Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel
"[A] venture into lightheartedness" is what editor Mike Allen calls this latest issue of Mythic Delirium. The poetry assembled here certainly makes for an excellent adventure, and lightheartedness often plays a part, but even so, all these lyrical quests have a weighty center.
The best example for this is probably 'The Last Dragon Slayer' by Elissa Malcohn, a poem in eight parts, eight parts of tale that is nothing if not epic. Each part is in itself a poem and comes to you each in a different form. This poem of a dragon and questing dragon slayers --while it does many other things--clearly acknowledges the longing for myth, the longing for adventure in all of us.
An interesting science fiction experience can be found in Ian Watson's 'Counterfactual Photos' in which the past and its connection to individual memories are unraveled and irretrievably lost, perhaps for the better, but that can only be left at each reader's discretion.
Further along, Marcie Lynn Tentchoff gives us a stage and more action in her 'Behind the Greasepaint Door', in which more stories lurk than meet the eye, and the reader must explore beyond reading.
An adventure of quite a different kind is Lucien E.G. Spelman's 'The Wedding Party'. Apart from a waif who officiates the wedding, pretty much everyone was invited, Audrey Hepburn, a pirate and Dionysus to name just a few. You will enjoy this, bring wine.
Serena Fusek tells us what 'The true poem' really is (and I concur). This poem is accompanied by Paula Friedlander's art that brings to life the imagery in the verse.
The sometimes mythical, sometimes delirious, but always adventurous journey ends with 'The Library, After' by Shira Lipkin. Herein, stories tell themselves to one another, they grow and change, revealing their protean nature, and they become something entirely new, leaving their shelves and finding adventure, which is probably what most of them were about anyway.
Altogether, this 24th issue of Mythic Delirium does spread some lightheartedness, but never so without a more serious message contained within. Myth and fantasy, science fiction and those things that cannot be so clearly defined have found their way into this issue. Tasteful illustrations do their part in adding uniqueness and feeding the readers' imagination.
The issue is forthcoming but should be out quite soon, further information can be found here: http://www.mythicdelirium.com/