This issue of Eclectica is a bursting collection. From the poetry to the prose, I was enthralled, spending hours reading. My favorite piece, “Sasha, That Night” by G. K. Wuori, told the story of a woman named Sasha who has a special ability that she cannot always control: she is a “hydraulic vigilante.” She is able to manipulate liquids, causing them to move, or boil, or freeze.
In truth, not many people ever think about influencing liquids except maybe plumbers and dam builders and certain scientists. Certainly not the average person who just sweats and pees and cries and spits and feels themselves in harmony with all manner of geographic stabilities. Still, from Sasha’s point of view, it was simply a small gift like being double-jointed or able to curl your tongue or wiggle your ears. What had always made it interesting, though, was the way it was tied into her emotions, that pit of quicksand deep inside we’re always falling into, she liked to say, and only occasionally out of. A quicksand, too, we only rarely control.
William Cashman had me laughing throughout “Trouble of Her Own” as he tells the story of a poor, young man who seeks shelter for the night by picking up a woman on the side of the street. The story was filled with witty lines such as “She was obviously yet another of those who are two different people—why America’s bigger than China if you count personas and not just bodies,” and “He was so frustrated, he threw his lucky Indian-head penny into the sewage ditch known as Slag Creek; it had been six years since the penny had done him any good, and he’d begun to think the copper-skinned chief was mocking him. Hey, brother, we lost everything, too.”
“Insecticide” by Bosley Gravel shows how we have to adapt to new life as a man named Tio must deal with having lost his daughter. Ken Poyner also deals with this issue in his poem “Adaptation” about a city where everything turns to glass: “No one could imagine how fragile / Anything might now be.”
More stirring poetry comes from Ruth Ann Baumann in “Rapunzel Searches” (“There was not a single brain in a single head / near her that understood”), Christine Potter in “Watching Tornadoes” (“A sheet of stainless steel landed in your cousin’s / yard. Shit is falling from the sky, he said on the phone, // but then it was over”), and Simon Perchik in “Untitled” (it’s enough when it rains / you can lean down and grasp hand over hand / without caring why or holding back”).