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It’s deep summer in Doha, 118 degrees today and humid, though not as humid as it will be in a few weeks. By then, Doha will be a ghost of itself, most everyone somewhere other than here. I suppose I am something of an oddity in my love of Doha in the summer. Gone is the tangled, honking traffic and the overstuffed, chaotic malls. This warp speed city fast forwarding from desert to mirage slows down a bit. Yes, there is the heat, and make no mistake, the raw power of it is humbling, frightening even, yet so much perseveres: the bulbuls and mourning doves pecking the seed I sprinkled on the sill, lizards darting from the aloe when I water the garden, the feral cats stalking shade and hauling their kittens behind them. It’s too hot to do much of anything, and there’s a certain luxury of filling the time with quieter pursuits. This issue of diode, I think, is a quieter pursuit, perfect for a long, summer read.

Patty Paine

I once had a colleague, since retired, who said that for him there were three reasons to teach—June, July, and August.  And summers are nice here in Richmond: hot by day, warm by night, generally humid, sometimes rainy, sometimes dry.  Maples and live oaks provide plenty of comforting shade.  Children are (mostly) out of school, so normally quiet neighborhoods fill with the sounds of their play.  And I still get to teach—my reasons are not the same as my former colleague’s, I guess.  This summer, it’s an introductory creative writing class, fiction, two nights a week for eight weeks in what may be the most comfortable room on VCU’s campus—cool and carpeted, windows overlooking the Anderson Gallery (currently showing “Knock, Knock!, From the Collection of Paul and Sara Monroe”).  I have fourteen students, some who will become writers, some who will not but who will always be readers.  The pace is leisurely, the teaching fun, educational, and rewarding.  And it leaves plenty of time to focus on reading diode closely now, not as a collection of work by several different poets and writers, but as the single piece it becomes when it’s finally all together.

Jeff Lodge

Wherever you are, we hope you enjoy this issue of diode the way we now will.