guys are angry and they want you to be angry too. Bill Bilodeau in "So, here's the thing..." is ticked off at Gore and Bush and Florida and the Electoral College. Maybe he should move to Canada. Nick Bhasin, in "Insanity," is his usual, sarcastic self. Join him as he tries to buy a home theater system. And Ben Malcolm in his "D.C., Beside the Beltway," wants to save his favorite D.C. monument. No, he wants YOU to save it.
Check out this duct to get discriminating evaluations of music, movies, books and all things cultural. Mark Goldblatt offers a thought-provoking rumination on Barbara Kruger's book, The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought. If you've always wanted to understand the difference between Catholicism and Calvinism, this piece is for you. And for those living in or just visiting New York City, Randi Hoffman lets you know whether or not you should check out Barbara Kruger's one-woman exhibition at the Whitney Museum.
More fiction, autobiographies and poetry by and for kids. You'll stay warm and toasty with KC Trommer's wonderful picture book, "Ha-Ha Mama." And Jonathan Kravetz (he's so cool) will thrill kids and adults alike with the first chapter of his middle reader book, "Jacob and His Melting Bike." Johanna Li's illustrations for "Jacob" are wonderful (so says the editor!).
And we hope you'll also enjoy the engaging work of the following kids. From New York City: Isaac Bloch, Rashida Ortiz and Yves Voltaire. And from Okayama City, Japan: Saki Yasunobu, Nao Yamamoto, Yui Komoto, Teppei Inoue, Neki Naoko and Ryoko Kamegawa.
If you've been keeping up with these writers, then you'll be thrilled they're back with more of their deeply personal stories. If this is your first time visiting this duct, then you're in for something special. Laura Emily Mason continues her fascinating story of living with Multiple Personality Disorder in "Myself Divided." Thomas Fast talks about his first winter in Japan in his "Naked Man Journal." And Harilyn Rousso writes about the extra difficulty of learning to drive a car for a person with Cerebral Palsy in "Disabled Yet Intact."
Peter Selgin explores the nature of relatives on a trip to Italy in his quietly elegant "To Die of Italy." Karen Ogulnick also visits another country, Japan. She investigates how the ways in which we acquire language affects our identities in "Learning Language/Learning Self." Coincidentally, we have photographs from both Italy and Japan in our Art Gallery that we hope you'll peruse. Finally, "First Things Last" is Martine J. Byer's moving account of her relationship with her aging mother.
We are so pleased to present even more of the very BEST English language poets in the world. Our contributors this time around are Sharon Olds, Rita Dove, Quincy Troupe, Marilyn Hacker and David Baker.
We have four new stories, each with a unique style and point of view. What they have in common: all will move you. Mitchell Levenberg returns to the ducts with "Dyspnea," a haunting, surreal tale about a woman starved for air. "The Waiting Room" is E.B. Gallardo's first published story. It's a hypnotic meditation about a woman avoiding the decision of her life. Francine Witte offers another of her short, short stories, "Cowboy," a tale of a desperate woman. Its impact will stay with you. And Kaley Noonan's "Deep in the Reverend's Closet" is another funny, disturbing excerpt from her e-novel, Backwoods East Jesus.
Phil and I are, as always, happy that we've again managed to push aside our turkey burger platters and found time to bring you all of these amazing writers and artists. We hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do. Thank you very much for visiting and we hope you'll return again and again. And please don't forget to check out our previous issues! The writing in ducts never gets old!