Fugue is one of my favorite journals. There is always something exciting, inventive, original, and unexpected; something that reinforces my confidence in the state of American literature; something I am grateful to have encountered; something special in the best and truest sense of the word. In this issue, this includes prize-winning fiction from Colette Sartor and Paul Vidich; poetry from Margarita Delcheva, Bryan Narendorf, and Patty Crane, among others; fiction from Luther Magnussen and Heather Jacobs, among others; nonfiction from Sarah Fawn Montgomery, David Shields, and David McGlynn; and interview by Steve Heim with George Saunders; and an “Experiment” by Kevin Sampsell, “This is Between Us.”
The “Experiment” is illustrative of the journal’s approach and unique contribution to American letters, a kind of blurring of genres coupled with a respect for language, which creates intrigue, while privileging meaning over more superficial qualities:
I’m spinning a loaf of bread on my fingers. Will you dance with me next? The sun is on our naked backs.
You told me to never worry about you. You ate fish from the can. I thought about knocking it out of your hand, but which direction? Straight down, so it splats on the floor? Underhand, so that it enters your eyes? It’s not you I worry about.
This dense little journal never ceases to satisfy. Here are the opening lines of David McGlynn’s essay, “Disciples”: “After seventeen hours on the plane, a taxi ride from the airport to a downtown hostel, and breakfast the next morning in the tiny lobby café, I realized it had been two days since I’d had a conversation that didn’t involve an exchange of money.”
And here are the opening lines of “Landscape With and Without the Word Love” by Carolina Ebeid:
Who knows why, napping in the make-shift
barricade with a book that covered
the sun, the soldier woke then. Or maybe he didn’t
wake but dreamt the girl carrying
an oversized stuffed animal of a royal shade.
Fugue…a dream state…if you think this journal is one of the finest imaginable…you’re not dreaming.