Edited by Daniel Young
One of the positives that can come out of this social media caper is the discovery of new writers. Many can spend their evenings panning and scrolling for the flashes, searching for jewels. Hoping that you don’t have another wasted night staring at the screen. This scenario was not the case the evening I found The Tincture Journal.
This e-reader magazine I checked out and purchased on gut instinct. I was on a literary bender and I woke up in its bed. I didn’t even know their names, new authors putting their stuff out there in the hope of being seen. After two days of my undivided attention, I had delved into some of the authors other works, stalking their blogs and amazon shelves for clues, connections and purchases.
Traditionally magazines seduce by image – this journal is a word happening, not even a stylised font distracts you from its mission. A welcoming base of open arms for like minded wordsmiths to chill and share their work. It is about falling in love with the artistry that are letters on a page, it is language…it is a rare and beautiful art.
The Tincture Journal – Issue One – Autumn 2013 is an Australian publication. Edited by literature obsessed Sydney-sider, Daniel Young. Daniel and his team have brought together writers from around the world. It is filled with flights of fiction, flash interspersed with short story while poets wander through the leaves.
Everyone has something special to offer. But there are some that leap out, sit you down and shake your shoulders. One is gobsmacked at their brilliance and humbled by their undiscovered egos.
The page begins with Queensland girl Meg Henry – flash with wit and an intoxicating self awareness. She writes about episodes in her life, and the pleasure in regret.
Sam Van Zweden , a poet from Melbourne, hit my heart hard. A beautiful taste of what she can create has me wanting.
“I had a wish to sew curtains to muscle heavy drapery from mountain tops, to cover our world in my precisely hemmed velveteen dream”
Linda Tzoraf’s was next to take my eye. A wonderfully real, witty and melacholic midwestern tale of a desert flower’s unexpected de-blooming. Her short story Family Traditions, follows two sisters, suffering at the hands of their well intentioned grandmother. Her scheme to pass them off as of age to join her at the craps table is excellent. This story of the Vegas pull is weirdly dark & as sweet as cherry popped cola.
Quickly my brain flicks back into another language when I read ‘A Funny Girl’ by Amy Ham. I immediately knew this was an Australian author. No one can say “sprinklers in our undies” without an Aussie accent. Her flash is spiked with nostalgic heat and a quest to cool – “remember feeling like we could melt into the floor“. My thoughts turned to my own youth – legs vertical on the cold, white plaster walls trying to fall asleep during our scorching summers.
A taste of Perth poet, Ron Barton’s, dead straight metaphorical tackle on prose, had me very curious. Revealing the bad habits of western civilisation – I wondered if an overseas audience would have trouble deciphering the colloquialism and brill street beat rhythm of ‘Hang Tough’ – ‘bum fluff‘ and ‘early onset boganism‘ ‘wife beater under flanno‘. But poetry is a constant deciphering process, another language – universal – that is the beauty of it. Bottom line, I understood it my own way. I purchased Ron Barton’s work. He stood out. There wasn’t a dud chosen in this fine line up of poets – Corey Mesler’s anthropomorphic head in the clouds imagery, Shawn Aveningo had me seeing so much more at the pauses in life.
I adore poetry. It produces such a dichotomy with people – they love or hate – no in-between. Poets interspersed in The Tincture Journal, rather than in their own lonely room was inspired – a quick tea break between longer stories. Most I wrapped my hands around. They warmed me and I sipped slowly because there was so much depth in their lines. I really think you need to develop a poetic ear, like one learns a new language or a musical instrument. Ultimately though, there is no guarantee you will become fluent.
One of the many Flashers, Angela Meyer’s lament of surreal desperation of madness in apocalyptic office bunker is another one to watch.
The short stories chosen give the reader’s real meat to chew. Guy Salvidge’s ‘Blue Swirls’, desolate crime fiction with a ‘Vachss’ storyline. I adore the main character Tyler, his suicidal tendencies “I looked like shit. It wasn’t the kind of look you could remedy with a razor unless you took it to your wrists and not the whiskers, but I did the latter.” His sexual liasons are haunted by past thoughts, his performance hindered – he is one messed up hero. Matthew Dexter’s Cancelled Birthday is full of innocence, charm, wonder and a young boy’s imaginings.
‘The Subjunctive Mood’ by Rhys Timson shows life inside the newsroom, a sub-editors anguish as he copes with changing syntax and refusing to play – keeping up with the consequences of breaking stories – wings of a butterfly – but in his case his past just keeps smacking at his windows. The beautiful tale by Canadian JJ Steinfeld – The art of love letter writing and Bill Vernon’s ‘Snapshot’ is just that. It moves movie-like, hyper colourful in one’s mind.
So much more to find in this The Tincture Journal’s debut. Issue two is also out on the cyber-newstands. If issue one is anything to go by, the next compilation of literary talent should not disappoint.