Because theNewerYork is a different breed of literary magazine entirely (“We are changing the publishing world,” the website states), it’s only fitting to go with an unconventional review, in this case, “An Imagined Instructional Editorial List (in Review)”:
1. Capture readers’ attention with the immediacy of writing and art with selected works that heighten awareness and make the unnoticed more noticeable.
2. Explore ideas and quirky turns of phrase in experimental flash fiction in narrative and other forms no longer than two pages. For example, present Gideon Nachman’s “Unheralded Monsters” as a chart of drawings and text from an 8-year-old’s birthday party (The piece includes “The Giant Rock” that describes the image as “an absolutely humongous rock. That can also fly.” Point of view is spot on). Also include “Soothe as Excalibur” by Uzodinma Okehi for its conviction that “something is always missing” and Shane Jesse Christmass’s “My Delicate Response to a Child’s Writing Prompt Website” that expresses the what ifs of the prompts in innovative language such as “I’d purchase a yacht and shade my walk up and down the bridge deck, grabbing a box of matches and striking a light.”
3. Rouse readers with images of a city “under the weight of ten thousand Chevy Impalas” and “tangents o dripping laughter and skyblue and burgundy and things whispered under flannel” from Jane Huffman’s “Vegetables.”
4. Mesmerize with magic tricks, glossaries, and provocative art between the pages of flash. Alarm with Charles Holdefer’s “The Amazing Sticking Quarter,” a piece impossible to look away from (diagram of a twopenny screw included). Define Facebook as a “pixelated party place; purposelessly posting personal pictures presenting poorly parented pre-teens.” (Smile at the alliteration).
5. Invert selections to have readers flip the magazine over or sideways to engage with works that test reader resolve. Invite readers to gaze at art depicting a head on fire in a field in “La nube roja” by David de las Heras; Eric Boyd’s “Our Bodies,” a Venn diagram that compares the bodies of a human and a butterfly; and Nils Davey’s “Numbers,” a silhouette of a person constructed out of numbers.
6. Exhibit a “Flipbook” of letters by Christine Gosny, an array of photocopied poetic desk notes expressing love in five possible scenarios. Expose her talent for seeing the unseen in relationships, in describing a man’s lips as “puckered like / The anus of a balloon,” and in revealing truths such as “This morning I was cleaning up the glass, I cut myself / On the side of my foot and the blood made me cum again / Because it reminded me of the inside of your mouth . . .” and in breaking your heart with “A tree grows in place / Of my ache for you.”
7. Experiment with text size, color and style, with backgrounds and superimposed images over text. Showcase “Proverbs 10:22” by Stephen Lipman that displays a woman’s semi-naked image hanging upside down from her feet as if she were Christ inverted. Use color, bold, black & white in a diverse array of works.
8. Select imaginative works of creativity that defy genre and risk re-definition. Include among these Jeremy Bachman’s “Rejected Submissions to ‘The Complete Baby Name Wizard’” and “Show & Tell: An American Game” by Anton Nimblett. Present these as “Submissions” and “A History” respectively.
9. Hope that readers will notice the madness in the method and read “The Shy Prologue” that appears at the end of the issue which embraces ideas in words written by Percy Shelley, the editor’s “favorite atheist,” drawing attention to Shelley’s idea that we are “shielded, most of the time, from the miracle of life,” and that ends with editor Joshua S. Raab’s command to readers to “Be alarmed.”
10. Publish an issue of theNewerYork that offers readers an experience with literature that they will find engaging, evocative, and remarkable.