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Cheryl Wagner

Blip Magazine Archive Winter 2002:
Between States


Many thanks to the contributors whose works appear in this issue. Also many thanks to the writers who sent between states my way. While preparing this issue, strange wonders anew-- in my Inbox each day, odd greetings and half-cocked visions. Bruised Goth kisses and gilded millionaire marketing poems, women speeding cross-country, potheads hot on their chem trail. Tiny Industries pumped tiny products, Girlfriend the Citizen saw Life of a Yeti and took the Pills to Stop Worrying About Trips on the BART.

Every day more and more between states came: lusty Indian gods and sugar-corroded suburb kids flurried down on my desktop. Half-pipes, baby ghosts, Airstreams on ruined trips to Japan snowed me in. Finally an invitation to Chocolate City with MCG cleared the path and DJ Duck and Pignose and Gerone plowed me the skills for When I Drop this G.

After the deluge, these between states remained:

Jay Fontenot was born into a lifetime between-state. Doctors have given Jay a "dual diagnosis"-- one of those terms, like "metal head" or "Junior League", which carries enormous social weight and consequence while conveying absolutely nothing. For this issue, Jay writes about his life as prisoner-citizen, enemy neighbor, charming villain, general dumb-butt, and actual live human being.

With her Chaos Hags, Courtney Egan takes on gender-- gifting us with a video snapshot of one of the most elusive and shifting between-states.

Craig Taylor’s three poems have that lonely, funny-sad spectator feeling that sometimes come from haunting a between-state too long or too often. With Craig, we visit Berkeley, Coney Island, London, and a special place where beer comes in socks.

Robert Kevin Walters shares notes on an afternoon with his father in Mississippi. In this piece--a father between career and retirement, two men stuck between one job and the next, and a left-behind house.

Robin Grossinger is a scientist and artist trying to stick a pin in a marsh. At the San Francisco Estuary Institute, Robin processes high-tech computer mapping techniques through his lo-fi head and heart. The result are the fuzzily precise comics Still Here-- a place where land and people and roads collide with chicken coop histories.

Paul Maliszewski’s interview with his mother is rife with between-states. In it, we meet a woman between identities, a town between garbage days, and a poorly executed statue of Martin Luther King that pits citizen against citizen.

(Note: The place in Paul’s interview is Louisiana’s own evil twin cities-- Shreveport/ Bossier—the ultimate Between-Towns in a very Between-State. It is no coincidence that Bossier City is where Air Force One first touched ground on Sept. 11 when George Bush, Jr. was diverted by disaster, attempting to disappear.)

And, finally, Walt McDonald takes us back in time to a strange between-place in rural Texas where emus meet buffalo and homemade honey and a do-it-yourself African savannah grows then dies.

One last note on this issue of MR—For best results, view the art online. Then print the text out on paper and get as far away from computers as possible.


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