A soul walks, dreams in its lonesome. What is housed in this museum of melancholic romance?1 A musician fighting with the void.2 A sculptor caressing the form within. A philosopher who perceives mysterious powers that cannot be explained.3 A poet producing sounds in a private theater of mourning. Alchemists. Voyagers. Healers. Those who respond to the sea’s call, the birds’ murmuration, who feel the energetic vibrations of the forest. Those who have braved the violent weather of anomaly, who have found some shelter in sadness—its gravitation grounding, comforting even, like the weight Kundera described in Beethoven’s work.4

This is the landscape of LONESOME PRESS—the shifting geology of a new planet in formation, alive and ever-changing. Its soil is stewarded by outsiders and misfits, whose touch is tender from knowledge of pain, their soft awareness in matters of the heart. It’s a threshold to new worlds in the making, a perennial yet volatile passage like the wardrobe that leads to Narnia. You must believe in magic to enter, or at least be open to unanticipated possibilities.

For me, the gateway came in the form of a curly-haired child with dark, luminous eyes: Avalon Rain. I saw her dancing through the cosmic skyscapes of Sandra Cinto’s paintings—soaring on whimsical swings and ascending starry ladders that enable multidirectional passage between terrestrial and celestial realms—the higher dimensions from which she came. The child guided me to her mother, Monique Erickson, who inexplicably recognized something beneath my skin—something I couldn’t touch (it being too close and therefore unreachable).5


LONESOME has two faces—like Janus, deity of coexistent contradictory truths. The inward-looking face, necessarily alone, the one that sees; and the outward-looking one, oriented towards the collective, the one that watches.


Our connection deepened over our love of words, and what it means to love words, to use them as media. For we both understand it is not the words themselves, but rather the blood within us, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from who we are.6 Writing, therefore, becomes a process of giving birth— ποίησις / poiesis—of bringing something into being which did not exist before. A profound incommunicability, capable of invocation.

Monique has many gifts, and one that she exercises with particular grace is her power to bring things together—to synthesize—be it language, people, objects, flavors, textures, frequencies, and details. She creates an ambiance where care and intention become tactile values, and she carries this energy to everything she does. LONESOME was born less than a year after we met. In January, that month of passage and transition, of confluence and motion—Mo’s birth month—she sent me a poem,7 and a couple hours later, wrote: “I think I want to start an arts/literary journal.” It made perfect sense, and soon began to coalesce, as coherent ideas do.

LONESOME exists as an extension of Mo’s efflorescent force. The name she chose, a poem unto itself. Circular, rounded vowels that fill the mouth, robust and sinuous consonants that demarcate, accentuate sound and movement—choreographing an incantatory dance of tongue and lips. LONESOME summons emotion. Like the life-force thread spun and woven by the Μοιραι / Moirai—the three sister-goddesses of destiny and fate—Mo’s work and poetry are the cords that entwine the disparate elements which constitute LONESOME.8 Her magnetic performances and live readings captivate and engage an ever-growing audience of lonely fans, who organically and self-selectively become part of this lonesome microcosm. With her power to perceive and bring out the best in others, Mo offers a platform for people to share and celebrate their gifts and talents. LONESOME amplifies voices as an interdisciplinary journal, published digitally and in print, as well as in-person community events.

LONESOME has two faces—like Janus, deity of coexistent contradictory truths. The inward-looking face, necessarily alone, the one that sees; and the outward-looking one, oriented towards the collective, the one that watches. A synthetic word, it is composed of multiple morphemes—lone/some. Its suffix -some is a linguistic ingredient used to transform adjectives into other adjectives (or nouns and verbs). It’s believed to originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *sem- “one; as one, together with.” Lone is a shortened form of alone, originating in the late 14th century. A contraction (c.1300) of the Middle English all ana—all one—literally, wholly oneself.9

LONESOME is the museum of our solitary condition. A sublime unity resides in the site of this dense convergence—our inherent isolation and social nature as a species, the singularity of our being in time and symbiotic entanglement with an infinity of others. I tend to mistrust those who avoid their lonesome, averting the honesty of the secrets and shadows that linger there. In this void, a space of rest and freedom. In this emptiness, something essential materializes. An atmosphere of real gathering and sharing opens. In our lonesome, wholly ourselves, we give and receive. Thus, we enter the poem.


1. Inspired by María Negroni, “Prologue,” in Dark Museum, trans. Michelle Gil-Montero. (Notre Dame, IN: Action Books, 2015), 4.

2. “All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. What is evoked in him, then, is of another order, more terrible because it has no words, and triumphant, too, for that same reason. And his triumph, when he triumphs, is ours.” James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues,”

3. Federico García Lorca quoting Goethe describing Paganini, “Play and Theory of the Duende,” in In Search of Duende, trans. Christopher Maurer (New York: New Directions, 1975).

4. “Unlike Parmenides, Beethoven apparently viewed weight as something positive. Since the German word schwer means both difficult and heavy, Beethoven’s difficult resolution may also be construed as a heavy or weighty resolution. The weighty resolution is at one with the voice of Fate (Es muss sein!); necessity, weight, and value are three concepts inextricably bound: only necessity is heavy, and only what is heavy has value.” Milan Kundera, “Part One: Lightness and Weight,” in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (New York: Harper Perennial), 18.

5. Inspired by E. E. Cummings, “[somewhere I have never travelled,gladly beyond]” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/153877/somewhere-i-have-never-travelledgladly-beyond

6. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke, “Blood-Remembering,” in RILKE ON LOVE AND OTHER DIFFICULTIES, trans. John J.L. Mood (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1974), 93-94.

7. Alone in my house / during a rainstorm / I open the back door so that the / sound comes in & / rain makes a little puddle / inside the screen It is / early afternoon, though dark, / I lie on the bed / & put my papers down beside me / light, as if there were no / blame or guilt—light / inside, heavy out—each part / of me balanced, supported. –Toi Derricotte, “A nap,” 2010.

8. The disparate nature of the elements that constitute LONESOME—whether such disparateness manifests in the backgrounds of those involved, the genre and tone of its contents, etc.—is important and essential. In the spirit of the late, great Audre Lorde: “Within the interdependence of mutual (non-dominant) differences lies that security which enables us to descend into the chaos of knowledge and return with true visions of our future, along with the concomitant power to effect those changes which can bring that future into being. Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.” Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House: Comments at ‘The Personal and the Political’ Panel (Second Sex Conference, October 29, 1979),” in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, eds. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (New York: Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, 1981), 99. [Emphasis added].

9. Thanks etymoline.com, a perennial open tab.

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