Last Friday we published “Dear Friend (or How I Managed to Kill My Demons),” a piece of creative nonfiction by Buffalo transplant Elias Attea. The piece is written in the style of a letter, and begins simply by telling the friend about how he has spent the past few weeks cycling through Europe. Attea describes himself as a tourist—not a vagabond—because “I still do have hopes, dreams, and an itinerary, after all.” He then draws parallels between his friend’s post-graduate rough patch and his own, transitioning almost into a meditation on his own struggle with depression, which he describes as closing himself into a house for two years, where things went from bad to worse, but then better again. A self-proclaimed spiritualist, Attea closes the letter with a thoughtful piece of advice: “It’s time to check the channels, clean the rooms, and make room for a new life that you know you deserve.”
One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses
By Lucy Corin
McSweeney’s / story collection
Lucy Corin’s One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses is absurd, dark, and funny in a way that seems unique to the mountains of other post-apocalyptic writing out there. The story, “A Hundred Apocalypses,” is written in four sections—“quarters” as Corin calls them—each involving its own apocalypse. They range from the reasonable to the grotesque, with much overlap. One story, “July Fourth,” describes the ground being “covered with bodies” as the narrator lays down among them, looking “at the sky, bracing for the explosions.” In another, “Barbarians,” the economy collapses, which excites the narrator, until the world falls apart and the narrator gets scratched in the eyes by a kitten: “I felt the pats of little kitten feet and felt I was not in it alone.” One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses will cause unease in even the most detached reader.
In collaboration with the United Melanin Society, Elisa Peebles presented an incredible and stirring performance at the opening of Squeaky Wheel’s Shape of a Pocket exhibit a couple weeks ago. The piece, which focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement, features a multimedia portrayal of the treatment of black men and women by police. Peebles utilizes spiritual song, interview-style questioning of white spectators, the presentation and chanting of victims’ names and deaths, and more, to urge her audience to practice resistance. Through film, art, and performance, Shape of a Pocket examines how the shape of a work can be a site of resistance, how collaborative practices inform our ideas of activism in art, and what it means for resistance to happen in an exhibition context. The exhibit is up at Squeaky Wheel through August 26th and the film screenings will repeat at its closing on August 25th at 7pm.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquries, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.