The Goblins always have a tell, a way of showing you what to expect, both so that you can't tell them you weren't warned when they hit you with what they've got. This time, the tell comes from the art of guest artist Rose Lemberg (of Stone Telling); crones and owls, foxes and wolves, a listening child; for me, it conjured the carpenter weathervane on the porch of my granparents’ house, sawing away in a late winter rainstorm. That tell only got clearer in the note from the editors, full of the cold damp of Cornwall. I was set to let this issue sink into my bones and throb, more raw chill than ice and snow.
It was a feint. The poems that comprise this issue are cutting icy gusts, utterly cold and utterly dry (do not take that word as a synonym for boring). The goblins fooled me, took my breath away... This is the most unrelentingly grim Goblin Fruit I have ever tasted, as if winter came in and the persimmons just got more tannic and harsh.
I love to see a reviewer truly affected by an issue.