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Editor's note

in capite foraminis

4.30.2020 - Portland, Maine


Don’t shoot the editors


While on his American speaking tour in 1882, Oscar Wilde visited Leadville, Colorado, where he went into a saloon. There was a piano player in the corner with a sign over him that said: DON’T SHOOT THE PIANIST; HE’S DOING THE BEST HE CAN. It was, observed Wilde, “the only rational method of art criticism I have ever come across.” 


On his tour of America, Oscar Wilde lectured miners and their families, packed into opera houses in towns like Leadville, on “the ethics of art” and...wallpaper. 

Wallpaper. They needed that like they needed a hole in the head. So they applauded (I imagine) wildly and thanked him.

The miners of Leadville thanked Wilde by inviting him to dinner - in the mine “First course,” he wrote, “whisky. Second course, whisky. Third course, whisky.”


In the spirit of those lectures on wallpaper, in this time of pandemic, quarantine, falsehoods, sickness, and death - we give you poetry, photography, and art. 

Art. Beautiful, powerful, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, images.


Egon Schiele, The Family, 1918, Belvedere, Vienna

Beauty, of course, often (most often?) springs from the dung and slag heaps of history. The poet, painter, musician, sculptor, photographer...the artist carries the quiet but powerful weapon of his/her/their art to resist violence, injustice, and ugliness.

I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell need this.

Like a hole in the head.

Cover art for this issue, titled Astral America by California artist, Garrett Speirs, perfectly encapsulates our attitude as we approached this issue: the RV - parked in a desert - is still, yet on the verge of motion; sheltered-in-place and safe but it has clearly spent time on the road and seems ready to move again.

Speirs told us, "the original image was taken in the Mojave Desert. It is a stone lithograph using 13 colors and took approximately a year to complete.  


"The image interested me because of a fascination with travel, escape and discovery.  The Mojave desert's a void of nothingness.  A place devoid of culture and humanity.  This image was influenced by the French writer Jean Baudrillard's book America.  A book I can't recommend enough."

Hole In The Head Review would not be possible without the generous support of many - you'll find their names on our Masthead page.

Thanks, of course, to all those who have shared their work. Thanks, too, to Baron Wormser and Michael Hettich, who have added their voices in two new features - Head Lines and Book End.

I couldn't do any of this without associate editors, Bill Burtis, Jere DeWaters, and Nancy Jean Hill.

I'm proud to bring you the work in this issue. Please let me know what you think and give it to me straight! I can take it.

Peace and all good things! We'll be back with issue 3 in August.

If you are in love with the infinite,
why grieve over earth washing away in the rain?

- Rumi

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