Six Pack

I very often find myself weighing the costs of these literary endeavors, the magazine, Oyster Boy, and now this, the first chapbook. There are countless hassles to unleaven even my youthful exuberance for what, to me, is an absolute unknown, taking and shaping and investing in a writer's best efforts. When I moved from Gainesville two summers ago, and migrated my little stack of submissions to Chapel Hill, I lived for a time as though I was the only person and the world was a far away place. I remember watching from my apartment's picture window lines of sorority ladies rush back and forth from house to house. The window was an inch thick and I didn't even own a jacket to keep warm from the settling fall. It was a truly insane time for me to be counting the few pairs of shoes in my closet as my closest friends. And perhaps, but for these endeavors, I'd still be sleeping in that closet, drinking innumerable bourbon and cokes, and freezing at night as I walked the town in a daze without a coat.

Sometime in the spring, after the second issue of the magazine appeared, I began to receive more submissions than I had ever expected. It seems that North Carolina, or at least anywhere not of a peninsular mind, had the courage to invest in something different, something worth while. And one of those who took the time to stop, pick up, and read Oyster Boy was Chris Stafford, who had his own magazine, what he called Cotton Gin, and it came in big and little sizes. It was different from what I was doing, but it was the same. Where blind fear drove me to break myself to publish, it was pure hope that sprung from every page that Chris hand-set, assured in lapidary knowledge of his own angelic insight.

At the basest level of these magazines, where they exist in a subterranean obscurity, lacking truly literary content, we work best. It is a hole that New York publishing can't fit through. And though it gets damn cold, and I often find myself throwing a rage, or a glass, at all that never amounts to anything, what luck fate has, I tell myself, for turning on the bad to good.

—Damon Sauve, editor