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Whirlwind Magazine Issue #3

Dear reader,

Hello, and welcome to the third issue of Whirlwind Magazine. Much of this edition features writing and art created by our friends whose families originated from Latin America or Spain. Latina/o writing is an integral part of American literature. Spanish is a beautiful and poetic language that so often sounds smoother and lovelier than English. Our Latina/o sisters and brothers are essential elements to the culture of Philadelphia and Camden, the two cities which we at Whirlwind call home. This all may be obvious to some, but we feel that Latina/o culture is too often still marginalized. (A quick note, I emphasize the use of Latina/o in this letter in order to indicate the Magazine’s views on gender equality, some use the term Latinx in order to be inclusive of all gender identities, and we would like to recognize that as well).

Now, admittedly, I am a novice in regards to the Spanish language. Entiendo algunos, pero nunca mucha. Hopefully Whirlwind’s new staff member, Courtney Gambrell, who is fluent in Spanish, will make sure the preceding sentence made sense. One of my favorite books in my bookcase is Pablo Neruda’s “The Captain’s Verses,” which includes every poem in both Spanish and English parallel to one another. Another favorite of mine on the poetry shelf is the late Justin Vitiello’s, “amapolas y cardos,” published by none other than Whirlwind Press. We have included four pages at the end of this issue of Vitiello’s poems in the same format: Spanish on one page, English on the next.

Vitiello passed away a little over a year ago. A professor at Temple University both in Philadelphia and Rome, Vitiello was a prolific and powerful poet who bore witness to issues of social justice and human rights. Whirlwind Issue 3 is dedicated to this man who deserves the notoriety and renown that only the best of poets gain after their death. On the Industrial Workers of the World website, Nathaniel Miller wrote, “…[Vitiello] was a fighter, and like all great working-class soldiers understood that we must fight for bread and roses too. Justin organized poetry readings against the mafia in Sicily, telling me that the best way to fight hate and ignorance was simply take a public space as collective triumph over fear, and in Philadel- phia he always stood on the picket lines. That fearless determination is his legacy.”

We honor Vitiello’s legacy in this issue by publishing writers and artists who share his love of words and images and believe in advancing human rights and equality. From exploring the tribulations of imprisonment, to acknowledging the extent of continuing imperialist oppression, Whirlwind Issue 3 welcomes you to expand your awareness along with us. As always, thank you so much for reading.

-S.W. Lynch

Querido lector,

Salud y bienvenido a la tercera edición de Whirlwind Magazine. La mayoría de esta edición publica escritura y arte creado por nuestros amigos cuyos familiares proceden de Latinoamérica o España. La escritura Latino es parte integral de la literatura americana. Español es una lengua hermosa y poética cual suena más suave y más rica que Inglés. Nuestros hermanos latinos son elementos esenciales a la cultura de Filadelfia y Camden, las dos ciudades que Whirlwind reconoce como un hogar. Aunque estos detalles puedan ser obvio para alguna gente, proveemos el sentimiento que la cultura Latina se queda marginada tanta. Nota por favor, subrayo que el uso del término Latino/a en esta forma indica que la posición de la revista en cuanto a la igualdad de género. No es raro para ver el término Latinx, para incluir todas las identidades generas, lo reconocimos también.

Es verdad que yo sea un novicio con respecto al idioma español. “Entiendo poco pero no mucho.” Esperanzadamente nuestro nueva emplea, Courtney Gambrell, quien está fluida en español, pueda asegurar que la oración anterior tiene sentido. ¡Ahora sí! Uno de mis libros favoritos en mi estante por Pablo Neruda, “The Captian’s Verses,” cual incluye cada poema en los ambos idiomas: español e inglés. Otro favorito en la estantería de poesía mía es por Justin Vitiello, “amapolas y cardos,” publicado por Whirlwind Press. Hemos incluido cuatro páginas al fin de esta edición de su poesía en el mismo formato: español por una página, inglés siguiente.

Desafortunadamente, Sr. Vitiello ha fallecido hace un año. Un profesor en Temple University aquí y extranjero, Vitiello fue un poeta prolífico y poderoso quien cuestionaba los temas alrededor justicia social y los derechos humanos. Esta edición está dedicado éste hombre quien merece el gran renombre que solamente los mejores poetas ganan después de morir. En la página web, Industrial Workers of the World, Nathaniel Miller escribió, “[Vitiello] was a fighter, and like all great working-class soldiers under- stood that we must fight for bread and roses too. Justin organized poetry readings against the mafia in Sicily, telling me that the best way to fight hate and ignorance was simply take a public space as collective triumph over fear, and in Philadelphia he always stood on the picket lines. That fearless determination is his legacy.”

