on “Issue 117
14 Comments on “Issue 117
  1. Great mag! I loved “Commando” by Erin Wilcox in this issue. The subtle building of tension, and the evocative scene-setting–I could almost feel the seductive pull of the water. Looking forward to seeing more from this author.

  2. Some wonderful writing in your publication. Especially liked Erin Wilcox’s “Commando” and the poems “Anatomic” and “Night Owl.” Wilcox’s piece really pulled me in with its taut writing, its buildup of tension, and its portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship. I loved the drama of the situation and was happy to see it end as it did.

  3. I’m so glad to have discovered Crack the Spine. I enjoyed all the pieces I read, but I especially loved “Commando.” Thanks for providing a venue for writers to get their work out to an audience. I’ll be coming back every week to see what’s new!

  4. This is a great collection. Especially love “Commando,” with its gripping tension and devastating (yet still hopeful) examination of mother-daughter relationships.

  5. Agreed. I had one of those “I see what you did there” moments when the two characters, so similar in their anxieties, their strategies, and their dysfunction turned against each other (like the eating disorder, it’s actually self-harm). The “touching bottom” button at the end could have been an alternate title.

  6. What a wonderful issue…”all those grains of sand that overpowered the body that ground them down” in “Commando” hooked me from the start. Wilcox offers us a masterpiece in storytelling. In two completely different voices, she skillfully alternates between the mother and daughter’s point of view and elegantly says the things that a mother and daughter never get to say to each other. In addition, the way in which she handles the subject of bulimia in this story is one to be modeled.

  7. A very satisfying issue, with a good range of material. I’ll echo the other praise for “Commando,” which could so easily have gone in a very different direction; the parallel, overlapping, concerns of the mother and daughter were elegantly handled.

    • Yes, the protagonist is thoroughly stymied and sees that same repression all around him, even in the husband whose “laziness kept him faithful.” The black man at the station is a provocative exception.

    • I like “Rip Tide” or “Push Pull” for the title. “Push Pull”, for me, describes the character’s relationship with her mother and boyfriend, her swim to safety and her feelings about food in this powerful story. If I had to choose, though, it would be “Half a World Away.” Thanks for your powerful insights, writing skills and treasure chest of engaging verbs. Ellen Ziegler

  8. “Commando” by Erin Wilcox is riveting. Not for a moment does the tension (mother/daughter, daughter/ocean, mother/ocean, mother and daughter w/ themselves) lag. I almost wanted it to go on longer just to savor it, but I think the story’s the right length for what it wants to portray.

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