Letter from the Editor  Issue # 2

Sun and Moon / Sol y Lun

    WELCOME to the second issue of Tameme, “Sun and Moon,” the title of which is inspired by the two whimsical poems by W.D. Snodgrass, “The Capture of Mr. Sun” and “The Capture of Mr. Moon,” which were themselves inspired by the paintings by DeLoss McGraw, reproduced by the artist’s kind permission on the front and back covers. Sun and moon appear and reappear in the wonderful writing between these covers, shining, playful, though sometimes dark, suspended in bruised skies: in short, ever changing with their masks of a thousand metaphors. If the sun, writes W.D. Snodgrass, is a lion / circling his cage or a sunflower / with a broad gold face, writes Elsa Cross in her poem “Narayana,” it now rises/ over the waters, / yellow crown / vows/ for the kindling day. In Coral Bracho’s “Light Spilled Over an Alabaster Pond” there it is again: within a small transparent stone / the dazzled happiness of the sun — and again, echoed in the talking flower of Gladys Ilarregui’s “The Dream,” and the song-like celebration of Nela Rio’s “To María, with Affection.” The moon, on the other hand, is for W.D. Snodgrass a thin nail paring / Or sweet slice of some pale, blue melon. And as if those metaphors were not stunning enough, Alberto Blanco offers the moon like a fruit pecked at / by dawn birds... like a dove that quivers/ on the eave’s edge... floating like a pearl / between crab’s claws... enigmatic as a sphinx / in the zodiac of dreams.

Day and night, yin and yang: the one precedes the other, as the one contains the other. Indeed, as Juana Goergen writes in her stunning “La Maga,” in heaven there is a hell for the miserable — or a hell to be revealed, as in Daniel Orozco’s short story, “Orientation” in which an innocuous office tour for a new employee reveals a chamber of laugh-out-loud horrors, and in Lex Williford’s devastating flash fiction of the unraveling of a romance, “Pendergast’s Daughter.” (As for those who long for the heaven of literary “Success,” be sure to read Gabriel Zaid’s little poem about the hell contained therein.)

But if night contains the day, so surely hell contains a heaven. Luis Arturo Ramos’ pathetic Dr. Luna and his heartless visitor, Julian Anderson’s lonely suburbanite about to lose her life-long lover to cancer, Charles Simic’s fork from hell and evil-eyed spoon — each word of these exquisitely crafted pieces glitters like a diamond in sunshine. Indeed, it would be a challenge to find darker material than Jeff Taylor’s (yes, vivid) memoir of working in a meat packing plant; nonetheless, his “Carnal Knowledge” is one of the sunniest essays I’ve read in years.

The last word, of course, belongs to the translators. Their notes — generous, interesting, technical, many of them extensive, some of them provocative, one a mini-interview (paulo da costa’s) and one (Patricia Dubrava’s) containing a poem itself — begin on page 173, just before the contributors’ notes. It goes without saying that without the translators’ painstaking labors of love, these poems and stories and essays, wonderful as they are, would have remained like Mr. Sun and Mr. Moon, caged behind the bars — in this case, of their original languages. And now, sprung free, here they are in your hands, before your eyes.

C.M. Mayo, Editor

This issue of Tameme was made possible by a generous grant from the Fund for US-Mexico Culture. Este número de Tameme fue hecho posible gracias a una beca del Fideicomiso para la Cultura México-Estados Unidos.

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