Ask anyone here at NewPages, or anyone really who knows me, and they’ll tell you I can’t pass up anything cat-related that catches my eye. Anthony Santulli’s “Sorry for Your Loss,” though not necessarily sentimental, came to me only a day after my mother’s cat was put to sleep. Only a paragraph long, this short piece of nonfiction holds symbolism, even as the four of them “crawl up the stairs on all fours.” He writes, “What is it you’re holding on to? Is it the ninefold freedom of springtime shedding and arched backs, of sandpaper tongues and their baths?” Perfectly compact, and wonderfully cat-like.
And although I can’t say the rest of the pieces in this issue of The Citron Review have anything to do with felines, they certainly hold true with “Sorry for Your Loss” in their compactness.
In one story, the character’s dentist is convinced that his mother has written every story ever told (Kait Heacock’s “The Storyteller”). In Sheila Meltzer’s creative nonfiction piece, she starts out by saying,
I still hate bologna. Bologna schlongs hanging from the rafters at Katz’s, pre-sliced plastic supermarket bologna, and worst of all, the spectral pink imitation meat lurking in my brown paper lunch bag, glued with a shmear of Gulden’s between two slices of body-building Wonder Bread. Nauseating, necessary, phony bologna.
Yet as she is a young girl, her dad urges her not to complain to her mother, to keep her mother happy and from going crazy.
I also recommend reading Honor McElroy’s “Ink,” Rob Shapiro’s “Charlotte,” Caleb Beissert’s poetry translations, and Emma Burcart’s “Block.” The Citron Review publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art, but they are all the perfect length for an online magazine, allowing you to read, to enjoy, and to not stare at the light for so long.