é-zine // shortage // editorial
Welcome to the 12th edition of the époque press é-zine on the theme, Shortage. Once more we have been overwhelmed with the fantastic response we have received. The process of working through the submissions, to settle on the final content featured here, has been extremely difficult due to the volume of excellent and thought-provoking work we received.
Little did we know, when we announced the theme, the resonance the word ‘shortage’ would actually have. Since we opened submissions for this edition we have gone from bad to worse in terms of the economic impact to all of our lives, and the result of this has certainly been reflected in some of the pieces that we feature here for you.
We have a fine selection of poetry with Manon Martini’s poem, Gluttony, exploring the relentless torture and a self-imposed food shortage and how the lack of food and nutrients can impare rational judgement. Anna Battersby in her collection of short films, overlaid with her spoken word poetry, looks at the shortage and rarity of love as she conjures up a sense of fleeting moments. Luca Margherita Damiani, who suffers from chronic pain due to an impairment of the nervous system, looks at the impact of invisible disability and a shortage of hope in the poem, As The Spoon Empties. In the selection of poems written by Emma Lee we are confronted with the shortages that are caused by financial abuse, disability, exhaustion and the impact of the lack of thought that goes into accessibility. Declan Geraghty, in the poem The Lost Shopper, evokes the sense of isolation that accompanies a shortage of compassion and engagement for those who are on the margins of society and Rob Hennebry, in his spoken word piece, All Sold Out, gives us the stark reality of how people can react and lash out when a sense of shortage has made them feel of less worth than the people they have to serve. The other poems we have featured by Rob all involve a sense of loss and longing, a sense of disconnectedness, of frustration, the feelings that are brought to the surface when people feel there is surfeit of opportunity.
In terms of short stories and prose, we have Sparkles and Rainbows by Teika Marija Smits, which confronts us head on with the impact of financial shortage and how certain organisations and sectors can prey on those who are most at risk, with little regard for the impact they are having on their lives. A similar theme is explored by Agnes Chew in Diary of an Employee, when we see how a desire to succeed and a desire to progress at work can leave you at the mercy of uncaring and exploitative employers. The climate emergency and the impact of the loss of our natural environment is explored by Philippa Holloway in The Last Morning, where we see the impact of an accelerated ecological crisis through the lens of personal grief and we are shown the devastating impacts that a shortage of oxygen can have. The loss of our environment and the impact of climate change is also explored by Jayson Carcione in the story Dearest, which, through a series of emotive diary entries, juxtaposes the loss of our environment with the feelings of a man who feels he has lost everything and who doesn’t want to live in the world anymore. In Bootleg Chocolate by Katy Wimhurst, we are taken on a surreal journey through a world where shortages have resulted in certain scarce products becoming the preserve of the blackmarket, and in the story Lack, by Effie Black, the theme of shortage and scarcity is also explored. Effie looks at the impacts shortages can have on people living in a supposed world of abundance and at how the growing inequalities between the haves and have-nots force some people to behave. In Freckles, by Harmony Kinnear, we are shown how different people rationalise and emotionally cope with shortages. We see how the simplest things in life should not be taken for granted and they bring alive through the work the old adage that, the best things in life are free.
We also feature a music video by The Slytones, called King of The Castle, a raucous, riotous and subversive exploration of the thoughts, desires, flaws and urges that were felt by the band, during the shortages experienced in lockdown.
We hope you enjoy all of the pieces we have featured and that you are all staying strong during this period of shortage.
Sean & Adam