Publishing short issues every week, Crack the Spine puts forth inventive and intriguing pieces. Because the issues come out so frequently, they are short—but packed with great readings.
The narrator in Tamara Adelman’s “Think Tank” challenges that sometimes the best thinking comes from thinking inside the box: “Once you put something inside a box, it becomes more interesting. What’s in the box, we want to know. Is it for me?” By swimming back and forth in a pool (a large “box”), you think less and less, becoming more freed. “I emerge, having left everything inside the box,” she writes. “I have a softer demeanor and a less furrowed brow when walking to the parking lot, as if I’ve been recombobulated.”
Cheryl Diane Kidder’s “Pi” ended abruptly, leaving me wanting more. Fueled in the first section mainly by the two characters’ conversation, the story was compelling and interesting. It left me with questions, making me wish to turn back and read again.
Jeffrey Park invites you into the journal with an inventive play on words in his poem, “Game for Two.” If the “two” are looked at as two people, then it’s quite the arousing poem. However, it’s really between a book and its reader:
And though we’ve played this game a hundred times,
I don’t really mind indulging you again, because
eventually you’ll fall asleep on your back,
light still on, me lying open on your breast, your
steady breathing gently stirring my pages, my spine
cracking pleasurably with every rise and fall.
And though you can’t crack the spine of this journal in the literal sense, flip through the pages on Issuu, “thrust your head into [its] gaping mouth,” and enjoy what the small issue has to offer.