This issue of Four Ties Lit Review has a, perhaps unintentional, unifying theme: looking at people and communities in a new light and learning to accept the differences and overcome the boundaries—whether it is the readers who are asked to do this or the characters in the stories themselves.
Kristine McRae, in her nonfiction piece, teaches at a corrections facility in Alaska in order to prepare the “students” for the GED. She struggles to find a way to get through to them, and when she finds something that finally fosters classroom discussion, she has a plan: “Maybe next week we’ll write poems. Maybe that will make all the difference. Maybe it won’t.”
Jenny Root’s poem teaches that “you know it is the dance that heals / even in the undertow” through the use of rhythm throughout the stanzas:
You’re near him in the taverns, the alehouse
jugbands that grok the shimmy-jimmy long-
haired swing and jive, the banjo
and washboard can make you feel . . .
Erin F. Robinson’s fiction piece shows how a person may be too invested in her career and job. Emily, who has always dreamed of being a court reporter, becomes famous for her typing skills and invests in a new Steno machine. And even though she has a loving partner, it’s the machine that provides her with comfort and companionship:
Night after night, she would slip from his arms and spend the last moments of moonlight lying on the floor next to her machine, smoothing it over with her fingertips, pressing on the keys quietly, sometimes falling asleep for a moment to awake and find her cable wrapped around her body and plugged into her machine, the conduit for their exchange of passions and dreams.
Everyone is worried about her, including the boyfriend that walks out on her. Her response, however, is just, “You couldn’t accept me for who I am, and I’m okay with that. Now, can you just leave me alone?”
Though some of the poetry doesn’t seem to fit the mold that I’ve created for this issue, the pieces feel unifying all the same. This issue was a chance for Four Ties Lit Review to excel, making their third issue even better than the last.