Literary Orphans

Letter from the Editor, Issue 39: Koko

“How can you like steak if you don’t never hear nothing but pork chops?”

Lately, it’s been a Chicago mood. And when it’s a Chicago mood on order, I’ve got Koko Taylor on my mind.

Koko had that authentic blues ability to reach right down your throat and make you feel it all. You ever love someone but be disgusted by them at the same time? That’s the mood I’ve been in lately, that’s the type of stories you’re going to find in this issue. This issue lives up to the mission of this journal to be confrontational–it doesn’t turn a blind eye to the complexity of this mortal coil and the perpetual struggle we all seem to be in to make it simple, to make excuses for it. In this issue you’ll read about a mother a son and a tortured animal. You’ll read a story that seems to ask why all the other stories about rape end too soon–end when it happens and not in the years, decades, forevers of the aftermath. You will hear the call of the loon in sibling loss–time loss that just hangs in the air. And you will walk your way through Trumpland as one person rips off your white nationalist mask because you keep putting it back on.

The soft-American middle mood has fallen into its doped up sleep on the bus. One nightmare after another gets on and off as the mood rides around in fretful circles until it will finally wake up without a wallet and nothing to lose. Sure, there are good dreams getting on and off too, but they still want that wallet. It’s a big and beautiful and disgusting and sad world out there and I’m sitting here hoarse, prodding, waiting for the national mood to wake up and finally show us its broken front teeth and cauliflower ears and fists so we can get back to the 400 long year fight.

Koko Taylor is the soundtrack to that bus ride.

Mike Joyce
Director, Editor-in-Chief
Literary Orphans

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