Rather than pro sports teams, or bustling nightlife, it could be argued that the true measure of any thriving urban cultural hub is the number of upstart literary magazines — in various stages of production — that are being created. While alt-weeklies like Folio Weekly have traditionally filled their editorial ranks with artists and musicians — allowing them an outlet to lend their idiosyncratic perspectives and shed light on issues in ways that only independent publications permit — often, it’s a city’s lit mags that serve as a landing area for large numbers of completed (and half-completed) works, bursts of inspiration, and pieces just hell-bent on provocation, all created by artists of various backgrounds in various mediums.

In this regard, the talented folks at Perversion Magazine, which was featured in our very own Tim Gilmore’s regular “Let There Be Lit” column just a few months back, are serving the Northeast Florida arts community well. Based in Jacksonville, Perversion publishes art, prose, poetry, fashion, and photography from a diverse group of artists. The issue that hits the streets on Saturday, Dec. 12 will be the magazine’s fourth.

And the timing couldn’t be better. With the third issue of another local lit mag, Bridge Eight currently in the works, another successful Jax by Jax literary event in the books, and the Perversion/Folio Fiction Laboratory that follows this introduction, it seems the 904 has never before let there be this much lit.

Now, usually we’d dedicate the next few pages to telling you all there is to know about this new addition to the region’s arts community. That’s sort of our thing. But, in the spirit of collaboration, we decided we’d tap into some of what the folks at Perversion do so well and offer a fiction feature unique to the pages of this magazine. Though we’ve told some bizarre, outlandish — yet true — tales in the past, to my knowledge, this is the first time in FW’s 28-year history that we’ve run works of fiction as our feature story. (As my bosses can attest, there may be a reason for this). In any event, we hope you enjoy this literary debut.

— Matthew B. Shaw
Editor, Folio Weekly 

The Perversion/Folio Fiction Laboratory
Hello. We’re Perversion Magazine, and you might not have heard of us. Our magazine, which falls somewhere between a magazine and an art book, publishes art, prose, poetry, fashion, and photography submitted by artists and writers from around the world.

We’ve come together with the lovely people at Folio Weekly to collaborate on a feature. As it so happens, collaborating is what we do best.

On the following pages, you’ll read stories and view photographs by our staff writers, staff photographers, two regular contributors (one of whom is a columnist for Folio Weekly as well), and FW’s editor — all of which was designed and laid out by FW’s talented art department. We have a special name for the ensuing pieces: Co-Labs — writers take a photo and create a story about it, having little knowledge of the photo’s actual context, inventing their own instead. These types of collaborations often bring out the best work.

If you enjoy our brand of storytelling, be sure to find us online at and on social media at (@perversionmag).

— Sam Bilheimer
Editor in Chief, Perversion Magazine

Stories Inside the SHADES OF GREY Special Feature:

The Difference Between
My Sister and Her Photograph

by Tim Gilmore 
by Mark Ari 
I Have Been Asleep
For a Very Long Time

by Sal Bilheimer 
Gathering Sounds
by Matthew B. Shaw 
In the Sun Too Long
by Hurley Winkler 
Oxygen and Apologies
by Carl Rosen