MATCHBOOK #4, $6, 1”x1”, 29 pgs.

Mar 28, 2018

The fourth in a series of zines housed inside a vintage matchbook. I’m going to get that out of the way because it’s the first thing you notice, but this collection has a lot more merit than a gimmick. The first thing to note is the quality of writing is excellent, though hampered a little bit by the format, as there are obvious accommodations to be made when accounting for the size. There are several submissions of poetry and flash prose offset with striking letterpress illustrations. The visual concept lends itself to the idea that depth can be found hiding in innocuous settings, that life is made up of secrets we keep, and the subject matter of the pieces play with that idea without getting boxed in by a central theme. There is an emphasis on colloquialism in several pieces—very personal language that’s held close to the heart—evidenced in Patton Halliday Quinn’s “Transient,” where he says, “I chomped on fish heads round a crawdad cooler…” It puts you in the narrator’s head—not their audience—and that is where most of these pieces succeed. The subject matter is personal, from lamenting dead friends to ignoring your own impending mental breakdown, to confronting the voice in your head that calls you a fraud; these are quick flashes of reality you leave hidden in plain sight. –Ian Wise (Small Fires Press,