The fall is an in-between time in my part of the world; there's sun during the day and frost at night, leaves on the trees as well as on the ground, and the whole season seems like an answer to a king's riddle for something that is and isn't at the same time. Traditionally, too, autumn is supposed to be a time of thinning barriers between worlds that can be as complementary to each other as they are opposite; perhaps the denizens of the Otherworld walk among us wearing jeans and woolly sweaters while we dress up as ghouls and witches and harass people in their homes until they placate us with candy.
As we collected poems for this issue, Jess and I found that many of them straddled a line between this world and another, more so than usual for us: here you'll find necromancers getting married, ancient gods being conjured up in empty parking lots, and witches in need of hip replacements. Other pieces we picked for their autumnal flavour, always fantastically spiced: Rio le Moignan's "Blood Birch" made us shiver with its evocation of a waste land wearing "sunset sumptuary," while we simply couldn't pass up Aurelio Rico Lopez's "The Jack-O-Lantern Grins" this close to Halloween. And then, of course, there are the scary poems.
So settle back, mull some cider, and dig up the raven bones you buried last fall. They're probably ripe by now. Reflect on the fact that it's Spring in Australia. Then, read these poems.
Three Recommendations For Fall
Go apple-picking. Accept the fruit which the cat-headed man offers. He's just wearing a mask. Really.
The existence of Everyman's Pocket Library "Pocket Poetry" is cause for spiced wine and walnut-bread (if you like that sort of thing). Peruse and suck on Poems Bewitched and Haunted1.
Use sidewalk chalk. Scrawl poetry of the fantastical on sidewalks and lightposts. Give your Jack o'Lantern a tongue and write a fantasy haiku on it.
Boo! Fall, from shock! We are whipping off the gloves, stealing your mascots, all your bases are belong to us, for we are offering a contest here.
Finally, we would like to thank the tireless efforts of Oliver Hunter, Mei Cohoe, and Desiree Isphording, whose lovely art graces the layout of this issue. We'd also like to thank, as ever, all our contributors: without them, the issue wouldn't be what it is.
Oh, and also – Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, and Halloween when it comes to find you!