Editor’s Note: Dec 2020

You might be asking why I created an editorial for an issue that doesn’t exist…well, don’t the departed need memorials? After all, frak\ture technically died for a few months around the fourth issue, though we think we’ve brushed all the worms off by now.  Apparently, we stood so still for the fourth issue’s pandemic portrait that everyone correctly thought us gone. Consider this a finger twitch. 

In essence, this editorial eulogizes frak\ture. In part for remembrance, it serves as a tombstone for the darkest moment in our publication’s history. Speaking the fourth issue’s name out loud allows us to reflect on our previous course and provides a seance with the unknown and the unpublished. Though empty, it reminds of our own emptiness, loneliness, and darkness felt during the later half of 2020—a black dog that yaps even now.  

Most people want to forget 2020 ever existed. But we want to honor, not the year, not solely the fourth issue, but the determination to endure like a stubborn weed still growing in a concrete crack despite all the Roundup, to remember the pain of our rebirth while singed upon a world gone full pyre.  

Our death spiral formed back during our third issue when we scrapped our editorial at the last minute due to the difficulty writing under a backdrop of pandemic death.  Also, while we were all busy fighting one pandemic, we were reminded that we hadn’t even finished resolving numerous others: racism, xenophobism, poverty, police violence, climate change, and political immorality, etc. We felt too overwhelmed to adequately place our feelings into something as flighty as words, so we turned to flights of wine instead.   

Reflecting on how to respectfully dovetail the accepted submissions amid all the death and despair that produced such work became Sisyphean. Moreover, we visually watched the nation tear apart over the last few months and it tore us too. We wondered why we should bother contributing as one of the many other millions of tiny voices. When the throat feels tight with emotion, it’s a bad time for words.

Of course, none of the recent world events are the kind of frak\ture we wanted, but it begs the question, what is the end result our journal would like to happen in the world? If our tagline is “poetry as jackhammer” it means we are tearing down current foundations in order to build better. Unfortunately, the societal ills we chose to chisel wore our pen to the nub.  Folks, we forgot the power of screaming demands a unison. We forgot we are the megaphone, not the shout. Here we are again, in your street, calling to your windows, asking you to come down and speak your mind. Will you again join us? Heart and mind willing, see you in June 2021.

Your editor-in-grief,
J.L.