The dark tale of a missing brother, a cat on drugs, a scientist who rediscovers himself, some metaphysical poetry, a girl who makes rain and a ton of great writing. That’s pretty much Monkeybicycle’s Issue 7 in a nutshell. The strength of the journal has always been its diversity of voices and the range of emotions they evoke, and the latest offering is no different. In its reading, a host of feelings arose: some euphoric, some disturbing, all totally entertaining. I don’t know how Mr. Seighman and company do it, but MB somehow is always able to collectively assert the full spectrum of reading experiences in a 200-page journal. It’s like a candy store, a smorgasbord for any reader, of any disposition. Here are just a few of the things I experienced while reading:
I cheered triumphantly at the final act from Carl, the ex-ballplayer turned gourmet chef whose restaurant is about to go under and cost him millions, in James Kaelan’s “Annals of Gastronomy.”
I found myself laughing out loud (while at work, where laughing never happens) reading about the cat Chopsticks who’s addicted to hard drugs, in Ryan Boudinot’s “Chopsticks.” Poor Chopsticks. He was a mess.
I was shocked, totally stunned, by a certain character’s surprise appearance in Shya Scanlon’s story about the call girl Téa, in “Waiting.” I thought it was all about Téa. It was, actually. I think.
I mourned for the dampness following Bianca in Roxane Gay’s “The Weight of Water,” about a girl who just can’t seem to shake the rain clouds.
I wondered and tensed up over what the hell happened exactly to Zach’s brother Vince in “My Brother’s Keeper” by Andrew Ervin.
Angi Becker Stevens’ “Your Dreams and What They Mean” whisked me away to another reality, where dreams and waking life are one and the same.
My mind was blown into infinity by Yassen Vassilev’s poem “Amnesia During Meditation,” and Molly Gaudry’s three-part verse “Sadness, War, Heartbreak” contained a visceral melancholy that crumpled my being, but also awakened it.
I felt strangely sympathetic when Professor Hilbert, recently mourning the death of his wife and seeking to marry his housekeeper Marta, seeks solace with someone unexpected in Reed Hearne’s “It Takes Two Entangled.”
There were other things I felt, things too numerous or revealing to mention, and things you will probably feel, things you didn’t expect to feel, maybe, when you pick up Issue 7. This is all part of the fun. It’s a carnival ride and a feast. I don’t know what kind of magic cooked up such a feast, but this should be what reading is all about.