In 1956, Carl Perkins led off his second single, “Blue Suede Shoes,” with the catchy and much reprised phrase, “one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go cat go….” Mr. Perkins’ four-tiered analysis of a particular strain of momentum theory is as good a system as any with which to assess a years’ worth of Tottenville. I don’t, generally, enjoy the word “cat” being used to describe anything other than a cat—outside of any twelve-bar blues context, it sounds hopelessly affected—but the song is stuck in my head, so here we are and here it is: We’ve arrived, in issue four, at our “go cat go” phase.
In case you were wondering: there was no money for the first issue, no show for the second—issue three, I’ll grant, involved some ready-getting—but we’re writers and often as not, we trade in a different currency, expose our talents without rock n roll’s fanfare. We work with metaphor, magic, malaise. With this issue, we’ve hit our stride, worked through our adolescence with minimal awkwardness. The simple mission statement we set for ourselves is playing out in unexpected ways, but it’s precisely on point. This issue, more so than its predecessors—or, rather, in concert with them—reflects a dialogue, a conversation. Our collaborative continues to grow, and we’re working with an increasingly diverse group of contributors. Tottenville Review is about reading, about writers reading. That sounds simple enough, but during the course of putting this issue together, I was constantly reminded of how complex and infinite the reading experience is; anything but simple. In this spirit, in addition to our usual reviews, interviews, and essays, we’re launching a new essay series called “Come Again?” (That was my grandmother’s catch phrase when her hearing was on its way out—as a kid, I noticed I usually said something different the second time around, expanded or shrank the original statement.) It’s an easy enough concept, one that our contributors are interpreting in very different ways. Re-read a book, any book, and write about the experience. We’re excited to launch the series with a piece by novelist and musician, Liz Moore. It’s on our blog, which has tons of cool stuff in the works. You should check it out. So here we are. Go go go.
Thanks for reading,