An unpretentious magazine like Weave might be overlooked for its small, chapbook style format, but to pass this issue by would be a mistake of literary consequence. Subtitled “Writing •Art • Diversity • Community,” the editors of Weave could not have thought of anything better than these words, for they are all to be found within the magazine’s covers.
For example, the poem, “Night Shift” by Frank DePoole is an exploration of both scary monsters in the closet, and real monsters that prey on children. The all-too-familiar echoes of childhood fears and the realities of the world in which we live is a nicely conjured combination. As he closes the story with the chilling words, “When you see him tell your parents: / a monster with long black hair, / horns below groomed ears, / his eyes absent of pigment / tried to eat me. Just know/ that’s not his real face.”
Another fine literary concoction is Davka’s short story. “The Violence of Peace on Summer Day Yesterday” touches on the vagaries of teenage life. The violence to which Davka refers could be her hints at an alcoholic mother, whose own daughter has had to clean up after her. She could be referring to the blood she finds on her dress after she has bitten her nails to the quick. But the true violence of the story comes from a locust that has jumped straight into a wall because of the wall’s sky blue coloring. The concluding words here are just as disconcerting, if only for their nightmarish imaginings: “That night I dream that I have big tinsel wings that won’t fit under my dress. People stare and I smile. I find an ugly, evil doll on a sidewalk and she’s saying bad things about me and my family. I strangle her wooden neck until she stops speaking.”
There is another story about teenage life that stands out, in particular, for its gravitas. In this story, it’s college students, yet still in their teens. As Devon Ward-Thommes’s narrator will tell you: “My peers who seemed happy all weighed less than 130 pounds; they had long, shiny, straight hair and big smiles and popular boyfriends.” The author continues with “I thought that if I could just control my frizzy curls and have one of those hard-ass stomachs, I would be well, and able to relax, and feel fully alive. At nineteen, this is what I believed.” The rest of the story is just as compelling, but ruining it for the reader is not my style, so I shall defer.
But lest you think that Weave is a teenage themed periodical, there are wonderful surprises, like J. Richard McLaughlin’s poem, titled simply “Death.” In it he writes, “He’s not as well dressed as you might expect / a little slovenly even.” McLaughlin closes the poem in deft fashion as he writes, “He’d lend you ten bucks without asking why and never / remind you about it, certain he’d get it back eventually.”
The photographs contained within Weave’s basket of a book are gorgeous, too. In particular, I enjoyed Scott Bulger’s “Anatomy of a Piano #1,” and Andrena Zawinski’s untitled picture that is beautiful and haunting at once.
My only wish for Weave is that it were bigger; to stand taller amongst the other periodicals, and to be noticed amid the throng.