The People I Love Best #3

The People I Love Best #3

by Lia C.

Each issue of Lia's zine The People I Love Best opens with Marge Piercy's poem, “To Be of Use.” It begins, “The people I love best/jump into work head first/without dallying in the shadows.” And this is how Lia's Youthcorps zine rolls. TPILB is about work, about courage and about not succumbing to excuse or exhaustion or self-doubt. This time around, Lia's off on her own without the kids she usually leads, working with a chainsaw in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, a dangerous gig to say the least. It's Lia's best issue to date, thoughtful and philosophical, patient and nostalgic. It also touches on books, on personal narrative, and memory. (Books discussed include James Joyce's great novella The Dead and Joan Didion's essential essay collection The White Album, among others.) After Piercy's poem, the zine begins, “Memory is a worked fabric. I have been writing this essay for years, each new draft a tailoring of the past, which never quite fits.” From there we're plunked down into life in the Youthcorps world, Lia and her pal Punxsutawney Phil (the human, not the fabled groundhog) piling into a truck and heading off for deep wilderness (both literal and metaphorical). And we're right there with them; caught up in it; rolling along on the power of narrative...