LETISIA CRUZ & HEATHER LANG
The sun in Stephen McQuiggan’s poem is not described as a massive and radiant ball of fire in the sky but as a carnivore. The implication? That we, as humans who occasionally spend time outdoors, are being devoured bit by bit simply by existing.
If we cast metaphor aside and consider environmental issues and global warming, this is not a far stretch from our current reality. Even the fact that our disintegration or “unspooling” is happening slowly makes sense. But there is a catch — we are “unspooling alone.” This begs the question: Where is everyone else?
We are surely not on a crowded and sun-drenched beach in Miami, or strolling along the famed strip in Las Vegas. The girl in ISSUE 39 of Petite Hound Press does not appear to be a sun enthusiast. This girl prefers the shade. With her eyes closed and her palm held gently against the wind, we might presume that she is deep in thought, that perhaps the sun has retreated, and that she is, in fact, alone. Perhaps what we are dealing with is a different kind of animal.
If this “carnivore sun” feeds not on our flesh, but on our thoughts, and if what it attempts to devour is not our physical body, but our sanity and our peace of mind, then this is an animal we know all too well.
We live in a world overrun with apps, social media, multi-tasking, and the constant need to connect. But peace of mind does not, despite what you may have heard, require an app. The sun, whether carnivorous or not, will neither pounce on us nor cease to exist simply because we momentarily close our eyes. But closing our eyes is essential.
Welcome to ISSUE 39 of Petite Hound Press. We invite you to stay a while and allow your thoughts to unspool.
WRITER Stephen McQuiggan liked nothing more than walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, and taunting magpies until he fell into a sudden and inexplicable coma. His first novel, A Pig’s View Of Heaven, is available now from Grinning Skull Press.