Home » Newpages Blog » Ducts – Summer 2008

Ducts – Summer 2008

Ducts, a self-proclaimed “webzine of personal stories,” lives up to its hype in that the narratives that inhabit its confines smell of truth in one way or the other, especially when it comes to the lives and relationships of its central figures. Whether it is in essay, memoir, fiction, through the lens of its art gallery or in a poem, there is an emotional component that grips and excites.

Ducts, a self-proclaimed “webzine of personal stories,” lives up to its hype in that the narratives that inhabit its confines smell of truth in one way or the other, especially when it comes to the lives and relationships of its central figures. Whether it is in essay, memoir, fiction, through the lens of its art gallery or in a poem, there is an emotional component that grips and excites.

In the essay “Hung Over in the Playground” by Susan Buttenwieser, a mother post childbirth with a hangover has an ominous premonition about the other parents at the playground who are exchanging phone numbers, emails and addresses. When they discover that she is a new mother, they attempt to dictate to her how to properly raise her child: “Once the Other Parents realized the mother of a newborn was in their midst, they pounced on me as if they were members of the People’s Temple, full of reincarnation fanaticism. I was overpowered by all the unsolicited, unwanted advice.” This essay is written like it a work of science fiction where the mother wakes up and it seems to her that she is in an alien world.

In a memoir piece “Map of a Small World” by Sharon Thomson, a young Catholic girl talks to her imaginary friend the angel she has named in grand imaginary friend fashion, Jonathan: “I knew he was my Guardian Angel. That meant he was assigned to me from the beginning. From the very beginning in the hospital room, Jonathan was beside me: tall and fair and golden-haired, white wings spread out as he looked down on me, his new assignment just being born.” Not only does this story expound upon the personal histories of its characters, it brings clarity to the spiritual and displaced sentiments that they grew up with as well.

In “Easter Lilies,” a fiction piece by Jacqueline Bishop, a daughter returns home for the Easter Holidays:

I had the dream that night. Something dark and heavy was coming towards me. It had a vague undefined shape, and it kept coming closer and closer, as if it was trying to cover me up. In the past, whereas this dream used to frighten me; it no longer did. It moved very slowly, this purple-blue thing that was now wrapping itself around me, dancing with me, filling me up.

This story takes the ‘personal’ narrative and ups the ante in terms of the mystery and beauty it adds with its descriptions that take you inside the mind of the narrator and main character, an elegiac journey that makes you dance and dream alongside her.

In “Symmetries” by Ernest Hilbert, alongside a cartoon-like image of a candle that when it burns it, burns the word love in cloud of smoke, the sonnet is given a modern and graceful interpretation while sticking to its ancient tenets: “The sudden bled juices of early May \ Add thrills to life. Such persuasive liquor, \ When dried on the wick, primes it to burn. \ Something tugs night up like a sheet from day.”

And like this brilliant and exciting passage, Ducts diversity is its strength, so when you drink more from its fountain of effervescence, there will be no paradox or dilemma but a joy in knowing that there is more there just as intriguing and wonderful even though one is quite unlike the other.
[www.ducts.org/]

Spread the word!