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Letter from the Editor Issue #5

Whirlwind Magazine Issue #5

Poverty. The word carries a lot of weight. It means different things to different people. Poverty is mostly understood as a state of being in a material sense, but it can also be described as a spiritual or psychological experience. These experiences are told through poetry, stories, and art within issue five of Whirlwind Magazine.

Welcome friends, to our one year anniversary issue. We are excited to share these stories and images with you, the reader, our beloved supporter. It’s been a wondrous journey these past 12 months, thanks to the bold and fiery poetry in our first issue of Dennis Brutus, Nzadi Keita, and Jim Cory, to the words of revolt and wisdom in issue #2, featuring the late Sam Allen and dedicated to James Baldwin, to the visually stunning artwork and beautiful Spanish poetry of Karina Puente and the late Justin Vitiello in issue #3, and finally to all the veterans who contributed in issue #4, especially Preston Hood and our founder Lamont B. Steptoe.

Fatima Ijaz, a resident of Lahore, Pakistan, begins this issue with a short and seemingly simple poem about a boy on a street. Brooklyn based Daniel Jones puts us into perspective with a thought-provoking piece on a pauper. John Elliott offers a more abstract approach to handling the idea of  inner conflict and struggle. Debra McQueen’s gripping, vivid poetry on exploring the hilly jungles of Guatemala will help you understand what it means to feel out of place. Ree Villaruel takes us to the Philippines, where a group of children’s innocent routine is broken, leading to unfortunate consequences. Jeff Burt’s post-apocalyptic tale of hoarding challenges those who believe they can withstand the forces of mother nature.

Sneha Sundaram’s haibun depicts the travails of a woman watching the wealthy from an alleyway; her use of the fascinating form of haibun is worth noting, as it is a centuries-old technique that combines haiku and prose in order to depict a complex story through poetry.

Award-winning writer Evan Guilford-Blake brings us a short story that displays how deep poverty can damage an individual. Richard King Perkins II also writes on the pain this causes, but through astounding poetic observations. Luke Coulter instead speaks about the other side of the same coin by writing on the ignorance of the privileged. Meanwhile, Bob McNeil’s unique voice comes out in full force in his two poems that are featured. Diane Funston shares a poem full of wisdom and gentleness that is quite remarkable. Shizue Seigel confronts the reader in a powerful piece about oppression in the deep south. Prerna Bakshi sings us a song of resistance for the underdogs of the world. Stephanie Han’s poetry is so intricate and profound, it’s amazing. Diane Payne’s story reveals how a domineering man performs his job as a social worker could prove to be a traumatizing experience for a woman. Rashaad Thomas strikes the heart with his portrayal of what it means to be black and arbitrarily stopped by the police. Marco Pina’s poem about a body bag is a must-read. And finally, we bring you the gripping poetry of Joel Salcido, a Mexican-American poet with an awful amount of talent. Salcido has a bright future ahead of him as a poet, and we have the honor of featuring three of his poems in this issue.

We end this issue on a note of reflection in memory of Sam Allen. The archival letters and photographs that appear are just a small, but captivating glimpse into the mind of a man who was a phenomenal poet and a good human being. Thank you so much for reading our one year anniversary issue. Let’s hope for many more anniversaries to come.

whirlwind #5 cover

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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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Sucking in Carcinogens

Sucking in Carcinogens

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Release Us From Your Clutch

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The world is sick

The most tragic accident in the disorderly history of our universe

Our God is complicit

An incapacitated bell

Animals that slaughter each other with projectile weapons for inconsequential material wealth

How long have our dreams been crashing?

The thunder in it rings clear

Then cast us aside

As arrogant advanced apes

Forsaken by our species

The culmination of barely anything

Distraught, suffering, abandoned ones

Trampled on by elderly statesmen

Thousands of years of misconceptions

The old are propagandized

Sado-masochist insects

kill nine

kill ninety

kill nine million

kill us all

I masturbate to the thought of thermonuclear apocalypse

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The Way Down

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