Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

It goes without saying what a pair of years it’s been. I know we’re all tired of talking about it.

It’s okay to acknowledge that ‘a new normal’ like the one we’ve been attempting a return to doesn’t exist. For that to come about, there had to be a ‘normal’ to base it on in the first place. But the human experience is round, brilliant, with infinite twinkling facets. Our world shifts, person to person, evolves and transforms with each set of blinking eyes. We thought we shared a world. What we share is space. Going back to whatever the ‘normal world’ was may not make sense any longer; we’ve all changed in ways we didn’t expect during the course of our often overwhelming shared experience. But we can, and will continue to, share space. 

I guess my goals, as I worked on putting together this issue, speak to that. I wanted to hold and share space. In “Bahía Solano,” Benjamin Faro puts it well: “Geography/isn’t the only thing/that    separates    us.” It feels like more and more is added to the list every day. I don’t usually feel like I have answers to anything. But the thing that has always made me feel more fully present in myself, is tossing a grappling hook outside of my own vortex and climbing up it, until I can see someone else. My other goal was just to feel deeply, and give others the same opportunity. Sometimes, we need art to give us permission to simmer in what’s already filling our hearts.

Everyone reading this is here. We survive and exist, and we have the privilege of experiencing creative work alongside other people. I’m so grateful to the creators who have shared their work with us for this issue. Their works – relatable, vivid, prescient, stirring – offer us a chance to live, over and over, and know that, in our infinite lives, we are here together. 

It hasn’t really stopped feeling like the world is ending, the sky is falling, or the city is sinking. Maybe this is the new normal, and maybe it’s not really new. But I’m looking forward to soaking up the sunny Miami ‘winter’ for as long as I’m here. I’m eager to catch up on my backlog of fiction, to scatter myself across even more existences. And I’m happy to welcome you to Issue 11 of Sinking City!

With love,

Amanda Lamadrid

Letter from the Editor

View from a dock in Downtown Cocoa, FL. If you look closely enough, you can spot a dolphin almost surfacing the water.

Dear reader,

I think it’s safe to say that most of us do not follow the concept of time with the same sense of constancy we used to. This issue has taken longer than anticipated to get together, but like much of life, Sinking City has had to go through many transformations. Thank you for your dear, dear patience.

We have been graced with a multitude of pieces this reading period, by a diverse collective of writers, especially by emerging writers, and for works that bend the boundaries a little more, because what else can we to make sense of the world than by breaking the very structures (of anything) at the seams?

As a nod to our fiction writer from this issue, Anita Goveas, I constantly think about the concept of “environmental disturbance”, and what that looks like in our everyday world at this point. The way in which the physical world destroys, more and more every day: “the building or the tearing down” that Bryan Harvey talks writes about. Or we can extend it to metaphorical, what we “take for granted, for what it is” (taken from Thad DeVassie’s poem), or to the idea of “saving time”, or bending the continuum” (quoted from Chloé Firetto-Toomey’s poem).

“But what of the field, you ask?” (Esther Vincent Xueming). We can think of “field” through so many dimensions. The field of the backyard, in which we inhabit for most of our days nowadays, when we need to take a break from the screen. Maybe we come back to the field our childhood. Or perhaps we take time to revisit fields of our memory, to remember what a more transient :

“when it starts raining frogs and broken crutches / everyone will take notice”.
“Perhaps for the first time / since the toys were taped shut […]”, we play with them again.

What I’m attempting to get at is we have been gifted with a new issue which addresses and speaks to all of this unrest. Each piece responds in some way with deliberate meditation, care, sometimes through the element of the fantastic, and others with humor (I’m thinking specifically of Michael Chang’s piece, which includes the collective “we are poet”).

Thank you all again for your continued dedication and engagement to our magazine. We hope you enjoy issue 9!

P.S: I dedicate this issue to my close friend, Michael, who left this world too soon.

With love and gratitude,

Clayre Benzadón
Managing Editor