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I Shot the Moon, Calamari Press, 33 / 41, SLEEPINGFISH ZZZ


Click through to read the full review of SLEEPINGFISH ZZZ, the thirty-third in this full-press review of Calamari books.


David Wirthlin, David Hollander, John Dermot Woods, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Rick Moody, Miranda Mellis, Patrick Leonard, James Reich, Paul Kavanagh, Elizabeth Ellen, Kate Hill Cantrill, Brian Foley, Nathan Pendlebury, Christopher Chambers, Ladee Hubbard, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Eugene Lim, Kim Chinquee, Dana Miceli, Marin Buschel, Nick Bredie, Ed Taylor, PF Potvin, Nan Burton, Kathy Fish, Norman Lock, Kathryn Regina, Cliff Benston, James Grinwis, Astrid Cravens, Dawn Raffel, Tara Rebele, Joshua Ware & Rachel May, Ali Aktan Askin, & Jac Jemc

I read SLEEPINGFISH ZZZ entranced. And I kept asking myself, what does it take to get into an issue of SLEEPINGFISH? The answer: write f***ing great words.

from David Hollander’s ‘A Voice from the Cancer Ward, Circa 1991’:

The woman on this ward is in any form to be treated, no. They must draw the catch in this moment. Draw the plug as it is said. All that shouting. I want to say, I know that it is a hospital and a certain quantity of pain must be envisaged, but this, this is equal to torture. What do they do with this woman? When she shouts I am breaking inside. Can’t I take it, no. I hold the pillow above my head and am moaning, so that I only can hear it, the moaning inside my ears. This is better than that of a woman! Sometimes I take two pillows, and one goes behind my head and beyond my ears and the other on my face, like if to choke myself. Don’t I want to be choked, no. But I don’t want to hear this woman more.

As with all previous issues of SLEEPINGFISH, this one includes art and text, both poetic and fiction leanings, and a well-balanced diet of straighter narrative and experimental / language-twisting works. All of the writing in this volume of SLEEPINGFISH is good – all of it – but there is more to it than that, more that makes Calamari Press’s flagship journal the excellent and prized monster that it is.

from Elizabeth Ellen’s ‘Discernible’:

This woman has a lump in her right breast, small but discernible. There is no mistaking the lump. The lump was not always there. The woman performs regular self-exams, standing in the shower or lying flat on her bed, as she’s been shown in numerous doctors’ offices and women’s magazines. Typically she is shown this before her annual pap smear, right after they weigh her and before they ask her to pee in a cup. The last time she had a pap smear the lump was not there, or was no yet discernible.

I can only imagine each of these pieces skidding across the virtual submissions desk of Derek White, and the happiness of finding the next right piece from the next right writer for the next boundless issues, because each piece in SLEEPINGFISH ZZZ seems to fit beside the next, each story or poem or artwork bleeding and collaborating in some sense with those around it. And this isn’t blowing smoke, this isn’t a**-kissing – these latest issues, both ZZZ and 0.9375, are worth every second of reading, every penny of consumption, and are the reason that SLEEPINGFISH is what it is in our literary community.  

from Ali Aktan Askin’s ‘Transparencies’:

everything grew out of our desire to see the things hidden int eh gaps of perspective. we studied the methods proposed by history, the methods of inclusion. we toyed with the gadgets of men, meant to measure, record, and explain the major forces. we dwelled in the unforgiving hole of physics, and wrestled the calculations of generations and generations of thought, we studied the accounts of men at the edge of experience, the involuntary worlds of imagination, and the hardship of return, the endurance required to see through time.

I can’t quote it all. There is greatness from Norman Lock, beautiful words from Jac Jemc, a wonderful selection from Carmen Gimenez Smith, and James Grinwis’ ‘Village’ excerpts are fun as hell to read. Don’t take my word for it, get yourself a copy of SLEEPINGFISH ZZZ here and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.

Up next: James Wagner’s THE FALSE SUN RECORDINGS, Derek White’s MARSUPIAL, & 3RD BED [7].

Also: Try dipping chocolate donuts in orange juice. It is good.

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