Winter 2020

A Letter From the Editor

   “Holders of one position, wrong for years.”
      —W. H. Auden


These Lines will not produce a new issue for Winter 2020. Any submissions will go unread and unkept until the possibility of producing volume 2, number 1 looks promising and probable. I’m hoping for Summer 2021 and will be looking for material beginning March 1, 2021 unless I update otherwise.


The lapse comes as a result of various shortages and surpluses, guns and butter, green eggs and ham, etc. Instead, I will regale you with a brief bit of prose. I’m sure I said to someone sometime that prose was against my religion. Mostly a joke. Versification as a luxury? Nonsense.


I found it in the library, a magical mystery tour—traces, lost things, the odd random lucky hint of something I knew without question was there—though I would find it far easier to try and prove the existence of God, which can’t be done.


Hayden Carruth was a big first for me. Poetry was a regular book shattered onto the pages. It was all a big secret. Still, the bravery of passion made me call every worry nothing back then, (nuhth-ing). So effective, newness, at banishing everything whatsoever—and there’s so much of it when you arrive here!


It’s the same idea everyone has, but I was always headed somewhere else—somewhere otherworldly, so what could it matter? You mustn’t lose yourself on the journey, though.


I don’t understand at all, but it seems there are a lot of other ambitions in this world, and some people who can get pretty scrappy about them, however misguided they are.


And women! I never said no to your dreams, you just never said yes to mine. Except it’s not a dream, it’s an instinct. Non-negotiable. Or was it a nightmare for you?


I’m not much better or different from the hairy brutes who painted caves. Thirty-thousand generations we have had to look at you as you disappear just as quickly as you show up—pregnant, weak—and then as often as not dead—providing no explanation whatsoever.


You’re not that different now, either, from the caves, except you shave too much. Even so, you’re always useful in your way, even if only for the mercies of not having to try and explain sex to people who have never been in love. Rabbit holes are for rabbits. Oh, how I ask the fates to please let me not be the one to have to write a book on how dicks work—I really might tell you. Someone really should speak with The Joy of Sex though—it looks foolish. There’s backstage, green rooms, after-parties, rehearsals, swimming pools, and that weekend at the doctor they never talk about.


And truth! Oh, I’ve found loads of truth. The Holy Ghost is a hoax. A heresy. Let the Jews and Muslims fight over who has the holiest text—a new Holy Land for our new breed of colonials. Masters of the Universe, all!


I throw in with Jesus because I don’t like to argue. There’s no power in the word, there’s power in the blood. You find any Jesus blood, hang onto it for sure. I don’t know the science on biodegrading, but I’m inclined to think that blood goes pretty quick, especially from disappearing corpses. Still, I’m inclined to say no-thank-you to an inheritance of bleeding as a way to keep myself occupied and preoccupied. The ideas some people have about fun and entertainment! Sure, I get uncomfortable when people fight over the privilege of washing my feet. That’s not low-key assertive meekness, it’s psycho-killer creepy. The truth about Christianity is that the truth about Christianity doesn’t matter.


So how can I explain this monstrous adventure, my monstrous adventure? Love, truth? War? Thought, language, passion? I really can’t say, but I really can’t stop saying either.


I’m still as all-in as I’ve ever been. There is a destination, I’m convinced. I should hurry.


Now, it’s harder and harder to forgive all the impatience everyone feeds me, even though I can’t bring any of it with me where I’m going—not a scrap.


I love the luscious epic fantasy narrators in my life, but I’m definitely into my teens now.


Then there are folks who like to thoroughly introduce me to aspects of myself I sometimes haven’t spent much time with. I didn’t realize that I had so many pears in my tree, or that pears were so popular—but I have always made out pretty well, even though the bargains were hard. That’s what I get for trading with vagabonds.


So many fellow travelers, and me without categories.


Then there’s everyone else, the ones I elude in traffic. The ones I play cloak and dagger with at the bus station. I would do my best not to see you even if I could. There’s no room for you in here. I’m very low occupancy. One way or another, you will lose sight of me one day, hitchhiking the Great Plains, boating the Pacific, taking an ill-advised trek through Siberia, sleeping in a library basement… I plan to have no plan just as soon as I can have a plan, and I still have only the one trick—that there is no trick.



Best wishes and stay healthy,


David Tuvell