LETISIA CRUZ & HEATHER LANG
Humans have moved from place to place throughout history. We have traveled by foot, horse, car, train, ship, and airplane. We have built roads and bridges, tunnels and trails, and found ways to navigate where once there were none. Our nomadic nature is undeniable—we were designed to move.
We travel alone, in tribes, and in caravans. We travel in search of food, goods, and ideas. The paths we take are many. In the words of Herman Hesse, "Each man's life represents a road toward himself." This signals an endless number of trails and directions, though perhaps nothing symbolizes a first step toward an unknown path like a train journey.
In modern media, we tend to associate trains with doom or potential disaster, as in cartoons or coming-of-age films where the central character is inadvertently stuck on a railway and somehow manages to escape just in time.
Alexandra Momin’s image “Train,” however, conjures a feeling of autonomy rather than despair, of cargo in motion, of goods being transported across open country. But the sovereignty expressed is limited, for within the frame we also see a faint sky and a concrete wall in the background. We don’t know how long this journey will take, where it will lead, or when it will end.
Phillip Kobylarz’s poem “Trails” speaks to us of the rhythms of nature, of the contrast between the motion of the sea, of clouds, of trees, and humanity’s own rhythm and motion. We want to believe that the human journey and the path we walk upon, be it marked by “blood or paint,” will ultimately lead us home. But we do not know.
The juxtaposition of Kobylarz’s poem with Momin’s photograph also hones in on environmental issues and on the choices we, as a race and a society, have made in the name of progress. Have we sacrificed too much? Where will our choices ultimately lead? What will we find in the end?
Welcome to ISSUE 8 of Petite Hound Press. This train will depart momentarily. Please enjoy your journey.
POET Philip Kobylarz is a teacher and writer of fiction, poetry, book reviews, and essays. He has worked as a journalist and film critic for newspapers in Memphis, TN. His work appears in such publications as Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry series. The author of a book of poems concerning life in the south of France, he has recently published a short story collection titled Now Leaving Nowheresville.
ARTIST Alexandra Momin is a mixed media artist living and working in New York City. Working mostly with photography and video, she constructs and deconstructs landscapes, compositing layers until evocative abstractions emerge. She received a BFA from New Jersey City University in May 1998. Her work has been exhibited in the United States and Europe, notably As The Eye Is Formed, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, Luna Nera/Post Industrial Baroques Live Media Art Exhibition & Concert at Raum 18, Berlin, Germany and recently Ventus Calidus, Dacia Gallery, New York City.