Honramos el legado de Vitiello por ésta edición por publicando los escritores y artistas que com- parten su amor para las palabras y las imágenes y creen en su valor para avanzar los derechos humanos e igualdad. De explorar las tribulaciones del encarcelamiento, reconocer el alcance de la opresión imperi- alista que continúa, la tercera edición de Whirlwind da la bienvenida a Ustedes para extender la concien- cia con nosotros. Como siempre, te damos tan agradecimiento por leer.

-S.W. Lynch
Translation by Courtney Gambrell

The cover art is a detail of a Karina Puente piece. Designed by Melissa Rothman.
The cover art is a detail of a piece by Karina Puente. Cover designed by Melissa Rothman.
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Whirlwind Issue #2

Hello everyone. I’ve spent the past few months working on the second issue of Whirlwind Magazine, and it’s finally finished! Click here in order to read for free. This issue is James Baldwin themed: we’ve got photos of Baldwin, poems about him, and even a never before seen memoir excerpt concerning him and his last days. We’ve got over 2 dozen widely published as well as emerging poets. We’ve got art and photos as well. You won’t be let down by this issue, it’s bigger and better than the first. So go ahead and read and please share your thoughts!

Whirlwind Issue #2

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Non Fiction

The Public Death of a Human

I wonder if there are bumper-stickers that say “What would Dionysus do?” Maybe there aren’t any because it would run the risk of catching the mythologically-aware police officer’s eye. I wonder how many cops are well-versed in the traits of Greek gods. Maybe it’s better not to posit arbitrary hypotheses. It’s best to keep such worries bottled up. Or maybe I should just drown them in the water of life.

Speaking of whiskey, this tiny bottle of Tully has been sitting on my bureau for a few months now. It’s almost empty. I’d guess that there’s only a 1/5th left, 4/5ths of which were swigged while writing a poem lost in pages of drunken stream-of-consciousness.

I don’t know why I’ve saved this last little bit of Tullamore Dew. My nihilist self says for no reason. My hypochondriac self says that since the seal has been broken and the cap has been left half on by my drunken past-self, that there runs a risk of contamination, somehow. My anxious self says the same thing, but not for any clinical reason, which is perhaps better, because the former is absolutely absurd, (ad infinitum via the paranoid delusional parts of me.) My melodramatic self says that I’m saving the ultimate sip for when the friend who gave it to me as a gift dies.

Although now I don’t think that will happen to him all that soon anymore. My friend recently had surgery in order to remove a tumor from his bladder. It was successful, and should stem the tide of nothingness for a little while, (although the malignancy in his prostate is a different story). Back in September I didn’t know he had cancer. That was when he travelled to Lithuania because he was invited to read at a poetry festival in Vilnius. The somewhat large, autonomous, and semi-recognized-as-independent-commune that hosted the event, (and awarded him with the title of Ambassador of all African Americans) is built on the ruins of a WWII-era Jewish ghetto. He told me he could not feel comfortable there, no matter how accommodating his hosts were, on account of the tortured phantoms of forgotten individuals.

It was sometime in October and the night after he returned from halfway across the world when we went to McGlynchies and he showed me photographs of the artists’ collective and poetry festival. He drank Cuervo and Harp. I drank Tully and Lager. When we departed from one another he told me he had cancer and gave me a gift. If I abide by my melodramatic self then I hope it will be awhile before I sip the rest of that whiskey he gave me.

When we hang out I don’t speak as often as I usually do around other people I drink with. I imbibe in his anecdotes and conspiracies as well as our usual drinks. He’s given me other tokens, usually mysticism-related trinkets, but this whiskey is the most heartfelt. It’s only 50ml, kind of like the mini airline bottles of liquor. Although this gift wasn’t picked up haphazardly and conveniently duty free. It’s from Lithuania, specifically the hotel he stayed in in Vilnius, complete with a white sticker filled with Lithuanian words. He got it for me because he knows me. He notices the little things. Our weekly communion hasn’t gone unnoticed to him, even though it’s only been going on for the past year, out of the other sixty some-odd-years he’s been alive. How about I drink this last little bit now in the hope that it will go on for some time.