Here you’ll find merch, Issue #11 story excerpts, interviews, the issue’s Spotify playlist, & links to reviews. So take a look, and make sure you haven’t missed anything!
Me never notice the little stowaway until it come time fi cook the morning’s first batch of hominy. A lizard as big as me index finger bury ina the brown sugar I just pick up from the Constant Spring Market. Poor thing probably dead after me pack down as much as the little plastic baggie could carry.
How many mornings me go a market and bring back nothing but the day’s ingredients? From the first time I decide to do business with the wholesaler, who love sell them wares in open-air market, I take care to look out for little critter that love munch pon pimento, cloves or whatever them can get themselves into. A little over 80,000 mornings and now the clock reset to zero.
But first, chérie, try to picture Maam Iba: our tall fisherman from Conakry, standing nearly naked on his beach. His thin beard is starting to turn more white than gray, and looks like it’s always been more gray than black. His hair is still thick, though always retreating, as if in terror of his forehead. His eyes have darker whites and lighter browns. You can hear him when he smiles, and you can see time in his spine.
Leave him here for a moment, and picture the way his days, as far back as anyone in Conakry can now remember, have always been the same.
I see the dragon feather first, but when I record our progress for the day, I will write that Nihla was the one to discover the first hopeful sign. I will give her that kindness, a gift that will only matter if we find the dragon and don’t die in the middle of the wastes. If my manuscript survives as long as those of the greatest poets in my family, I will not only be giving her a kindness but bestowing even greater honor upon her. Few ever touch a dragon’s feather, whether it is still attached to the dragon or not.
She stood in a brass doll stand on the window shelf in Mrs. Lovey’s Irresistible Toys and Candy Store looking out on Eighth Avenue and 72nd Street. The casual passer-by would have easily missed the momentary gleam in the doll’s eyes. She awoke that day and named herself Chevella because that was the only word she could remember from the old language of the doll world. She didn’t remember much of her life before; all she had now was the rubbery plastic odor of her, the mahogany sheen of her doll skin, and the intense yearning for love that yokes all doll forms to the human world.
Poem: “A Song For Midday” by Maz Hedgehog
Poem: “Ọ́jí Íjè [KOLA JOURNEY]“ by Uche Ogbuji