Introduction: The Accident Issue


A moment in time.  Often a hinge-point, forever changing a life or, at the very least, a perspective.

Accidental meetings, accidental pairings, accidents involving cars, involving people,  something said, something not said.  The accidental way words shape themselves into what we need to hear.

Accidents are what this issue is all about, from Charles Rammelkamp’s poem, “Drinking Saved My Life,”  where a chance decision leads to unexpected salvation, to “a place map and the tanka of time” by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde,  where the words of the poem itself tumble accidentally on-purpose down the page, making waking sense out of dream sense.

This issue is also about the art of Carolyn Krieg, which I was first introduced to by friend and poet,  Kim Hamilton.  At first, Carolyn’s pieces seem like miraculous accidents to me, creations with their own chance bleedings of color, their own rarified atmospheres.  And they are.   But they are also deliberately, wonderfully crafted--haunting, surprising, the stuff of ah-ha.

Before Switched-on Gutenberg, though, came Kim and Carolyn.  They have been working together for a number of years, quietly collaborating on a full-length book of art and poetry called Visitation.   This work is a deeply spiritual journey into the connections between humans and animals.   The book features Kim’s poetry, which explores these mysterious “meeting places” between the species,  along with Carolyn’s art featuring dogs, birds, whales, goats,and,  in particular, horses.  We are fortunate to be able to give you a taste of Visitation,  with Kim’s poem, “Down,” paired with Carolyn’s C-print, “YinYang” (copyright 1989).   And we look forward to holding in our hands the product of their long and artful collaboration,  and hereby (2015) provide you, our readers, with a link to Visitation at blurb books

Meanwhile, thank you, Kim and Carolyn, for sharing your visions and visitations with us.   Thanks to all the talented poets who shared their many and varied accidents with us!  And, thank you, Roberta Feins,  Co-editor, for all the hours of work you put in to bring this issue to light.   Switched-on Gutenberg wouldn’t exist without you!

Linda Malnack
Co-editor, Switched-on Gutenberg

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