e d i t o r i a l
How does a poet or an artist respond to a theme as open/closed as loaded/unloaded’? Some of these writers may have sent us poems they’d loaded earlier. Others may have freshly unloaded just for your benefit. Either way, we looked for work that took the theme seriously or played around with it, whatever it meant to the poet. Herein we have pickled poems that came loaded with meaning, ideas, fun/not-fun, excitement and drama, as well as acute observation. Nostalgia was a theme that emerged in retrospect, after we had made our selection. That being in the sense of painful recollection, and not, say, of old movies that remind the viewer of happier times and places. Some poems spoke to others, particularly two we are delighted to feature: Kimberly Campanello’s A Figure and Aifric Mac Aodha’s translation Cruth. We are honoured to present Michael S. Begnal’s wistful remembrances of places and people, Clodagh Beresford Dunne’s striking meditation on what becomes of us in death, Todd Swift’s pop-culturally astute word-movies, Rasiqra Revulva’s unflinching reflection on intimacy and illness, Padhraig Nolan’s simply stunning paintings from his MANTLE series, Rúairí Conneely’s exuberant moment of loadedness, Tween Plath’s inversion of an archetype, Susan Connolly’s visual chanting, Shane Vaughan’s visceral haircut, John Saunders’ exploration of suffering without recognition, and Bob Carr’s elegant quotidian assignations. This nostalgia in the true sense – suffused with the pain of remembering that which can never be experienced again except in memory – burns brightly in all of us once we reach a certain distance, different for everyone, on the path towards a kind of maturity, or at least old age. Each piece here is full of life, and the experience of life, both loaded and unloaded. Read on, gentle reader, and reflect.
The editors, The Pickled Body