Tuesday, January 30, 2007

LitMag Wave: Red Rock Review #18

Although I’d heard of Red Rock Review and even submitted a story there a few years ago, the Winter 2006 issue is the first I’ve seen, and it’s a magazine that’s worth keeping in mind.

There is a substantial amount of good work here, including:

Poetry by Marge Piercy (how did they manage that?)
From "The Mystery of Survival"
So much feels arbitrary. How could
I know that August afternoon when
A hawk rose from its town rabbit
In the bayberries that I would set down
Deep scrabbling roots in this hillside?

A moving story, "In the Shadows of the Mountains," by Tod Erkkila. The narrator is a boy of 14 who lives a simple, hard life with his grandparents, after the death of his mother and the disappearance of this father. The reader can see the boy become a man as he watches his grandfather’s quiet strength. When the grandfather dies, the boy has to grow up faster. And while the ending of the piece comes close to being trite in its predictability, you really wouldn’t want it any other way.

"Money Jungle" by Olivier Morteau, enacting an event that has happened to me and probably to thousands of others who are conned out of a few bucks, or twenty, or forty, by a slick artist playing on feelings of guilt. I was right there with Luc, the point of view character, when he handed over the money, knowing that he would probably never see it again.

And "Silence" by H. Lee Barnes, which begins as something out of a television crime drama, but is much more. The narrator here, so proud of what he has become, confronts layers of prejudice he thought he’d put behind him, and makes himself think of ways that he can reach out to others.

And there’s more, of course.

Next up: One Story

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