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Foreword Guideword: Sense Whether non- or common, one among the body's five or that cryptic


sixth, Sense informs our experience in ways both visceral and mystic. Extra- sensory perception, however, for all of its mystique, is often no more remarkable than sheer hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch—extraordinary each and all in their own right, and not to be taken lightly or for granted. Not only can one lose these abilities literally, one can also be said to


have lost one's senses or, conversely, one can formulate a sense of self, of place or of purpose. Acts, such of those of violence, are said to be senseless, while shoes or decisions are called sensible. With this issue of Guideword, contributors were invited to think about


how the senses, or lack thereof, influence and affect their writing and art. Julia Ain-Krupa, in her short story "The Big Bang," writes, "Nothing made sense and everything was open. There was a lesson in there," a lesson delivered via synesthesia when she concludes, "sometimes I see my voice. And always I am surprised that it still makes a sound." Ron Heacock, in his piece "Where They Go" grapples with a comparable sense of uncertainty in a series of vignettes dealing with the deaths of a bird, a pet, and a relative from the perspective of a sensitive child who has himself had a near-death experience, while Kristine Giardin vividly depicts an adolescent's budding awareness of a rather sinister sensuality in "Washerwoman." Christine Palm offers up a decidedly adult understanding of subtlety


and nuance in her essay "New London. A "dove-gray spire" is distinguished from a "slate-gray sky;" a river that moves toward the ocean like "cooling steel" stands opposed to stone that holds "the warmth of the sun from hours ago." Christine demonstrates as much facility with the particulars of infancy in her children's picture book "The Five Senses of You." In it she writes with great musicality of a mother's movement out into the world as tempered by her attachment to her baby back home. Lisa Wells, in her poem "Listening Party," portrays a manic, paranoid


experience of sensory stimuli, heightened to the verge of the psychedelic: "Like clouds/electric jellyfish herd overhead. Constellations of origin, sparkling dinoflaggelates, such/ visions overtake me!" -- analogous, in some respects, to the frenetic energy of Gabrielle Tsounis's "Masterpiece." Likewise, Elizabeth Reynold's starkly evocative photograph "Winter"


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