Before delving into discussion of the writing in Right Hand Pointing, it is worth noting that the magazine’s layout/design makes reading it easy. Such a simple design allows for full focus on the words rather than what they look like on the page. I read the issue entirely from my phone; at the end of each poem, I simply scrolled to the bottom and clicked the hand pointing to the right to continue on in the issue.
In Kim Suttell’s “Lilaceous,” the narrator does not wish to be “lilaceous,” instead, she wishes to be “the hot oven, /and jagged ends, // a rough plank and splinters / and the spider’s trap.”
Karen Greenbaum-Maya’s “Homeland Security” reminds me of the week I helped fix up an older woman’s house where six Chihuahuas stood guard. The poem starts:
Two, then five electrified Chihuahuas
boil out of the porch’s shade,
snarling so far back in their throats
they choke on their own sound,
jitter stiff-legged trying to get at us
The rest of the poetry contains excellent lines such as “thin as a soap bubble / lost inside bones” (Helen Losse’s “A mere sensation”), “He makes his bed, he breaks / bread, he washes the dishes / and lets vain wishes / slip down the drain” (Geordie de Boer’s “Solitude”), and “‘you’ll never live / up to the sea’ // but the body keeps trying” (Alexandra C. Fox’s “7/25”).
A short fiction piece, “The Lottery Winner” by Timothy Gager, tells of the interesting things the lottery winner spends her winnings on, starting with what she buys her boyfriend:
She buys her boyfriend a roller-coaster with some of the winnings, which takes up his entire backyard, but has to pay additionally to have some trees cleared. “Now you can ride it over and over again to match your mood swings,” she says. He tells her that he never asked for that. “Neither did I,” she says.
In the end, she buys herself a lighthouse, where she can have parties, because, after all, “A lottery winner deserves to dance.”
As the magazine always says in the email announcements, “It’s your hand. It’s right. And it’s pointing.” Follow where it’s pointing and read this issue.