Editor Steve Schreiner opens this issue of Natural Bridge with a reference to Poe’s explanation of human temptation, that our “spirit of the Perverse” pushes us to “perpetuate actions to our peril simply because we feel that we should not.” The "Temptation Issue" offers many representations of this concept, from the swarming guppies in the late Dale Denny’s “Big Aquarium,” to the breast milk in James Vescovi’s “La Leche is Good for You,” to sticking one’s tongue to a cold porch railing in Amy M. Clark’s “Dumb.”
Refreshingly, many styles of poetry and fiction are featured, too, and it is this variety of temptation in both content and authorial approach that makes this issue particularly enjoyable.
Poetry standouts include Amy S. Debrecht’s landscape of desire in “Argument in Early Spring,” a stunning Baudelaire translation by Will Wells, “Recueillement,” Bob Hicok’s “Talking to Hawkins,” and Carol McCarthy’s “[The Lion Sits By My Bedside, Only it’s Not a Lion Anymore.]” Memorable fiction includes Charles Baxter’s “The Untranslated” and Emma Wunsch’s delightfully musical “Fingers.”
The "Temptation Issue" is quite successful, and I’m certainly glad that I decided – as Schreiner invites us all – to give in.