It’s the end of our first year, and even though time no longer exists, I can see that for the accomplishment it is; I can see the pieces we’ve published laid out in our archive and think to myself, there they are. That’s a better marker of time than many other things in a world where the calendar and the clock no longer make sense.
Some days I see the work we’ve done for what it is, an accomplishment, a monolith, something pure in the face of a world that grows increasingly unstable. Other days, it feels like nothing. Not nothing in a negative sense, but nothing in the sense that it’s so folded into the fabric of my life: reading the work of people I respect, giving it a place to reside on a website, talking to other writers, building something with my friends: what I’m saying is, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like life, something that comes naturally into existence.
This is how so many things are: lately I’ve been thinking about the years I lived in California after college, how both before and after I decided to move to New York the idea of living in a place where I had other friends who cared about the dumb stuff I did felt both possible and like an unattainable dream. Now that I have it, it feels so obvious and natural I can’t picture it ever not having existed, but of course that’s a trick of my mind: it didn’t exist, I made decisions that could just as easily have turned out terribly, and then, eventually, it existed: a life.
The relevancy or lack thereof of art in the face of disaster is a perennial question, but the answer that emerges, at least for me, is: does it matter whether or not it matters? We all do a lot of things during the day, some relevant and some not, and there will be days when art saves people and there will be days it does not. At least it’s not banking or hedge funding or interpersonal harm. What did I read recently that said nobody made paintings to be thought about? I forget. Some people make writing to be thought about, some don’t.
I think of the attic in Larissa Pham’s story in the inaugural issue of Triangle House, Ghost Boyfriend, nearly every day. Why? I’m not sure. I think of the line from Precious’s four minutes thirty three seconds:
In this case, I do know why.
I saw Julien Baker perform twice this year, and was grateful that beforehand, I’d had the opportunity to read Hanif Abdurraqib on the tiny emotional genius’s music, for a context I’d never have known to look for. I went back to San Diego, where I once lived, and got day drunk with Julia Dixon Evans at one of my old bars, Nunu’s, and we sent an instagram to Monika and Bryan. I hear the line from Gunshine State by Michelle Lyn King ringing in my years: He tells me that I am hired as a server at the Diamond Dolls and it sounds like an act of mercy. Ivan Solis made me consider the ethics of seeking normalcy amid terror. I read the brains of writers I’ve known and loved separately connect in Elissa Washuta and Lauren Grabowski’s interview on Starvation Mode.
The authors are everything, the authors that we loved are the reason we began this in the first place, and they’re why we continue. Thank you, to our authors present, perennial, and future.
A year, the pieces we published, the books I read, the books they read, the books you read, the conversations I had with writers and artist and people who think but don’t put a title on it. Those are the fragments that resonate with me, and other fragments likely resonated with you.
When I was younger, I hungered for everything I did to be serious, to be taken seriously, but now I don’t know. The things I make can be taken seriously, or they may not be, but it’s no longer my concern. I think it might be enough to present beauty and let everyone sift through it to find the fragments that they want to own.
I’m reading a book on drug overdoses for an assignment. The work I read most often is internal, experimental, lyrical, artistic, but as often as I can break that up with books of hard nonfiction, or I try to. I enjoy reading them, I like learning, I like expanding my tiny dumb purview, but I also can see the similarities they share with lyric essays or interviews. Any work, an ethnography or a poem or a short story, is an act of presenting information that other people didn’t know. It’s a women’s interiority, it’s the facts of a tragedy, whatever it is, it’s a container for information that the creator believes should be available to other people. Some people think you should justify the reason that you believe that information should be available, but I don’t think that justification is necessary. If you don’t want to read it, you don’t have to ask someone to justify its existence. You can simply not read.
We’ve wrestled with the idea of submissions for a long time. We all have jobs that take up a lot of our time, and the reality is that this (Triangle House) is not likely to turn into a paying venture anytime soon. I couldn’t really imagine a structure where I could dedicate more time to no money, but!
We decided it’s time to do it anyway. Submissions will probably take a long time to process, and we’re not going to make any guarantees of when things will be read, but, all we can offer is transparency and honesty about that process. We’ve done a lot of thinking of ways that we can make the process streamlined without spending money (lol) and we’re going to try this for a while, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else! Stay tuned for our submissions guidelines in the second week of January.