Issue 6: The Pop Culture Issue

Issue 6. Cover Art: Christopher Wood-Robbins
Issue 6. Cover Art: Christopher Wood-Robbins
[Image: a page in portrait orientation with a dark teal background. Near the top of the page, the letters “Barking Sycamores” appear in pale cyan serif print with black shadowing behind each letter. Below this title, in the exact center of the page between the top and bottom, an image of the inside of a swimming pool with cyan-coloured water appears; from the viewer’s perspective, we are at the bottom of the pool. A large, pale-skinned forearm reaches up from the bottom, in the lower left corner of the image. The hand reaches, fingers spread, towards a guitar floating on the surface of the pool’s water, which appears near the center of the left edge of the image. Below this picture, the words “Issue 6” appear in the lower left, and “Summer/Fall 2015” in the lower right in the same pale cyan serif print as the title, also against the same dark teal background.]

Popular culture is an inescapable component of our daily lives. Turn on a television, read a publication, surf on your smartphone – and you partake in some fashion. Even if you disconnect from media or technology, the sum of your prior experiences and interactions with pop culture continue to stay with you, shaping your thoughts and even your selves long after exposure to it. Whether you love, hate, critique, remain indifferent to, or choose to ignore a particular aspect of it, the fact is – it becomes a part of you.

For Issue 6, we chose the theme of pop culture because we were interested particularly in how neurodivergent folk process and interact with it. From the submissions we received, popular culture proved to be a power presence in the lives of our contributors. Sometimes it was a distraction, nuisance, or negative influence; other times it proved to be simply ubiquitous background noise; and in other instances it was a welcome obsession, a source of inspiration, or sources of enjoyment and relaxation. The contributors took bits of popular culture – either singularly or combined together – and reinterpreted them to create a range of work in many shades: humorous and witty, insightful, stunningly beautiful, and darkly disturbing.

We are proud to present this issue to our readers. Given more time, we surely would have collected more work and been able to present a much larger range of commentary on popular culture. However, we invite you to read, consider, and enjoy what our contributors offer here. We are also delighted to present Christopher Wood-Robbins as our cover artist and his piece, “Reaching for your Dreams”; additionally, one of his poems is included in this issue Also, as a special feature we’ll present a poem by our editor-in-chief N.I. Nicholson at the end of the issue period.

Thank you for reading and supporting Barking Sycamores, as we continue into our second year of publication. The future is so highly illuminated that we find it necessary to wear protective eyewear with darkened or polarized lenses.

V. Solomon Maday
N.I. Nicholson
The Editors

Table of Contents

Jessica Goody

Malkeet Kaur
Laurie Kolp
Sarah McMahon
Debra McQueen
Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
N.I. Nicholson
Barbara Ruth
Allison Talbot
Christopher Wood-Robbins

Short Fiction
Aaron Deck

Barbara Ruth


2 thoughts on “Issue 6: The Pop Culture Issue

  1. Thank you ever so kindly for using my self-retouched photograph for you sixth issue of Barking Sycamores. However, I just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about this picture and set the record straight. First off, this is actually an underwater photo and what you see is the water’s surface from a submerged point of view. Also, my hand is reaching up from the bottom of the pool to grasp a guitar floating on the surface. It’s a metaphor for those of us who spend our lives struggling down in a deep dark pit we were never built to handle, and how we wish we could strive for something better than what we got. Hope this clears it up. I’m glad you like it.

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