Notes on the CNF Selections

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April 17, 2017 by The Citron Review

 

In The Citron Review’s Spring 2017 issue, Marianne Cirone and I are glad to present “Salt,” by Laurie Ember, “Wasted Kiss,” by Pavle Radonic, and “Timepiece,” by Gail Tyson. Here, we have an vibrant mix of style and form, of vivid imagery and careful reflection, of segmentation and stream of consciousness.

In “Salt,” Laurie Ember considers the eponymous substance’s capacity to kill and to give life. She juxtaposes the image of a slug desiccating in a pile of table salt with her own child, who—through the peculiar machinations of genetic shuffling—needs to be conspicuously salinized with pretzels, capers, olives, literal handfuls of salt, just to maintain homeostasis, just to stay alive, “a sodium addict with her life-saving fix.”

In “Wasted Kiss,” Pavle Radonic releases a stream of observation from his neighborhood in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. He vividly writes of a girl sleeping upright “in the classic way of the soldier on guard duty.” Later, though, her falling asleep on a table outside of an ice-cream shop has “resulted in the kind of ruination of a battle-field corpse,” her lips pressed to the plastic.

In “Timepiece,” Gail Tyson explores the passage of time, how we keep it and how we give it. She offers brief descriptions of a pocket watch’s parts—mainspring, ratchet wheel, escape wheel—while reflecting on her relationship with her stepfather, “a clenched fist of a man” who “moves fast, outrunning the fears that tarnish old age.”

In their own ways, all of these pieces derive a sense of urgency from their evocation of life’s fragility. As literature is so acutely capable of doing, they lead to big questions, to self-reflection; they ask us to think about how we survive and how we help others to do so.

Like I said, this is a wonderful mix of creative nonfiction. We hope that you enjoy these pieces as much as we do.

Thanks for reading,

Zach Jacobs
Creative Nonfiction Editor
The Citron Review

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