Poetry by Rob Leiper, Rikki Santer, Jeanne Julian, Phil Wood, David Radavich, Maria Arana, Alan Cohen, Pauline Barbieri, and Paul Murgatroyd

Prose by Annie Bell, LB Sedlacek, Geoffrey Heptonstal, Peter Van Belle, Hanns Heinz Ewers, Paul Murgatroyd, and Gary Bolick

Art by Willem Johan Barbieri, John Winder, Walter Gramatté, and Abigayle Cosenze



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Now accepting submissions for issue 13


In 1857 Justinus Kerner started collecting his Kleksographien (Klecks is the German word for blot) and writing short poems describing what he saw in them. The book was posthumously printed in 1890. In 1896 a book was published in the USA called Gobolinks or Shadow-Pictures for Young and Old. This had the same set-up as Kerner’s book: ink-blots with added poems. The phenomenon used in these books is called pareidolia, where a person interprets random marks as recognizable patterns. (Both books are available at Internet Archive). Psychiatrists, among them Alfred Binet and Hermann Rorschach suggested such inkblots could be used to study the subconscious of their subjects. 


Could the klecksography also serve as a metaphor for life? Both are things we try to make sense of. Our subconscious does this all the time, but can do little to affect it. Yet through our creative works our subconscious expresses these interpretations with beautiful, moving, or terrifying results. Is the reader then like a patient in front of a Rorschach or TAT? TATs (Thematic Apperception Tests) are a set of ambiguous pictures the subject has to make a story about.