Dragnet: always a delight to read. This particular issue features an Ouija board, a calculator museum, a fortuneteller, a twin who loses his virginity with the presence of his conjoined brother, and watermelons that are not for sale.
The first piece in the issue is an excerpt from Evan Munday’s Dial “M” for Morna (ECW Press), and I wish there was room and rights to publish more of it. With just a small taste, the reader gets instantly hooked as the narrator navigates a creepy, very old house (“I’m pretty sure I’m bad at judging the age of things, but I’d say everything inside the boarding house was a million years old.”) in the dark with his Ouijia board, ready to figure out how to resurrect “dead kids.” But he comes into some scenarios that are just as odd as his intentions.
George’s character is what makes Catriona Wright’s “The Unofficial Calculation Museum” tick. His care for his sister (who gives him no respect in return) is endearing yet alarming at the same time. And while the slot machine is her machine of choice, his is the calculator. He even has a museum to display them, something he notices not everyone appreciates. I couldn’t help but laugh when reading this line, a perfect summation of his character: “Though George had not managed to save his eyelashes . . . he’d managed to save the majority of his calculators . . .”
I was surprised to find poetry in this issue, but sure enough Bardia Sinaee dishes up several poems to enjoy, and enjoyable they are. “Band-Aid” is one I read several times, especially after the last line, which made me really think about the piece as a whole. I also especially liked “Please Call Control”: “Poetry’s a sugar pill, the moon / is a porthole, stars are gas escaping, / gut-wrenching love is gas escaping.”
Sadly, Dragnet has announced that they are closed to submissions as they are on an indefinite hiatus. It’s sad to see such a quality digital publication cease—but perhaps one day they’ll be back.