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  Photo: Justin Visnesky

SEXY Issue: April 2008

Editor's Note

You will not find anything gone wild in the pages that follow – girls, boys, politicians or raccoons. No Mardi Gras photo essays. No smut (not even corn smut). You see, as we pulled together this issue, we realized we were an unlikely trio of editors to tackle the theme of SEXY. (The theme was actually suggested by Julia Smillie, who contributed a hair-raising story to this issue. It’s set in the Greyhound station. I’ll say no more.) Though we hesitate to use the word “Victorian” – or even “prudish” – we’ll just say that the three of us are cast in a slightly older die. Laugh though you may at our forebears, who found well-turned ankles scandalous and hid them under several layers of petticoats, we have a little bit of sympathy for that point of view. We three are big fans of buttons, not so much butt cleavage.

Still, there are those who argue that the unsexiest thing in the world is a nudist camp; that what is truly sexy is mystery and innuendo. That the brain is the sexiest organ in the body. If that is the case, we can say that thanks to our brilliant contributors, we’ve produced a magazine that’s sexy as hell. We have pop culture ruminations on sexy movies, a very innocent report from a not-so-innocent one-hour motel, an interview with a sexy grandpa and an expat’s report on teaching literature in Turkey and adapting to the headscarf.

We have some sexy, news, too: after this issue goes out into the world, we’ll be switching formats. We’re currently crunching some numbers, figuring out how to bring down our costs so that we can offer 52nd City to you, dear reader, at a very attractive cost: free. We want to be able give you access to the work of local writers and artists, and in turn give those writers and artists the maximum exposure possible. This will also mean more eyes for the local folks who have believed in us, supported us and helped us pay our costs by taking out ads: Schlafly, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, Jazz at the Bistro, The 11, Blueberry Hill and Pin-Up Bowl, Women's Support and Community Services, Snowflake, and Wall Ball. And of course, this means a bigger audience for Eric Woods and his amazing Firecracker Press, who prints our covers, as well as Murray Printing, a local family press that does a beyond-crackerjack job with our pages. Of course we also want to expose the world to the work of the brilliant Caroline Huth, our art director, who has stuck with us, issue after issue, volunteering her time and her deadeye for art and design.

Our first free issue will be FOOD, which will hit the streets this summer. As always, though, you’ll find free art, stories and poems not included in our print journal on our website, You’ll also find a list of stores that carry us, our blog (also free, and bigger and better than ever, with a growing pool of contributors) as well as 52nd City stuff, both sexy (baby doll T-shirts) and maybe not so sexy but definitely useful (tote bags). If you’re a local writer or artist, you’ll also find contributor’s guidelines there. We’d also like to announce that we’re lifting our ban on unsolicited poetry –but ONLY if it is sent via U.S. mail. None of us have quit our day jobs, and poetry slush piles tend to be rather large, even when envelope-licking and stamp-pasting is involved. We want to make sure we can give the submissions that do come in the time and attention they deserve.

So pour yourself a glass of white wine – or Postum, as the case may be – and enjoy our quirky, not-so-bawdy but definitely intriguing take on SEXY.

With buttons buttoned and shoelaces tied,

Andrea Avery
Thomas Crone
Stefene Russell

Online Edition

To Remember a Madam | Thomas Crone

Romeo Void | Chris King

Weathering Storms | Judith Kelvin Miller

April Kodiak  |  by Stefene Russell

O, God Let Heaven Be A Burlesque Show | Melissa Singleton

Gossip | Orhan Veli


Justin Visnesky took the sexy photo on the left. You can find more of his work on his website and in this quarter's print edition.

Print Edition   

Firecracker Press

Caroline Huth

Aaron Belz, Andrea Day, Angela Hamilton, Cary Horton, Franklin Jennings, K. Curtis Lyle, Ryan Miller, Jordan Oakes, Julia Smillie, Stephen Snyder, Geoff Story, Joseph Sulier, s.c. truckey, Justin Visnesky.