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Prick of the Spindle
Vol. 5, No. 3

Prick of the Spindle, now in its fifth year of online publishing, with both Kindle and print editions (No. 1 in October, 2011) also available, is what it set out to be: well-rounded. Editor-in-Chief and Founder Cynthia Reeser and her editors must burn the midnight oil to produce so much quarterly content. The first literary journal to come out as a Kindle magazine, prickofthespindle.com quietly goes about its business of publishing original writers and artists in a plethora of genres.

In this edition, the journal’s (what’s its “barn” name, I wonder? the prick? the spin? ps? sprindle?) slightly shamanized—no, wait, that’s just a white eagle with jackalope antlers—nostalgic screen presence presents, in sheer volume, 14 fiction writers, nine articles, 17 poets, some with quartets and quintets of their work, two plays, five non-fiction pieces, multiple reviews and interviews, and a 1:19 minute Vimeo film of a poet’s eye while she recites “sucks her” to the accompaniment of a violin. And art. Twenty-eight artists are featured in a wide spectrum collection of digital art, collage, paintings, “fauxtography,” charcoal and graphite, mixed media, and photography. And if that’s not enough content for you, the links page sends you to a herd of other online journals and literary organizations helpful to submitting writers and artists. Although one, to Insolent Rudder, links to a null blog page, others link to The Adirondack ReviewDuotrope, etc.The journal encourages submission of interesting, diverse, unique statements.Mark Reep’s miniature charcoal and graphite dreamscapes, such as the 3.5” x 2” “Chapel Bell”, are mesmerizing B&W miniworlds of mysterious stone, misty chasms and lone trees hanging off cliffs. Featured Visual Artist George McKim’s “Dictionary Drawings” are single page erasure fictionesque creations that I would have appreciated being able to click to enlarge. Brian Anderson’s non-fiction piece “Sprinkler Hose: Something Something Something Phallus Joke” is about *spoiler alert* masturbation. Cynthia Tracy Larsen’s flash fiction, “After the Tire Blew” has olfactory notes of piss, “rotten farm garbage” and “baked-bean-and-hotdog-dinner smell.” J. Camp Brown is showcased with four poems in a most persuasive Arkansas diction, including the fabulously-titled, “Diddleybow” with its wonderworded “thrang,” “turnbuckle,” and “her skimpy unmissables.” Managing Fiction EditorCynthia Hawkins discusses process with a group of writers in a featured group interview, “Writer’s Round-Up.” An interview with writer/musician/recording artist Allan Ross attests to Reeser’s continual search, as stated in the bio on her personal website cynthiareeser.com, “to unite literature, art and music.”Prick of the Spindle is Cynthia Reeser’s creation. As an artist, photographer, writer, website designer, editor, and publisher, Reeser’s passion and hard work is evident throughout. Her design strives to achieve a non-digital feel, as if created with movable type on a composing stick; while it’s an intriguing concept, I honestly found it a bit difficult to read at times. Some webpages have inconsistent design elements (the artists pages in the gallery section, for example) that feel like they’re from earlier editions. So many hats, so little time. And there is a lot going on. If indeed there’s magic at work in the wee hours as each edition is published, there are certainly no sleep-inducing spindles in her Florida workroom. Maybe a mythic antlered eagle or something.

Review by Susan Lynch
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