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No. 4  ||  CERTAINTY

I’m suspicious of certainty. 

 

So often it can feel like little in this world is worthy of our confidence. Show me an indisputable fact. Prove destiny. Convince me. How perilous, then, to claim truth when everything—our hearts, our minds, our bodies, this earth—is subject to change.

 

Certainty is a conviction in our core, a decision in our mind, a settling of our nerves. It replaces doubt with assuredness. It fixes our gaze. Certainty asserts reliability in and on the truth. In a way, it ends the conversation. 

 

The work gathered in this issue uncovers the rhizomatic structure of certainty. These words and images suggest a simultaneous acceptance and rejection of perceived reality. They lay bare the effort required to engage with truth. They take time—because it seems as though some aspect of certainty is jessed to time itself—to interrogate, reorder, admit, deny, declare, and regenerate. 

 

I am certain of two things: the sun rises each morning and spring will come again. I am hesitant to say more. Where does your certainty lie? Is it rooted in your gut? Does it motivate your courage? Can you hold it in your hands? Are you sure? Unlearning is its own exercise in truth. Come closer. Peer over the edge. Anything is possible when you stand on the brink of certainty.

—Nina Lohman

INTERVIEW

Framing Agnes

CHASE JOYNT
EMILY ZHOU

POETRY

ISRA HASSAN

FLASH FICTION

Believer

LINDA MCMULLEN

NONFICTION

Lost in the Typhoon

WENDY CHENG

NONFICTION

Chronic Inheritance

PORTRAIT

Film Working Notes

REVELATION

The "O" Is Everything

NONFICTION

Where You Want to Be

TRINITY THOMPSON

SALLY LAWTON

IAN CANON

FULLAMUSU BANGURA

POETRY

JESSICA ANNE ROBINSON

FICTION

Palmistry

NATHAN ALLING LONG

ARCHIVE

Body, My House: An Archive in Disarray

SADIA HASSAN

PRACTICE

Penultimate Day

JOHN FRANCIS ISTEL

ENGAGE

A PHILOSOPHY OF FORGETTING (Or, Art in order not to die of truth)

KELLY C. FLANAGAN

FICTION

Just Another Hundred Dollars

POETRY

And After That Everything Changed

Even in Summer I'm Kind of Blue So What

Against Certitude

And Death Is No Parenthesis

AYOKUNLE FALOMO

ART

Chez Elle

POETRY

feeding the horses

RACHEL BETESH

POETRY

Psalm of Ascent

Oread

Prisoner

DAN KRAINES

POETRY

NAB

THE LIST OF FIELDS

SWALLOW SYNC
SWALLOW SYNC

MARGARET YAPP

PETE HADLAND

LINA THARSING

FICTION

DIARY

I am Cleopatra

JULIE MOON

FLASH FICTION

Water and Land

WENDY BOOYDEGRAAFF

The Dreams That Shape Us

LOUISE ZEDDA-SAMPSON

FLASH FICTION

GUIDE

The Aquarium

Nonstandard Definitions: World's Busiest Airports

DAISUKE SHEN

PETE SEGALL

TRACE

The Shape of a Premonition

ART

This Rope Swing on a Hill

MARC VINCENZ

CARLEY RICKLES