September 23, 2023

I have long had a fascination with and an interest in the occult and magic(k). It’s no coincidence that the release of each issue of Pink Disco corresponds to the two solstices and two equinoxes that punctuate the quarterly phases of our calendar. The word occult quite literally means hidden and connotes an act of making the invisible visible, which may very well be as good a definition of magic as I can summon.

Though many, including myself, would argue that the occult and magic aren’t inherently “dark”, the idea of something hidden conjures images of shadows, darkness, and the clandestine. Maybe this is why we’ve long associated fall, with the passing of the autumnal equinox, with witches, ghosts, cryptids, and the fantastical. Fall is a season of quiet, solemnity, and encroaching darkness. It’s the season of the witch. It’s the season for the occult.

The theme for this issue is dark encounters and it was selected with the intention of ushering in the autumnal season. The pieces contained in this issue focus, in one way or another, on making the invisible visible, whether it’s an encounter with a satanic figure like in Susan Kuchinskas’s “Kiss the Devil”, a confrontation with one’s inner shame as in Mickey Kennedy’s “One-Sided”, or the spectral force of desire, such as in Z. Howard’s “fantasies unwound.” We also have the apparition of spirits such as Lilith and Persephone in the poetry of Kelsey Kessler, two figures I have a personal affinity towards. Persephone makes yet another appearance in Janelle Crawford-Hine’s “The High Priestess”, reprinted here from issue 1. Finally, in “Man’s Gotta Eat,” Mouli Sharma challenges the moral assertion that “heroes don’t do that”, one that DC made about their own Dark Knight giving cunnilingus to Catwoman.

And, as always, I’ve included a playlist to help accentuate the theme, as inspired by the writing contained in this issue.


Playlist here.

Note: Making the invisible visible is an idea borrowed from the author of Art in the Age of Artifice and co-host of Weird Studies, J.F. Martel.
Rich Boucher
You Are the White Birds
Charles Byrne
Yuan Changming
Romance Re-Called: for Helena Qi Hong
To Li Lan: the Highest Manifestation
Natalie De Paz
Midnight Sky
An Ocean Girl’s Guide to River and Lake Swimming
Z. Howard
fantasies unwound
tuesday afternoons
Mickie Kennedy
Venn Diagram
Kelsey Kessler
Nice Jewish Girls
A Pair of Ruby Red Slippers Threw Up All Over My Dining Room
Peter Mladinic
Susan Kuchinskas
Kiss the Devil
Visual Art
Janelle Crawford-Hine
The High Priestess (reprinted from issue 1)
Lyd Low
Sin and Smoke
Keira Norton
The Devil
Mouli Sharma
Man’s Gotta Eat
Davin Watne