Zines and literary journals are like the Baltimore Orioles. You want to love them, but it’s hard to do so. Like the Orioles, they’re usually miserably bad, and not even bad in interesting or dramatic ways, like the Mets used to be bad, but bad in the most boring and unintriguing of ways.

Then the Orioles have a season, once very ten years or so, that makes the city break out in orange and black like Baltimore’s been stricken with a rare variant of jaundice. You can love the Orioles again, because they’re worth loving. Sometimes, you find a literary journal or zine worth loving too. Murdaland is my latest.

Murdaland is about everything bad that people do. Unlike the local news in the paper, though, the stories in Murdaland are fun to read. I read the first six paragraphs online of Paolo Madrigal’s story “My War” (true life combat from a Sandinista rebel) and plugged my credit card in immediately.

My favorite quote so far is from Anthony Neil Smith’s “Lovers through All Eternity and Forevermore,” about an obsessed goth boyfriend trying to overcome his girlfriend’s disfunctional family and plan her funeral the way he knows she’d want it.

“We were one of those instant spiritual bonds that you just knew only came along once in a lifetime. Romeo and Juliet. Jesus and Magdalen, Kurt and Courtney. We were destined to cause each other the highest highs and deepest pains.”

If only all love could be so… bizarre.
Possibly more mundane but every bit as strong is my love for Murdaland. I’ve been wanting to write a raving review about some independent writing for quite awhile, and now I most certainly can. If you like noir and crime and seediness, Murdaland is the best collection of stories going. Buy yourself a copy.

Comments 3

  1. Melissa wrote:

    I just found this online lit. journal called Hobart. (Which reminds me of those big commercial dishwashers/sanitizers, so I wonder why they decided to go with that title.) Anyway, I’ve only explored it a little, but the stories I read were great, specifically one entitled Scenes From The Elephant Garden. So check it. And I’ll check out Murdaland, thanks for the tipster 😉

    Posted 16 Mar 2007 at 2:25 am
  2. Melissa wrote:

    I’m dumb I forgot the link :) Here it is

    Posted 16 Mar 2007 at 2:31 am
  3. Melissa wrote:

    Just in case you read this before Myspace…


    send it to moi s’il vous plait :)

    Posted 22 Mar 2007 at 4:57 am

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Literature Is Not Dead » Arsip blog » Free stuff! on 22 Mar 2007 at 4:08 am

    […] If you’ve been reading like you should, you’ll know to be excited when I say I got an extra copy of Murdaland in the mail. The Murdaland bossmen have authorized me to give it away to a fellow writer or reader who wants it. So be the first person to shout at me and get a copy, free as air. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, visit this post. […]