Note from the Editors
We've had an adventurous summer, we three; together we've traipsed soggy moors, mossy forests and windy cliffs, hobnobbed with some of the loveliest people to be found East o'the Sun and West o'the Moon, and are now back in our respective countries and homes. But the thing about travelling is, for all that you're home, you can't fully leave the travelled-to place behind; there's an exchange that takes place between you and it, where you carry things back and leave things there, and not always things of your choosing. Whether it's a strand of hair tied to a tree, an empty bottle on a hill, a shirt or a comb forgotten at a friend's -- we leave bits behind, whether we mean to or not, whether out of forgetfulness or the hope that, somehow, they'll draw us back in time.
In short, travelling haunts us; memory haunts us. Summer leads to Fall, and Fall means echoes, shadows, the shortening of days and lengthening of nights. We've left the Equinox behind and spend the cool days before Winter in the company of ghosts. So kindle a bonfire, watch your breath match the smoke on the air, and chant these poems on a cool hillside beneath the stars.
In this issue, we offer you poems by old faces and new. These are poems about ghosts and memory, poems about animate place and music. We have poems that are bare-tree spare and poems that are harvest-lush. This season’s issue is our fattest yet, so swallow a spoonful of honey or olive oil and prepare to read aloud for a while.
As a bonus, we also offer the transcription of two shady characters (whose names may be familiar if you’ve read our FIQ page) discussing darkness in fantasy poetry from the Romantic period. The transcription was originally commissioned by Marge Simon for the "Dark Poets Column" in the Horror Writers' Association's newsletter, and appeared in April of 2006; we'd like to thank her for allowing us to reprint it here during the season we feel is most appropriate to it.
Finally, there was some gleeful mad-drinking in three corners of the globe in the last couple of weeks: Goblin Fruit was favourably mentioned in Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant’s The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology. Even better, so were many of Goblin Fruit’s favourite poets. Congratulations to them all!
Of course the layout design has its own poetic investigations. Considering a dark theme treated fantastically, I thought instantly of Sylvia Plath's 'Mushrooms' --
Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.
Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room."
...and let us not forget that the Goblin Fruits themselves, subterranean monstrosities with "hungry, thirsty roots," breed under the pall of black, black forests. Feeding off dead and rotting matter, mushrooms represent a particular blend of fancy and menace. They are dangerous faery fruits, sprouting at the borders of Fantasy and the Dark.
All in all, we hope you enjoy what we've harvested for you, and wish you a Happy Hallowe'en!