$ At $2.99, Heavy Feather Review is a solid chunk of a literary deal to pump your fist at. Seriously, try it. It feels nice, huh? To get such a variety of voices and slick word combos and happy bundles of story. This second issue of Heavy Feather Review has its own fist pumping, fireworks bursting out, bright lights in the shape of work from F. Daniel Rzciznek, Mathias Svalina, David Tomaloff, Robert Lopez, and a collaboration by Nathan Moore and W.F. Roby, among a long list of other rad writers. The editors of HFR have plopped down nearly two hundred PDF pages of wild work ranging from slice-your-throat lyrical poems to tense short stories to self-clensing essays.
^ The two prose poems by Mathias Svalina are presents, have presence, present strange lessons for weird kids, wake up! stories instead of bedtime ones, where the speaker lets You have it, the way it is, self as a plane with a waterfall inside, a poor soul facing “The Coming Wagon,” the second beast piece, which begins:
The light that rises on you, gray like the rocks your brother stood on while he tied his noose below the wooden bridge, showing you the coming wagon pulled by a mule, changes you into something flat.
* “THE BROTHER PACT,” by David Tomaloff, gives a shape, this one page hunk, to a commonality, the fighting of brothers, how they behave, how they hold each other foremost when a father comes knocking, Tomaloff’s story giving what we all need, reminders!, of what everyday together living looks like, how blood love behaves, as it ends:
His angry father voice, a voice booming in through the window, it says to us, I’LL COME UP THERE & I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING COLD ALL RIGHT. &these brothers, they are certain that he will. Brother eyes meet through a thick &knowing silence. Brother mouths never speak it, but between brothers there is a brother pact, even in times of war. &brothers, best of all, they know of this.
! F. Daniel Rzicznek coughs out pieces that shook this dude up the most, several sections from a piece called “Leafmold,” these full sprints that sweep by and snatch up the Svalina pieces’ wild world making and the Tomaloff story’s ever-beating Heart, skirting around nothing, slapping every part of the drum, a joy to read, to speak aloud, to bring in my skull and see what I can make of it, like this from the middle of the third piece:
A part of home: goodbye we say to our friends who are moving seven hours away—water hits the floor, assassinates a minor conglomerate of dust; a light over the front porch, an absence at the periphery of illumination—a source distanced, like having to swim to the library.
& Robert Lopez goes the other direction, beating at a hypothetical door, this idea of a movie where the lead character, dirtied in a world of heartbreak, gives her bathroom “That Kind of Cleaning,” Lopez giving the connection between movies and real life its own deep cleaning, representation and responsibility called out, as if to say, despite the fact it “will not be a good movie,” it must be done, this movie, this cleaning, this kind of change:
This will not be a good movie, either, but that shouldn’t stop someone from making it. They should have the movie star drink a quart of gin and smoke four packs of cigarettes and keep all of her hair up under that bandana and listen to every album in her collection loud.
# Towards the end of this stellar issue, Nathan Moore and W.F. Roby shout out, pound through the mess of “[p]iles of liquor licenses, expired jury notice, brittle mail on brittle paper. Bags of rice thrown at our wedding,” through “[t]he butt can tipped—a real mess dents the corner where a mop rests, flames up the stalk, pops the decorative corn display, no shit. And my brother’s gay or so he shared over café con leche,” two poems of bouncing off the difficult walls, a thrill to read, true movement seeking the answers they pose of “What do you want?” and “What excellence is this?”
– Do not be fooled by the fact that most of my favorite pieces are the one page type, that’s my style, my magnet of love, but seriously, this issue stretches, moves, big stories, wild poems, lists, etc. etc. etc., what a good magazine does, good pieces! good pieces!
= Yes, you gotta buy this issue, man, support this new venture, already two issues spilling out so much goodness, not to mention these folks’ great reading series, all coming out at you Heavy Feather Review style, which is to say Bold and Big and Varied, okay.