In SUB-LIT’s first issue, you get the not so subtle impression that you will be titillated or at the very least tantalized. And you will, but in a more intellectually risky manner than first expected when you come face to face with the sexy 60’s style rock’n’roll poster on their website. The poems and stories in this issue challenge your definition of the truth.
In the Amy Lawless poem, the story of Julius Caesar gets a remake from the perspective of today’s generation: “But for these pigeons, / we’d be living the high life. / Deeply in debt, / I signed up to conquer Gaul.” In “tristesse,” a poem by Campbell McGrath, he addresses the search for happiness amidst the day to day, even even exploring the darkest depths of our human experience : “Turn over the rocks, seek it, moment to / moment, day to cloudiest day, a ring of / tombstones, flagpoles in the snow—.”
When you start reading what I will call the micro-fiction section, you are pushed forward by a rapid-fire personal account of a self critical mother. In “Mrs. Miller Takes a Stand” by Katherine Perry, the narrator addresses how parents affect their child’s future identity:
So though a victory perhaps unfairly bestows a sense of superiority on those undeserving babies in order to save them from the painful awareness of their own shortcomings, it’s fine, because every baby deserves to feel superior sometimes, even if it is at the expense of judiciousness and perspective…
SUB-LIT is a journal that will make you feel as if you were being shot out of a cannon in frilly under garments while perusing The Nations’ coarser but no less intellectually stimulating cousin.