Aztec Literary Review: Why you need a jetpack

by Richard Freeland, Contributor

Editor’s Note: Richard Freeland is a contributing writer for The Daily Aztec and an editor for the Aztec Literary Review. The following is to raise awareness for the upcoming submission deadline for the review journal. You can contact ALR at:

I know your question. You hear your school has a “literary review” and you think to yourself:

Do I really need a jetpack?

Don’t be ashamed! There are plenty of Aztecs asking the same question. Jetpacks are spreading quicker than YikYak confessions across San Diego State’s campus, and relatively more publicly. I can tell you, however, that jetpack-owning students aren’t just zooming through the skies over the luscious grays, yellows and dark grays of SDSU.

They are jetpacking to new worlds.

You disembark from your jetpack and enter the café. Sitting across from you is ear-eater, as in, bit-off-opponent’s-ear-in-1997-boxing-match Mike Tyson, and next to him a cardboard cutout of ear-eater Mike Tyson. You’re on a date with one of them and Jennifer Lawrence is dating the other, but neither of you are sure which because she is literally on fire. You sip your caviar-flavored craft-brew champagne imported from North Korea and crunch on your caviar burrito. Floating lava lamps provide the vibes, and through the hazy 70′s light you think you glimpse the cardboard cutout ear-eater Mike Tyson wink at you, but you’re not sure. Real Mike Tyson glances angrily at his companion, so you’re more confident he’s the one you’re here on a date with. Both Tysons casually examine everyone’s ears. They hunger long after you lick the cocaine from your plate.

You breath in deeply, immersed in the delectable scent of Jennifer Lawrence’s burning flesh, and realize you could really get used to this sort of thing.

Now imagine going to a place with the exact same amount of awesome.

You are imagining a literary review.

You will not be getting a jetpack. But, what the hell, you don’t need a jetpack.

You can read.

Don’t laugh at that statement. Gather all the “haha’s” that fell out of your mouth and shove them back in there. In comparison to all Homo sapiens who ever lived ever, you can read? You can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. You are the uber-elite.

It’s not just for Velmas anymore, ladies and gentlemen.

Ok, so jetpacks are not exactly the same as literary reviews. A book strapped to your back is only about half as exciting. Literary reviews, however, take you to exuberant cafes and get you dates with Mike Tyson and/or Mike Tyson cutout. Don’t be gross and say “Oh, literature is old.” No. Old literature is old. We’re talking about brand-spanking-new literature, with new authors and students just like you who are 18-22 years new.

And it’s fun.

The Aztec Literary Review is available online and publishes once a semester, just because any more creativity in one semester could cause some sort of extended parade in the streets. Stories and poems fill its pages. They are good. Shh, shh, don’t worry. This is a respectable publication.

And guess what? You can contribute. No, I wasn’t pointing to the cardboard cutout next to you. I was pointing to you. In an initiative I proposed to be called “Build Your Own Jetpack,” (viciously struck down) you can publish your own writing and jetpack other Aztecs to new worlds of your own. And ooh, look at that, the fall 2014 issue deadline is Saturday, Dec. 20. It’s a sweet deal all around.

So maybe the jetpack thing didn’t work out. I guess you’ll have to settle for the second best thing: a literary review. Something you can read, write for or just enjoy the hell out of. I’m going to try reading your mind again: you have a new question:

When can I start?