For those of us fortunate to live in Massachusetts, the name Paul Revere nearly conjures magic, in the fairy-tale sense. Perhaps it was by design, then, that the publishers of this journal’s very first edition would use tales that evoke feelings of long-agos, and far, far-aways. Micaela Morrissette’s tale, “The Glowing Light in the Forest” is the perfect ambassador for Paul Revere’s Horse’s first foray, and the perfect example of magic conjured by pen. Truly, I can give but a hint or two of her ingenious story/poem. For example, “In the cool, damp, dark forest, a princess.” If this seems like a slight tease, then I’ll add one of Morrissette’s devilishly clever lists: “The forest. The princess. The well. The tower. The red rose. The frog. The ring. The dog. The tear. The servant. The key. The mirror. The witch. The disguise.” But that is all I will say. To give you, the reader, more would spoil the surprise that is Morrissette’s writing, and her utterly captivating tale. This imagining would be enough to recommend the journal; it’s that good, but Paul Revere’s Horse has so much more to offer.
Here, too, is a collection of works by John Murray. Simply encapsulated as “Three Poems,” they are everything but simple. In “Ghost/Home,” Murray writes, “You are the sailor / Twenty years gone // Seashell on the water // Magician / Pirate // Witch of the mountain/ Witch of the sea.” Are you feeling Murray’s magic yet? Perhaps “Visitant” will do it for you. In it, the author writes, “The dreamcatcher caught me / Darting past your window in deep winds of sleep, / Spied you draped across your bed.” Finally comes Murray’s last poem, “The Dark of the Moon,” of which I will not share a single word: It is a very short poem. While not as magical as its completing pair, it makes up for it in sheer delight. “Three Poems” is a collection not to be missed.
Next up is Miranda Mellis’s “Transformer: Excerpt, Part 1.” Not to be outdone, Mellis tosses her pen into the witch’s brew of literary sleight of hand. To wit: “A girl’s mother, testing her, asks her daughter to set fire to the woods behind their house from a distance, with her mind. Wanting to please her mother, and curious to see if she can, the girl tries. She looks up at the forest and thinks, OK now burn. But it doesn’t. She fails.”
Also to be found is Christine Choi’s “Fifteen Love Letters.” Number 1 is as follows “I. DO NOT CLARIFY. IN CLARIFYING, YOU ARE SAYING THAT THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN POINTS IS A LINE – WHEN IT ISN’T.” Continuing with the first letter, Choi writes that, “I want to tell you about a swollen animals dream. A cushion dream, logged with faded dog-eared texts, the tavern lamp and its moths, cumulous clouds puffing up on the horizon. In my dream, we all eat fruit and understand that we are animals. We love our pet mice and birds as if we’d built a language together from scratch.” There is something magical in the speaker’s dream, rounding out these pieces.
Perhaps, again, it is only because I live a scant 20 miles from the scene of Paul Revere’s ride, the image of Paul Revere’s horse racing through the streets of Lexington has an evocation of long-ago, and a bit of far, far away for me. And this edition of Paul Revere’s Horse elicits these same feelings. But I suspect that you need not live in the cradle of liberty to feel the unrestrained magic of this journal. It’s absolutely enchanting.