Stone Telling

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Made and Made Again

by Rose Lemberg and Shweta Narayan

adapted from Bows by fady habib.

Two crowned figures cup a shining city in their hands. But do they share it? Does one offer it up, or cradle it away from the other? The city's light, and the stars behind it, are so brilliant we may think they illuminate fully; but also they cast a shadow. So too our gestures, caught in painting or poem, can hold and shroud so many meanings.

In "Snowbound in Hamadan," Sofia Samatar says: "The anthologist's art / is the art of choice." This issue's poems create us from bronze and bone, from names and grandmother's soup, from a beloved one's hair and from a dead man's manuscript pages. Yet other poems speak of violent acts — not of creation but of construction, acts of naming us into a shape we are not, or do not wish to hold. They speak of resistance, sometimes violent, sometimes quiet, blooming — like the speaker in Adrienne J. Odasso's "Tables Turned" — "much brighter, fire-wild orchid, than you'd permit"; they reclaim a right to choose. And so we come full circle to the anthologist, and the art of telling and retelling our stories until they grow fire-wild through hurts and blessings both.

We noticed while putting this issue together that it revisits and spirals out from the themes we saw in Generations (Stone Telling 2). This is fitting: as Rose said in that issue's introduction, "If love and bread are made and made again, then voice is found and stifled — here, and gone; is heard, or is dismissed. Always, always it is emerging." And it's a long process, this creating and re-creating of ourselves, together and apart. A single conversation is not enough, nor will a single act of making — be it love or poetry — suffice. Again we find a voice, and yet continue to look for it. The eighth issue marks the magazine's second anniversary. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

You might have noticed that this issue was delayed. This was for two reasons: first, Rose and Jennifer had been busy creating our first print title, Here, We Cross, a beautiful book that brings together queer poetry from Stone Telling 1 - 7. Please check it out if you haven't yet; with your support, Stone Telling will continue to exist for many issues — and hopefully we will be able to produce more print collections. There is something very satisfying in holding a physical object in one's hands, as Brit Mandelo says in her review. The second reason is that ongoing health issues have been slowing us all down far more than previously hoped. As a result, we'll only be putting out three issues this year. That said, we will reopen to submissions on September 1, and will read through October 30 for another unthemed issue. Our tenth issue will come out in 2013 and will be themed; we will be reading for Body.

We hope you enjoy Together, Apart!