Editor's Note
Editor's Note
Obama Shopfront in Brooklyn, New York. If you look closely, that's me in the reflection.

There is nothing quite like a literary journal, whether it's in print or online. I discovered literary journals when I was a teenager working in a library in suburban New York after seeing them in the acknowledgements sections of the various books of poets I was reading at the time. Their names became familiar—Sulfur and Hambone seemed mysteriously inviting, while The Paris Review and Atlantic oozed intellectual worldliness. As a young man in the boring environs of Northern Westchester, I have to admit feeling exiled from the sex, erudition and intellectual adventure of the New York City that I had witnessed before my family had moved out of Manhattan—and steadily northward through Riverdale, Scarsdale and finally, the icy confines of Northern Westchester. My link to that exciting world (in the days before the internet took hold and made us slaves to Facebook) were the pages of the New Yorker and the films of Woody Allen. Sure enough, though my career shelving books was far briefer than King Edward VIII's reign, my love of the written word survived and remains the love of my life.

And so, here we are, in an era of wars, regime changes, iPhones and a decent U.S. President (for a change). The fads fade away, but the written word remains a steady force in the world. It lives despite its creator's shortcomings, or perhaps because of them.

As an editor, I am obliged to present to you the very best poems that I have come across—whether I have sought them out, or whether they have found their way to my desk on their own—while also acting in furtherance of this journal's prime objective, which is to promote the work of new talent alongside established poets and writers. I would like to take a moment to recognize Inertia's amazing staff: Associate Editor, Karen Neuberg, whose new chapbook, Detailed Still, is now available from Poets Wear Prada at http://poetswearpradanj.home.att.net/. Karen Lepri, who will be attending the MFA program at Brown this fall. Music Editor Clint Edwards, who is working on his upcoming musical Becoming Tennessee. Judith Seaman and Christina Cook, whose eyes are the best in the business. Without them, we would have missed some great work. Finally, Don Wenzel, whose advice I greatly value.

Lastly, as you may have divined from browsing the left-menu, we've added a new section called "music." We hope you like this new feature, so let us know what you think. Those of you wanting to get the most out of your experience at Inertia are advised to view us using Chrome or Firefox (on PC), and Safari or Firefox (on Mac). Yes, you can still use IE on PC.


J.M. Spalding
July 2009
New York