Querty is stocked with stories, poems, graphics and other stuff that feel like they come from people who took a lot of writing courses. And in this case it turns out to be a good thing. A very good thing. There are what might almost pass for traditional narratives here, but as often as not, while the narrative unfolds, the writer seems to be saying, “Okay, I’ll give you a story, but fuck you if you think I’m going to make it easy on you.” In “Food for the Gods” John Webster fires off little incomplete pangs that together leave you feeling somehow complete: “When I was young(er) I’d sit at the edge of a cold lake and watch waves nibble against the shore again and again and again. What made them do it? What made them keep doing it?” Like someone in shock trying to tell a story, there’s a distant sound beyond the words that makes you feel the pull of a story, but when you look at the surface of what you’re reading, the story isn’t there. In 10 short pages, Kenneth J. Harvey manages to create, in a wonderfully convincing manner, the experience of 3 lives ruined over the course of a couple of decades. There’s only a couple of pieces in here that don’t quite make it happen, and even those are straining to do something good. Almost every single piece in this issue contains a tiny, perfect beauty. Too bad the editors decided to put in Steven Heighton’s completely uninsightful gloss of an essay on the problem of “finishing”. Heighton could have simply wrote, “Look at me everyone, I do revisions!” and saved a bunch of space in the magazine for more of the very accomplished, very satisfying writing that, for the most part, is what you get in Querty.

litzine / 59 pages / Publisher: Ice House Press / Main Contributors: Eric Hill, Darryl Whetter (editors) / $5, 3 for $12 / c/o UNB English Department, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3

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