Welcome to the color-rich dusk of Los Angeles Literature and Art, where “we are all shadows in the night,” as Marco Mannone reminds us in his feature story. Certainly the idea of being alive though shadowesque is a common theme throughout this issue of Forth. Of course, the motif resonates in Marco’s “Shadowscene” piece about cover artist Ellei Johndro, who has her photographic eye on the electrode of an underground art-party collective, not only documenting, but also creating a young art phenomenon in the hills of Hollywood and beyond. And W.C. Jennings, in his investigation of California’s spending problems, slides through the shady offices of Sacramento politicians and media outlets, delirious and half-inebriated: “Everything is merely a shadow,” he writes, and yet he “can see more clearly…” And in a great piece of fiction by Matthew Specktor—an excerpt from his first novel That Summertime Sound (released this month on MTV Books)—four traveling youths are traversing the dark, American countryside, heading into oblivion, into obscurity, barely visible and containing no true identities, though very real nonetheless.
Is this indeed a theme that we—the art and writing junkies, the rebels, the undercover freaks and quiet thinkers—are feeling in general these days? Are we a bit lost or obscured or facing non-identity in our darker and perhaps truer selves? And are we happy in this ghostly existence, or are we searching for light, trying to break through into the mainstream, above the surface, to finally gain some sense of common identity and “realness” as artists, philosophers, or poets at large?
Surely to go Forth is to bring these feelings and endeavors to the forefront, to expose literature and art to the masses and make it important once again…or rather remind the world how important it has always been and continues to be. These creative evolutions are the authentic parts of our selves; they are what make us distinctly human. And somewhere in the underground, in the shadow scenes of cities and the dark fields of an American countryside, we find each other, we relate; in those crisp, subversive, meaningful moments, we march forth to chisel away at the looming darkness that has become our playground. This is the time for breaking through. Into the light! To unite and explore our quietly screaming artistic natures and let the world know it’s happening. This is our night. This is our time. The freaks have come back, and we’re here to stay. Forth heeds the call and here is our response. Enjoy!
Jeremy Shawn Pollack
Publisher & Editor of FORTH
Table of Contents
Crave by Jawanza Dumisani
Liberty’s Left Hand by Jawanza Dumisani
Eating Mushrooms in Sequoia National Park by Abigail Green-Dove
The Interim by Abigail Green-Dove
“Nowhere Road” An Excerpt from the Novel That Summertime Sound by Matthew Specktor
Questions from Codex by Charlie Thomas
We’re All Shadows in the Night by Marco G. Mannone
All Hands in the Piggy Bank: California’s Red Light District and The Money Whores at Work by W.C. Jennings
Waterfall 1 by Poppy Cannon Reese
Photography by Carine Idy
“Underwater Mirage” by Angelica Bonomo
Fashion Design by Star Jeong
Body Art by dSetia