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“Haloed by this next sorrow, sorry.”

“Haloed by this next sorrow, sorry.”

Popping in under monsoon season to give a shout to the new online literary magazine Dream Pop Journal, co-edited by Isobel O’Hare and Carleen Tibbetts. Dream Pop is inspired by the Cocteau Twins and describes itself as “interested in lyric memoirists, cross-genre experimenters, fearless inventors, and poets who dream in made-up languages.”

I used to do a lot of online magazine round-ups, and when I read the debut issue of a magazine as good as Dream Pop, I feel sad that I don’t do those anymore. You can romanticize anything, and I romanticize the experience of reading a good literary magazine by aspiring to Frank O’Hara’s line about walking up the “muggy street beginning to sun,” and spontaneously stopping for a “a hamburger and a malted” and “an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets / in Ghana are doing these days.”

And even though that line is (probably intentionally) a lot more complicated than the bodily experience it describes (with the breezyness having the temperature of colder-than-is-comfortable yt imperialism, plus the fact Billie Holiday is about to die at the end of the poem), I nonetheless always think about that bodily experience and think “yes, I want that life, to casually snack and discover what writers and poets I’ve never heard of are up to in wonderfully earnest collections.”

Dream Pop is not ugly at all, of course, and there are also some writers and poets I’ve heard of:

But what I try to discipline myself to do with magazines is make sure that for every author I already know I like, I read an author I don’t know, and the secret joy of this technique is you end up liking more things. And life is a little better. It’s ridiculous. Sure, you hit some inevitable duds, but these are the opposite of duds:

Plus many others I’m leaving out with apologies to tender egos because that is the downside of the format of the list, like every time I see a list of anything that I’m not on I have to go buy a cactus, and then I see I’m not on the list of cactuses on sale and I enter a devastating infinite loop and can no longer write anything, let alone magazine round-ups. But it doesn’t mean this issue isn’t worth 100% checking out. My only complaint is there isn’t an easy way to go from author to author without going back to the big list, but that feature is only important probably if you are trying to deliberately read everything, and I know that life is short and the seas are rising.

So what’s important to say is that Dream Pop joins the ranks of “new-ish” (are they? I have no idea) magazines I always feel 100% impressed by, like Dreginald and Reality Beach and Cosmonauts Avenue.

No one comments on blog posts anymore because it’s not 2008, but I’d love to know your favorite online magazines, ones you feel you trust in such a thorough way that you’ll even read the shit that’s not by your friends or yourself. (Shoutout to my friend Theo Krantz and his line that I can’t stop thinking about: “I remember when I met my favorite stranger.”)

Because all in all, I only had to avoid reading like three or four political thinkpieces in order to have a good time reading Dream Pop and writing this post. Which, like, yeah, thank the seas for that. And specifically thank the seas of Isobel O’Hare and Carleen Tibbetts for lifting the waters up from the dream.

Mike Young
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About The Author

Mike Young

Mike Young is the author of three books: Sprezzatura (2014, poems), Look! Look! Feathers (2010, stories), and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (2010, poems). He publishes the free online/print literary magazine NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and lives online at In person, he lives in Santa Fe, NM.

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