Word from the Editor
Writing feels impossible now.
Necessary, but impossible.
I don’t want to try making deep metaphors right now. I don’t want to inch my way to some profound realization, hoping the reader is inching along with me. Just writing those words, the poet in me felt inclined to add a metaphor to the previous sentence, as if everything needs to be earnest and pretty.
I am angry and anger is not pretty, it is scathing.
I don’t know how to write evocatively about anger, I only know how to name it. It is war. It is racism, antisemitism. Homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, sexism, ableism. It feels endless.
I can’t make any of it earnest or pretty. I can only say: enough.
Ada Limón puts it better than I ever can:
[…] enough of the pointing to the world, weary
and desperate, enough of the brutal and the border,
enough of can you see me, can you hear me, enough
I am human, enough I am alone and I am desperate,
enough of the animal saving me, enough of the high
water, enough sorrow, enough of the air and its ease,
I am asking you to touch me.
I hope the work here doesn’t just touch you, but ignites a justified anger; reminds you to let go of the desire to always be pretty and earnest. It is time to relinquish that, take our anger, and turn into something that moves, shakes, and awakens people. That’s what I hope this issue does for you. Like our writing, anger is necessary too. Let it push you to create something honest, something inching toward change. We selected the work here because we knew they are sharing important stories about race, religion, mental health, grief, fear, and confusion, among countless other important topics and feelings. They are commenting on things bigger than themselves. Something bigger than all of us.
This is my final issue as Editor-In-Chief (although I plan to continue working with Lunch Ticket for a while—I’m a big fan, what can I say?), so I want to take a moment to say thank you. This magazine is a labor of love, one that would not be possible with the dedication from the many teams of people that work hard to make this issue possible. It is never a perfect process and we hit many bumps along the way, but I admire this team for persevering through everything, being flexible, and taking each challenge head on. Thank you. Without your diligence and patience (especially with me), it would never become what it is today.
And with the end of my journey as Editor-In-Chief, this also marks the end of my journey as a student at Antioch University Los Angeles—a life changing journey. One I could have never dreamt up. What an honor to have shared a space with so many incredible writers, teachers, mentors, and people in an endless variety of ways. I have been transformed as a writer and a human. I am eternally grateful for everything (especially Lunch Ticket).
Michaela Emerson is a poet from Fort Worth, Texas. Her work is often inspired by pop culture, shame, religion, and the many nuances of life. Several of her poems have appeared in Polemical Magazine, Verses, and Jawbreaker Zine. She is getting her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and she is the Editor-in-Chief for the magazine Lunch Ticket. She currently resides in Texas with her cat Dexter and a multitude of books she has yet to read.