First and foremost, we have to apologize for our sporadic publishing schedule as of late. Don’t fret, we are always committed to putting out the best fiction and poetry we can get our hands on. We’re also making up for our long absence with a special holiday edition of Brawler. We figure that over the course of the next month-and-a-half, you’re all going to be spending an awful lot of time in food comas, or cornered by relatives and their awkward questions about your personal/love lives. To offset the amount of cringing you’re going to be experiencing throughout the season, we have given you a Santa satchel’s worth of poetry to enjoy.
We have to start off by mentioning the 14-part poem by Steve Pump. “14 rounds for deuk koo kim” is the most ambitious work we’ve published yet. Everyone will be shaken awake by this poem. The personal narrative spins through time, back to an ill-fated bout in 1982. The piece is filled with bloody remembrances, family history, uncertainty, hooks, jabs, and Joe Louis. This is the kind of poem that an editor dreams of finding in his inbox.
Brawler also welcomes back two past contributors, Marilyn Fleming, and Annie Grizzle. Fleming’s “Yamaha” hits us, then trails off like the sound of an engine being sucked into an unseen horizon, while Grizzle’s reworked post cards continue to chill and delight us in their playfulness with the past. Our favorite is the featured image above.
“A Solution to Illiteracy,” by Holly Day, is as grim as the anatomical diagrams it deals with, but within the tissue of the piece is a haunting spirituality. The poem is a ghastly blessing.
Thank you all for continuing to read Brawler. We hope that this batch of work will help you ride the horrific, emotional waves of the holiday season. As someone once told us, “It’s all just novel fodder.” Forget your family drama, forget the dry turkey, the unbuttered mashed potatoes (yes, it’s possible), the midnight services, the nights spent back in house that used to home, but now is as cold and alien as the arctic, and just read.
Happy Holidays from the Brawler staff.