Escape Into Life Digest No. 41


The Things I Crush Becomes The Rungs On Which I Ascend, 2010, oil on linen

The arrival of autumn is a reminder of the fleeting nature of existence. Art concentrates feeling and experience. Living in proximity to creations that speak to us continually nourishes the soul. With this in mind, we invite you to visit the new Escape Into Life store and bring home your favorite images from our exciting virtual gallery space.  A new venture for EIL, we hope this venue will make it easy to collect excellent piece of art and help to support working artists.

Poetry: Daniel M. Shapiro . . . These verses take us back to school with Archibald, a feckless and sensitive soul who suffers and consumes the strange details of life within his educational institutions. “Letters follow letters like ants infesting,” and Archibald’s oddessy takes him, along with all students and all humans, straight to that inevitable dark graduation day.

Art Essays: Virge’s World–The Art of Micro-Interventions . . . Along with a look at art and exhibition parameters in the Nordic countries, essayist Stephen Pain, introduces Line Larsson, an artist who does not fit into traditional categories. This essay examines the influence  of this outsider artist as she, working under the moniker “Virg,” slips subtle art “interventions” into the path of the unsuspecting world. If you find a six-fingered glove on your next walk in the park, you may want to look twice at it’s magical, cultural, artistic, and revolutionary message.

Music Video: Hurt by Johnny Cash . . . This month marks the eighth anniversary of the death of The Man in Black. Luke Grundy reminds us  of Cash’s legendary performances and equally legendary personal trials, and of the work of his last years during which Cash recorded covers of some of his favorite songs. These unexpectedly moving tracks, such as “God’s Going to Cut You Down” and Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat,” have become haunting monuments to Cash’s unorthodox brillance. The video “Hurt,” originally performed by Nine Inch Nails, provides a chilling and heartbreaking glimpse into a life both dark and bright–a life that maybe our own.

EIL Blog . . . From “A is for Angst” to “Long Swim/Short Poems” the newest feature on Escape Into Life is our vibrant and variable blog, written in turns by our inimitable and irrascible contributors. From philosophy, to personal rants, to prayers of rememberance, the blog is a place where one can catch a glimpse into the steamy shower stall where our half-clothed staff meditates on the hard water stains of our lives, the sorrowful and the sublime. Enter if you dare….

Essay: Collective Literature . . . Chris Harding challenges the technophiles who drive online literary publications to emulate a writing collective (who would meet in their physical forms!) initiated in the sixties by Raymond Queneau. This group of French-speaking writers, known as The Oulipo (Ouvroir de literature potentielle), purposfully challenged all literature preceding their own and produced a radical manifesto for themselves. One look at point six, and you will be driven to dive into your word-processing program, round up your most pungent virtual friends and, after physically meeting (one of Harding’s requirements for online emulations of The Oulipo), burst into flaming literary production. Point Six: “a) [Oulipo] formed with a view to renewing and re-establishing a literature that has, according to [the founders], deteriorated to an appallingly low level. b) Their motto is: everything done prior to us is worthless; everything done after us can only exist because of us…d) The group thoroughly despises all its contemporaries…f) During its generally brief life, the group, surrounded by enemies, develops earmarks typical of a sect, a mafia, gang, or, more modestly a mutual admiration society.” 

Stacy Ericson is an editor, poet, and photographer addicted to imagery both in word and in art.  Her work often reflects her roots in the western states and an abiding interest in other cultures, ancient languages and religions, and other visceral passions. She lives and works in Boise, Idaho. Her poetry, fiction, essays, and photos can be found at the old bouquet , while fine art and portrait work can be seen on her professional website Stacy Ericson Photography.