Vagabondage Press, LLC
New Directions in Art & Literature
|vagabondage press llc (c)2008
Volume One - Issue Five - October 2008
Letter from the Editor
Whether you prefer to call it Samhain, Night of the Dead, Mischief Night or All-Saint's Even - the death of summer is
upon us and Halloween approaches. Ancient tradition celebrated Halloween as the night when the dead walked the earth
and the misty veil between the real world and the afterworld became tenuous. The days grow shorter, the sun seems to
falter and the fields and forests go dormant. Surely our thoughts can't help but turn to the natural end of things. To
sleep, perchance to dream - and to wonder what lies on the other side of that dream. A rebirth and renewal of life? A
ghost world of vague consciousness? An endless, mindless rest?
Halloween is the night we reach to the other side and take a short, frightened peek at the inevitable. We surround
ourselves with gruesome images; monsters, predators, scenes of horror and death. Sometimes we make cartoon
caricatures out of these grim visions - dancing skeletons, "friendly" ghosts - laughing at our fears or making light of the
tragic. We tell horror stories to each other and play rude pranks on strangers.
We encourage our children take candy from strangers.
Perhaps it's our way of dancing with death, a formalized reel. A flirtation. It could be our ritual introduction to the
inevitable. A way of removing the terror and a means of accepting the natural end of things.
Like all human rituals that we use to express our hopes and fears, Halloween provides a wealth of inspiration for art and
storytelling. It is our hope in this issue to provide a taste of the bizarre, the frightening and of course, the humorous.
It also most fitting that we dedicate this issue to one who has gone before. Right before publication date, we learned of
the recent passing of poet Robert S. Dunn, editor of Asbestos Poetry Journal and author of two sparkling gems in this
issue, "Dracula's Super Service" and "Halloween Humbug". We are honored to have been allowed a chance to work with
Whether you spend the holiday in a sacred grove, spend it dragging a second grader from house to house, or even
spend it hiding behind the couch with all lights out until the kids stop ringing the damned doorbell - we hope you find a
few Halloween thrills in these pages.
'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
The Battered Suitcase
The Battered Suitcase