Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 1

November 1996

Issue 1, number 1 winter 1996 – 1997

The 26-page first issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet was produced through the auspices of certain large and charitable corporations in an edition of 26 copies or so. Most were given to contributors or sold at Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop.

LCRW 1 reprint, cover by Ed OsowskiA reprint (in our by-then-standard half-legal size) was produced in 1998 to celebrate Kelly Link winning the James Tiptree Jr. Award. The Tiptree committee are the only place to still have copies of this reprint for sale.

PoetryFictionsEssaysArt and so on and so forth, the usual mix of eclectica.

Travels with the Snow Queen — Kelly Link
Bug Dreams; Guest — Gavin J. Grant
Anger — Mai Tuyet La
Coming Home — Edward Osowski

Alex Johnson — Cassandra Silvia
Subject: No Subject — Bryon Morrison
The Movie Column: Arabesque!

Alex Johnson — Cassandra Silvia

The Deil’s Awa’ Wi’ Th’ Exiseman — Robert Burns
For Honest Pverty
Ae Fond Kiss
From the Annals of The Poetry Club — Various Members
Christmas? Never Again
Ham — Edward Osowski

Contributor’s Bits
The full squidgy.

Contributor’s Bit
Real, not-so, but certainly the full squidgy.

Hillaire Belloc: Agent wouldn’t take my calls.

Joseph Bills: Co-owner of a certain cool local bookshop, The BookCellar Cafe, ex-pugilist, screenwriter, man of many talents.

Gavin J. Grant: Transplanted Scot whose fault this is.

Mai Tuyet La: We are proud to present Mai La’s first published piece in the USA. Mai is Vietnamese and is assiduously learning her third language (English) while holding down two jobs and teaching the rest of us how to live with style.

Kelly Link: Has been published in the highly acclaimed journal Century, and in high profile magazines such asAsimov’s.We are extremely proud to open the magazine by publishing a new story from her. Originally from North Carolina, Kelly works in the best bookshop (AVH) in Boston.

Bryon Morrison: The hardest working man outside show business, only because he keeps turning them down. A veteran of The Boston Poet,Bryon’s been creating in various media probably since birth. As an exploration of a life lived against the consumerist norm he gives us his own self.

Edward Osowski: An intellectual historian by trade journeying toward a PhD., Ed used to front a local band (Bondo Vega) until he received a banjo in the mail wherein he found his musical roots. A collage artist (that we didn’t have the facility — color — to present properly) and screenwriter, he is on the edge of the intellectual renaissance.

The Poetry Club: A now defunct 1860s excuse for bacchanals, this group produced some of the worst poetic atrocities in history. A close fourth in the worst poetry list of the unedited The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, they did not make the final radio (or book) program because of the actors inability to pronounce the mostly ‘furrin’ names. (Joe Bills, Eben Taggart, Ed Osowski, Bryon Morrison, Gavin J.Grant).

Cassandra Silvia: Has by chance worked on half a dozen places on Newbury St., yet retains a certain charm. She writes unflinchingly about her life and her interaction with the world. this is her first publication and if Lady C’s has a vol. 2 she’ll be back.

Eben Taggart: The other half of the coolest bookshop under Mass Ave, a carpenter, builder of verbal monuments and time-traveling member of the Poetry Club. (Few are the brave who admit it.)

Welcome to the first issue of
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

A hundred years ago Lady Churchill was one of the belles of the Belle Epoch, that time and place at the turn of the century, before the loss of innocence and fun known as our crazy twentieth. Embodying a class and style that cost too much to last, this period was an incredible outburst of arts and crafts, literature and love. Here at the end of the millennium we cannot help but cast our thoughts back to earlier periods such as this (fin de siecle/fin de millennia?) and consider life as it was, and what came about after the century ended. While I am not convinced that the present is an equal to that time, I am willing to put forth this small compilation of ideas as a taste of what lies beneath the commercially recognized surface.

At the end of the 19th Century the world was rumbling with the precursors to the Great War. Peace and socialism were on the agenda of the ‘common people’ and the fringes, but in everyday politics, tokenism was the rule — as perhaps today. Strange happenings in literature and art were around the corner, Cubism was coming, all types of literature were beginning to take on something of the architecture of film, as film invaded the human consciousness. The imagist poets, the Bloomsbury group, all were far in the future (imagine what the writing of 25 years from now will be…).

Rather than spending the rest of the magazine considering the whole, I think it is worth while considering just two works, and actually with one I am cheating, for it is not an extant work, but rather a lack. By the year 1900, Thomas Hardy had given up fiction for poetry, the world unable to deal with his harshly over-realistic viewpoints. Horrified by the reception he received he gave up Wessex and took to the gentler, less controversial art of poetry. Therefore we lack Thomas Hardy’s vision in novel form of what the new century brought, what the old left behind. Then in 1911 Max Beerbohm gifted us with Zuleika Dobson, his tale of a fatally beautiful muse. Where recently society had refused to accept the darkness of Hardy, from the light-hearted yet scathing pen of Beerbohm, they were more than willing to take a peek into male and female vanities and frailties.

It is tempting to see Beerbohm’s work and the lack of Hardy’s in light of the war that came soon after, and while Hardy wrote some heart breaking war poetry, they are of their time just as the writers within these pages are. They were formed by the extraordinary shifts that led to massive population growth and an equally massive shift from rural to urban living.

Like Lady Churchill’s tattooed wristlet of rosebuds this magazine determines to be timeless and stylish and to ravish society (in each sense of the word) while leading onward to new sights and thoughts. In other words, the high hopes of anyone embarking upon a new adventure.

Within these slight pages you will find serious fiction and non-fiction, political and personal commentary, humor and an old family recipe (more reliable than the family ghost). I think we have most things we wanted, although we’re still waiting to hear back from Hillaire.

Due to certain copyright difficulties our original cover had to be withdrawn, this acknowledgment is set forth as an apology to all those involved in the debacle, and I hope that the pain and anguish suffered by will not lead to any law suits.

Apropos of nothing:

John Muir, “The sun shines not on us, but in us.”

The Movie Column: Arabesque!

Directed by Stanley Donen, with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. Music by Henry Mancini.

Either you prefer Charade to this or the other way ’round, I’m of the latter persuasion. This movie is a ’60s thrill-a-minute adventure, the music grabs you, the camera work is truly unreal, and the plot is pretty decent (for what it is). Sophia Loren is somebody you could worship for a long time and not get tired, and Mr. Peck does a cheesy shtick that carries him past self-parody.

Mr. Peck is the good yankee professor in England who finds himself in the middle of an international intrigue where he can’t tell who’s good or who’s bad. Guess which one Ms. Loren is? When Peck is taken for a midnight van ride and gets shot up with sodium penthanol, then chucked out onto the freeway the special effects will having you rolling on the floor — or climbing the walls, depending on what you’ve dosed yourself with. Most stores should stock this.

By default — i.e. the recent rainstorms — I rented it from Videosmith, who have a decent selection and aren’t killing off local businesses and censoring our choice as a certain national chain are. A hard-to-beat, late-night popcorn classic.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is published occasionally by Small Beer Press. Cost as of this issue is about $3 per issue, more if you’re rude, maybe less if you subscribe. Contents are © copyright the authors, please do not reprint without permission. All rights reserved. Probably. Submissions can be made to the above address, with an SAE if you want a reply. Remembering, of course, this isn’t known as an Occasional Outburst for nothing.


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