Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 20

The Flux of Wintry Stillness by Jeffrey Yamaguchi

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Jeffrey Yamaguchi creates projects with words, photos, and video as art explorations, as well as through his work in the publishing industry. His writing has been published by formercactus, Vamp Cat Magazine, Nightingale & Sparrow, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Spork Press, Quick Fiction, Pindeldyboz, Eyeshot, Word Riot and more. His first book was 52 Projects, and he recently released the short film Body of Water. @jeffyamaguchi ( |

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 19

for winter by Angela Caravan

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About the author:
Angela Caravan lives in Vancouver, BC. She is the author of the micro-chapbook Landing (post ghost press) and was 2nd runner-up for Pulp Literature’s 2018 Magpie Poetry Award. Her work has also appeared in Cascadia Rising Review, Sad Mag, and Longleaf Review. You can find her on Twitter at @a_caravan.

Erin recommends: “Pretty Mess” by Trigger Hippy

I grew up in western Montana where getting from anywhere to somewhere means a long drive. It means stretches of freeway where the speed limit is a suggestion. Two lane highways that take you through reservations, eye blink towns with one traffic light swaying from a wire tether, a church, and a bar. Bigger towns might have a feed store and a Dairy Queen. Dirt and gravel forest service roads lead into the wilderness, dead ends and secret passages. Snow-capped mountain ranges touch the sky, peaks slow dance with clouds. Glacial lakes, roaring rivers and crystalline creeks wind into the promise of jump in summers.

A Montanan’s DNA includes the need for wide open spaces and the urge to move. A family outing meant loading into the station wagon with a picnic lunch to visit cousins, hike a new trail, pick wildflowers or pitch a tent. It meant peeing in the trees because there were no rest stops. It meant spotting wildlife, irritating siblings, and endless rounds of rock, paper, scissors. It meant singing along to the radio.

It made sense that the person I would settle down with would be from Montana too. I’ve been in the same relationship for 26 years. There is nothing that we like better than exploring new places. Our courtship was in the front of my pickup on highways and back roads listening to music and getting to know each other. The soundtrack to our life together is comprised of love songs, winding wheels and wind through rolled down windows.

You can’t be with someone for that long without question. Life requires balance. The good times can’t be held to the light without the shadow of trouble. When we get tired and even gas station coffee and snacks don’t take the edge off, the song we turn to is Pretty Mess.

Trigger Hippy falls into the category of lesser gods of super groups. The first lineup included Steve Gorman, Guthrie Trapp and Nick Govrik from the Black Crowes, Jimmy Herring from Widespread Panic, Joan Osborne and Jackie Greene. Their 2014 self-titled album still finds its way to regular rotation in our home. It’s bluesy Americana, sexy and sad. Osborne and Greene are featured on “Pretty Mess” a duet about mad, frustrating and beautiful love that you can’t leave behind.

Turn the key, press the pedal and go. Stick your hand out the window, let the fresh air lift and carry, add this tune to your road trip playlist and turn it up.

(Song recommendation by Erin L. Cork)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 18

The Last Ice Age by Samuel J Fox

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About the author:
Samuel J Fox is a non-binary, bisexual poet and essayist living in North Carolina. They/He is poetry editor for Bending Genres, a cnf reader for Homology Lit, and frequent columnist/reviewer for Five 2 One Magazine. They/He appears in numerous journals, online and print, and haunts dilapidated places, coffee shops, and graveyards depending. Find Them/Him on Twitter (@samueljfox).

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 17

A confused timeline for Scott Hutchison, prophet by Luke Larkin

To read this piece, click either of the album covers below.

About the author:
Luke Larkin lives, studies, and listens to sad music in Missoula, Montana. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Firewords Quarterly, Popshot, on MTPR, and others. In his free time, he helps out with the magazines Visual Verse and unstamatic.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 16

A Quiet Full of Longing by Claire Dockery

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About the author:
Claire Dockery is a recent graduate of Tulane University. She is the recipient of Tulane’s Academy of American Poets Prize for 2017, as well as a Fulbright grant. Her writing has appeared in Madcap Review, Entropy, Tulane Review, Grimoire Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a poetry reader for The Cerurove.


Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 15

When Called by Leslie Haynes

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Leslie Haynes is a north-of-50 caregiver who flamed out of a brilliant career in philanthropy and education. She writes about her family and life with her husband who has a rare, degenerative neurological disease. She lives and writes in Pioneer Square, the once gritty heart of Seattle.

Tyrel Recommends: “Once” by Van Halen 

Now, if you’re not intimately familiar with Van Halen (and/or Eddie’s signature guitar sound) outside the major hits, I could play this album, released in 1998, against literally any prior records and you would — not even close — ever guess it was the same band. Case in point: the insanely strange ballad, “Once.”

It’s a beast of a song — at 7:35 it’s the second longest of VH’s career — and manages to showcase everything from a haunted, 90s-tinted trashcan piano, Spanish-jazz guitarist in a (seemingly) odd time signature, a smorgasbord of vocal stylings and the trademark chorus/flanger fueled guitar noodling of Eddie Van Halen. “Once” is dirty and dark, lacking the pull-it-out-your-ass improv of Van Halen’s Roth-era albums and the often saccharine high-sheen of the Hagar-era.

You have to hand it to them though: they went for broke, throwing everything they had at the song unbridled abandon; leaving what seemed to stick (and maybe leaving some things that, well, maybe, didn’t quite stick). Though I ask you to consider our subject again. Instead of dishing out some boring, uninspired, middle-aged white guy “cockrock,” Eddie and the rest of the gang dished us out “Once,” a song that should be recognized as a grand experiment in the face of modern obsoletion. Did it fail? By normal stardards, yes. The album was critically panned and sank commercially (although it did eventually obtain gold status). Still, Van Halen was willing to take a risk and really, isn’t that something we should all be doing a bit more of?

(Song recommendation by Tyrel Kessinger)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 14

Garden Interlude V by Jordan E. Franklin

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About the author:
Jordan E. Franklin is a Black poet from Brooklyn, NY. An alumna of Brooklyn College, she recently earned her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton. Her work has appeared in the Southampton Review, Breadcrumbs, easy paradise, the Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2017 James Hearst Poetry Prize offered by the North American Review, and a finalist of the 2018 Nightjar Poetry Contest. Currently, she is the poetry editor for Suffragette City Zine and is working on her first poetry collection.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 13

Sun Beholds Me (after Hand Habits) by Lucas Bailor

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About the author:
Lucas Bailor is from Moreno Valley, California and is an MFA candidate at UC San Diego. His long poem, Love’s Refrain, appeared in Ghost City Press’ 2018 micro-chapbook summer series, and his poems have appeared in HVTN, SHARKPACK Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is currently a poetry reader for Gigantic Sequins and Bodega Magazine, and occasionally tweets @lucasbailor.