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Alexandra Davies

I prefer the second given definition of micro, “a minute in scope or capability,” in relationship to Leavings new issue. Yes, shorter in duration, but the strength of its contents is evident piece after piece. These nine emerging artists are a formidable force that push the boundaries of prose, poetry, and art, especially now, during a pandemic. We, at Leavings, are proud to bring these artists to the forefront, and we aim to deliver more exceptional work from creators around the world as we proceed forward.

Our new issue begins Kip Shanks’s poem, “whale doctor,” a quick paced song that focuses on desire and nostalgia during the lockdown so many of us are still experiencing. The single strophe of Shanks’s poem pulls us in and reimagines the mundane. When you haven’t left your house in nearly ten months, the question “i wonder what/ the parking lots/ are up to?” feels normal. Our micro issue ends with Nica Giromini’s “Wind Patterns.” The wind and shadows are free to go, but his feelings of human stagnation persist. Both of these poems frame the idea that best represents this issue: the desire to escape the states we find ourselves in, both physically and emotionally.

In Adedayo Agarua’s “boyying (v. 3),” a snapshot of grief and the desire to leave the body behind, the poet writes “i tried to drown myself in my father’s bathtub, made a jordan out of his inheritance. / this is because i got grief the size of a hand. watch the way it takes the shape of a fist.” Nicole McCaffety’s “Revival” places us on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, watching 18 wheelers fly by. Then there is Alina Stefanescu’s “The Sound of Ribs Is / / A Wren's Nest” which carries us between the pains of abandonment in motherhood and childhood. Samuel Adeyemi’s “Applying Psalms 121 to a Gentile,” a prayer itself which marks the chaos that moves within ourselves, and an awareness of the potential damage that chaos can do to others. The notions set forth in Adeyemi’s poem are mirrored by the notions set forth in Shannon Frost Greenstein’s short story, “Trial by Combat,” a feminist undertaking and exploration of faith, and the internal struggle that so often results from faith.

I see the selected art in our micro issue focusing on “getting out.” We’ve included two of Alex Furtado’s “Paths, Pulses,” a map-like structure of weaving lines that communicate the land’s story of migration and settlement in Canada. Pat Tompkins’ photography invites us outside and juxtaposes the empty landscape with ominous signage. But where is the aggressive bull, where is the waste water? Well, you’ll have to seek it out yourself—that is, if you’re brave enough.

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