Lyrical writing provides a kind of alchemical prolonging of life to its subject, as wine provides to fruit or grain. Both act as living vessels of the history, memory, and care that their makers put in, and that we, as readers and drinkers, simultaneously filter through our own personal histories and sense memories. The body and the bottle—we siphon off substances and place them inside, hopefully to compound and synthesize, with the intention of pouring them out on a later date, on a night marked by safety and communion when what has long been stored, growing luxurious or cloudy or wild, is reintroduced to the bald truth of oxygen.

Intoxication, with its dangers and allure, is magnetic—how it can alter our perceptions about ourselves, our relationships, our values and worth, and its propensity therein to reveal the structures of power at play. In this special notebook on the theme of Wine, thirteen writers add remarkable texture to the lyric landscape of perception.

—Madeleine Mori, Guest Editor

Have you been at the feast of the heated hearts? 

Stars, trees, lasers, lights, everything locking into nothing, everything together yet apart.

I was struck by the world I tasted—woods, Baja California granite, the winter of the grapes’ growth.

I needed the concoctions F poured to quiet the things that grated and grew wilder each year—the confusion of being part white in an Arab country, part Arab in an expat world.

I look into the history; I circumnavigate—

These writers elegize and scrutinize the liminal spaces between taste, smell, and image, between individual truth and collective meaning-making

After Rebecca Lindenberg

Su Yu-Xin’s paintings and mixed media pieces

Locheequat, fruit of the non-doing.

She ambushes the sky, burns a brand on its hip

Translated from Hanja (Old Korean) to Hangul (modern Korean) and then English

I speak with the weight of / hours left on this side of the pacific

There is a waxing // for every waning.

I am only the height and width of a girl. 

I know of nothing stronger than the laughter of these women.

A notebook on alchemy, memory, and sensation

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