Spring’s Gamble: Go All In
Spring is our annual do-over, our chance to re-shuffle the deck, deal ourselves some new cards, and look life in the eye. Will you go all in, or play it safe? Will you bide your time and strategize, or will you rush through your chips with reckless abandon? This is the time of year where we get to make these choices and add to our bank of human experiences—travel, fall in love, commit a minor felony—and use those experiences to write our stories or the stories of those we meet, the places we see, and the characters we concoct. It’s a time to take risks. I think the writers we have in this issue did just that by sending in their work, and I’m proud to have them along for the journey—and trust me, we’re really going places in this, the two-year anniversary issue of Hobo Camp Review.
Jim Davis brings us all the way to the Black Forest in Germany where we wait at the station for W.I. Stoneberger’s “Midnight Train.” Isabel Kestner is staring out across the broken-down “Horizons,” and Nicky Yurcaba is rolling the dice in her spectacular piece, “Gas Pump Ponderings.” Some Hobo Camp veterans are already in the truck and eager to head down the road, including Geordie de Boer, who does a little “Valium Waltz” along “Bullfrog Way,” and Dena Rash Guzman is here again too. She also took the original photo I used and manipulated for the cover of this issue, and I can’t thank her enough for letting me use another of her photos as a cover. I think the magenta hue and the embossed seediness of the Las Vegas street truly embodies the red-hot risks and rewards waiting for all of us this year.
Another special thanks and a big congratulations goes to Alan Britt, the winner of our “Big Rock Candy Mountain Award.” His poem, “Drinking Red Wine and Thinking About Nomenclature,” is rife with the beatific poetry, wino sensibilities, and the traveling spirit we love here at the Camp. He’ll receive a cash prize to send him off into spring with a little walkin’ around money, as well as a bundle of books, including copies of my own Desolation 2 A.M. and Tobi Cogswell’s Hostage Negotiation In Negative-Land. Tobi Cogswell and Jeffrey Alfier were the guest judges of this award, and they have my deepest thanks for helping to make this issue that much more special.
We know spring is the time of rebirth, but we also know this season is fleeting, so I’ll let you get to the poems and stories. I urge you all to get out there and take some risks this year, to gamble on yourself, to double-down and go all in. When the cold winds blow this November and you spend more and more time inside in front of the typer, I hope you’ll have a treasure trove of memories to pull from, starting with the moment you finish reading this and get to the poems in this issue.
Thanks for dropping by the Hobo Camp, and as always, I’ll see you down the road…
James H Duncan