From the Editor
‘Secrets’ is a word that, said aloud, lingers in the mouth, hissing behind closed teeth. Its meaning is re-created on the tongue; as if having a secret isn’t enough, as if we need to feel the way our secrets are pent up just by speaking the word.
In reading the bountiful poetry submissions I received on this topic, many questions began to form in my mind regarding the nature of a secret. What makes a secret so exciting? Is it the power of withholding information, the ability to be select with the moment we share the information, or the way we feel at the shock, anger, elation, disappointment that crosses the face of the person to whom we reveal our secret? When wielded, a secret can wound the hearer, or provide freedom for the teller, or create a bond between those involved.
For some, the secrets they bear are a burden, and these individuals have devoted hours to imagining what terrible or tremendous outcomes would occur if anyone found out. This is also the joy of a secret for others. Not all secrets are between two people. There are secrets that are more cultural, you know, those things that everyone is thinking but no one is saying. There are the secrets of spiritual knowledge—mysticism or other realms—ghosts and gods. Then there are secrets between person and place: where the treasure is buried, where the body was dumped.
Thus, 5x5’s secrets issue is not simply a collection of confessions. We looked for pieces that encompass our topic from a variety of viewpoints…the elation at finding a hidden object, the search for knowledge not commonly given…
This issue is also the first where pieces were selected by the help of volunteer readers (readers are blind to personal information). As our small publication has grown immensely since its infant volumes, the editors are excited to continue the use of readers as a way to diversify and grow our understanding of what makes flash literature exceptional.
Now, hunker down into a quiet corner and enjoy reading a secret or two…
Mishon A Wooldridge