Our Monthly E-Zine of Prose, Poetry, & Art

September 2014

By Joey Pizzolato

One of the few things I remember from my short stint at a psychology major at DePaul Unviersity was an afternoon discussion on emotion. There were about thirty of us packed into an ancient room, tucked away in a forgotten building on the south side of campus, sweltering in the unseasonable September heat. I don’t remember much else about that day, or exactly how the conversation went. What I do remember is scratching, love and hate = not emotions, with a large question mark next to it in my notebook.

The professor’s stance was that emotions like sadness, happiness, fear, these things were eternal, consistent, you knew them for what they were when you felt them. They were specific responses to specific situations. But love and hate, these were different, spurred by a variety of different situations, complete with their own set of emotions. And above all they were fleeting; the one you love today might not be the one you love tomorrow, or a year from now.

I turned this idea over in my head for a long time. I was eighteen and in love the way only an eighteen-year-old can be. I didn’t want to believe what she was saying; what little experience I’d had pointed completely to the contrary. But I only knew love as a word that carried a lot of weight, a word you weren’t supposed to throw around, a word you saved for a select few people. And even though I didn’t realize it at the time, that discussion was the first time I thought about love as a concept, an idea that could take many different forms.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about love again. It’s everywhere: in the movies and shows I watch, the books I read. Everyone seems to be thinking about love—what it means to love, the lengths we’ll go for it, the crazy shit it we do in its name. As writers and readers, we are drawn to love because we cannot precisely define it. Because, like the soul, or consciousness, we cannot pick it up and turn it over in our hand. We cannot touch it. 

Love is complicated, too. The love we feel for our parents is not the same love we feel for an ex-lover, or our best friend, or one of the dearly departed. And I think that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about love: its many different faces and wild variations.

Art is love: it either explores it, or its borne of it (or both). Kayla Kennett, Nora Frazin, John Sierpinski, Ryan Meany, Thomas Campone, their work in this issue is testament to that fact. We ask ourselves, what is love? And they say:

This is what love looks like.

August 2014

By Joey Pizzolato

Unfortunately, the arrival of August means that summer is slowly coming to a close. And, with that knowledge, comes that unquenchable desire for one last hurrah, one more adventure, even if finances or the lack of opportunity require we staying close to home.

This month I’ll be laying low, recovering from my month in Prague, Berlin, and Budapest, and doing the rest of my summer traveling through one of the many books I’ve yet to read. Ever since I was a kid—before I ever discovered the wonder of travel—I yearned to escape into the pages of a book. Whether reading about a world populated with wizards and witchcraft or diving into a who-done-it mystery, I wanted to immerse myself in someone else’s world, and have fun while doing it.

That’s what I hope August’s issue brings you: enjoyment—the chance to go someplace else, even if you physically cannot. I hope you have just as much fun reading the fiction by Dan Seiters and Timmy Reed as I do. And for those of you in Chicago, the poems by Derek Lazarski are a constant reminder that we can find so many inspiring places in our own backyard. But, if you can’t escape that insatiable itch to just move, then let the three poems by David Galef on Cheung Chau transport you to Hong Kong’s very own version of Long Island, or go relive Ashley Leann Ojedas’ recent trip to Montana through her photographs.

However you might be dealing with the end of summer, remember the final lines of Wayne F. Burke’s poem: keep it going. Keep it going as summer fades to fall.

Just. Keep. It. Going.

—Joey Pizzolato

Hands down, my favorite part of being an editor here at Curbside (aside from the instant gratification I get from sending out acceptance letters) is being able to work with and publish a diverse group of writers and artists each month; people who come from all different walks of life, who may be at different stages in their careers, but nonetheless share an unwavering commitment in presenting the world as truthfully and as honestly as they can. As artists, we meticulously craft setting and character and space to serve as a thin veil to what we see as reality, a veil that is fluttering in the wind, ever exposing the wonderful and sometimes cruel experiences of living in our world and of being human.

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