Front St. Arts


Hunt for Steel

Center City


Socratic Men

Wild Heart



At the Pond

Celia's Parade


Marsha Taylor

Put Up





The 1960s

Just Briefs


Black Sunday

The Big One

Clark Field

The One

Memphis Woes

A Miracle Maker

Last Standing

John Ealey

Just a Girl

Mary's Katrina

Al Cicada

Exalting Towers


The Rake

Hog Killin'

Sunday Call

Tough Birds

Run of Hollow


Horned Owl


Robbing Bees

Hay Hauling

We Got Married

The Shed

Dad Dive

Final Mission

Like About Bob

Exuberant Birds

Kickin' Cousins

Star Shadows



Man of Earth

With Neighbors




River Plunge

Not Winning


Keep It Moving



Trigger Sapping

Get Her Done!

Optimist Wager

Not for Sale

Elder Anarchy




by Jerry Murley

No doubt I am obliged at the outset of this undertaking to explain by what presumptions I have been authorized to publish. I am collecting material for print intending to amuse takers as well as to tease and provoke the inkless wordees among us to settle back to their typewriters for the sheer pleasure of it. On their off hours people enjoy a plenitude of pastimes – boating, tinkering, knocking about with some sort of ball, or playing at governing – and many of these require and are provided adequate arenas for exhibition. The same is not generally so for avocational writers – letterwriting being a private exception and not an insignificant one either.

The material herein and hereafter is the produce of self-expression and an affectionate indeference to literature. This journal will not serve as a forum for persuasion excepting that subtle argument of suggestion which is the only legitimate form of instruction open to art. (Excuse that loaded word "art": here I mean it as a term of approach in the selection and treatment of subject, not in the semi-religious, hierarchical sense.) These writers are not professionals: that is, they do not usually receive money for writing and are probably not recognized as such by those who do. However, that does not imply that they are any the less intent on what they do or that what they produce is of any less value. I have functioned for the last several years with the conclusion that developing writers cannot progress without a medium and repository for displaying, transmitting and storing the personal expression of ideas: individuals need references, criticism and, above all else, to perpetually digest their mental stock by launching reflections with regularity.

There is a hefty chance that something printed within PINCH during its lifetime will be something worthy of endurance. For better or worse, at least to begin with, I must draw on my own experience, my own resources, within my sphere, to attract material and in editing it – both being jobs for which I have no qualifications other than that of self-proclamation. Regarding discrimination, I am convinced at this point in my life that there are but a handful of people on this planet worth even upsetting one's stomach for – this is not elitism, it's local reality; perhaps PINCH exposed is PINCH requesting, and thereby will its reading be broadened. As for editing, this is my production, my money, my gift to reader, writer and myself – and, I might add, my ass in the event someone gets inordinately PO'd. PINCH will not emanate from some bold-faced organization, so I do blush a bit when I declare that my tastes will dominate. Should they be very incongruous or out of sync they will, to be sure, perish, as they should, along with this journal – but so what.

All importunate correspondence insisting that PINCH is a pollutant and that its publisher should desist promptly should be addressed to PINCH Trashbin, Memphis, Tennessee. Meanwhile, I assure you that these few copies will be disposed of sanitarily. I recommend that each of you keep your copy of PINCH on your coffee table – if you dare – where you may be benefitted with a quick discernment into the character of your visitors should they pick it up – gaining an infallible roadmap of them should they read it. Note carefully where they snicker or grimace, for these are most telling signs. Should you deem the material puerile, pass it on to a child for test – but please no adolescent readers, for they clearly are not children and have too much of the stuff of critics.

*Previously published in PINCH, April 1977, Memphis, TN.

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