The Week of the Grendel: Day 1 Deep Magic of the World

So unless you dwell in a cave and eat roots and random bits of fungi and maybe blind fish, you know that Grendelsong has brought itself roaring back into the world. Yes, yes, that magazine I made in print ages ago, yes, yes, it’s back. Maybe more of a Grendelhowl or a Grendelyawp. All good things need to be brought back, and this was only a nine year slumber. I’ll go into the more and the whys and the what the’s of all this later. (visit grendelsong at

For now? Let’s take a week and talk about the stories I’ve chosen for this mythic beast of a thing. Each day of this week I’ll go through the contents, pick a different story, talk about that story and why it is where it is and why I bought it it and all that etc etc etc.

The first story is the first story. Today is the day after Halloween, all Saint’s Day to you random lapsed/notlapsed Catholics out there. A day of thin veils and a deep howling growl of earth A perfect day for talking about The Deep Magic of the World.

Go here to read the essay first, so we can discuss it:

Unlike everything else, this story is non-fiction. To be honest, I’m hoping to publish a lot of non-fiction, as much as the fiction. I just need people to pitch me the good stuff. So pitch away!

Anyway, Berit’s essay is not an essay per se. It’s a poem, it’s fragmented, it’s a mosaic of a search. The pictures add more than just a site to what she sees, they compliment every bit of word she says. There it is- that searching, not just for a deep magic, but for something beneath all of it. Something just out of reach. Told explicitly in a perfect series of vignettes that give you an essence of a feeling.

That arctic place. I put this essay/poem above my Editorial. Most magazines, the editorial is the gateway to the magazine. I wanted the gateway to be more than just me rambling, I wanted it to show you how I envisioned Grendelsong. It was the start of a liminal space, that searching for something greater. The first rite, before moving on past the threshold.

Her essay was that rite, that ritual. What lay beyond was the between world land of Grendelsong. A fantastical purgatory of sorts, slipping in and out of our realm into others, barely glimpsed. The crossing was not the crossing. The movement not the movement.

One of the things I love about this is that it combines so many different genres of writing. Is it a memoir? An essay? A confessional poem? A poem?  It exists in a between state, between all those things.

As a parting note, let me just reprint my favorite two lines:

This beach. These pebbles. This reindeer skeleton.

The cloud-shadows on the barren mountains. The glacier flowing to the sea.


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