Introduction

As he negotiates an icy ledge with an injured wrist, Rick Kempa considers his responses to this dire situation: “I am not feeling these thoughts; rather, they are strung out in front of me on parade and I am just looking at them, one by one.” This description makes for a fine definition of how a compelling piece of creative nonfiction unfolds. In this issue, our authors confront matters of geography, relationship, loss, and desire. How do we become other to ourselves when navigating a foreign city? In what ways are we haunted by losses we can only understand with time? Their pieces interrogate form, as in Frank Soos’ haibun, “Doubling, Doubling Back,” or Kelly Lynn Thomas’ flash nonfiction, “Crossing the Street in Hue on Buddha’s Birthday.” But if you want to watch a “parade” of thoughts that is part Carnival, part Dia de los Muertos, and a little bit of Mardi Gras, find your way to Matthew Gavin Frank’s “Oaxaca Night” and lose yourself in the procession of tastes, sounds, and sensation. Our editors invite you to explore and be moved.