Saturday, April 14, 2007

32 Poems - Vol 5 - Issue 1

The fact is that I have just read 32 Poems from cover to cover and marvelled at the diversity that I found between the aforementioned. Within I discovered what might easily be construed as snippets from the Theatre of the Absurd - a place where we all share the view that man is inhabiting a universe with which he is out of key. Its meaning is indecipherable and his place within it is without purpose. He is bewildered, troubled and obscurely threatened.

I.E.: Christian Nagle's - "Things My Father Taught Me"

4. "If it looks like it's going to hurt, leave early"

9. "People with a little power are extremely dangerous
----Belgian train conductors have a little power "

14. Certain people have deceitful hands.Type when you can.

Or: Daniel Nester's - "Queries"

"Don't loomers always appear from overhead?"

"Aren't all the horses in Hades, in fact, fiery?

"Can roadkill really fart--that is, be flatulent--after they're dead?"

"Isn't all gloom insufferable?"

"Aren't all shadows ominous to some degree?"

"The moon has always been pale, yes?"

Then within the same volume we feast on morsels of the secular:

I.e.: Joanne Diaz - "While Reading Ovid's Amores"

"...Perhaps//on a breezy day--I like to imagine
sometime in 1968--a reader left
this book on his couch to go
for a walk, and in his absence
his cat rubbed its ears against the pages"

Or - Robin Beth Schaer's - "Hollow"

You fill the closets and drawers, fold
and wait. In the pines between our homes,
your wife holds my ear against her belly;

And still in - Jane Springer's - "Boxes"

Inside that box there was nothing but a bit
of someone,

But it is in the poetry that reveals the speaker as fragile and broken down to their inner core that speaks the loudest to this reader:

I.e.: Kelly Madigan Erlandson's: " Rarely Have We Seen a Person Fail"

"I have not come to sobriety
of my own accord, and no one does. The alchemy failed
Weary of medicating the problem
with larger and larger doses of the problem, even I
could see the futility. ..."

or Marianne Kunkel's: "Where to Look"

"Lately I have been looking for myself //in everything.
...I sort out the old glasses in my kitchen,
keeping only those which,
unclouded, reflect my face in them."

In the end, for this humble reader the piece by Lucas Howell entitled, " We Are Not In This Together" was, in and of itself, well worth the price of admission:

You take a pinch of earth in your mouth
and though it's what you're made of

the grit is strange between your teeth--
you think, It tastes of salt from long dead seas.

But this field is the beast's pantry, stocked
with clover and sluggish, sunwarmed prey.

When you find this place, the wind
feels like wind against your skin,

and the sky arcs down over a world
you know is just like this, and the word

you want to use is forever--
but you know that isn't true.

You've seen the hoofprint glyphs
in draws where deer bed down.

You're still the only animal that needs
a word for home.

If one were to measure this poem's success ( and this issue of 32 Poems) according to Mary Kinzie's proviso: "What a poet [and editor] keeps out of a poem [issue] is as necessary to its success as what the poet [editor] lets into it.", then this poem and journal appear to have succeeded in fulfilling their purposes.


Brian Campbell said...

Thanks for that. You make me want to subscribe.

Nick said...

Brian, it's a fine journal and well worth keeping one's eye on.

Suzanne said...

Every year for my birthday I give myself a new journal subscription -- this year I subscribed to 32 Poems. I haven't received my first issue yet so thanks for preview!

Nick said...

Suzanne, gifts one gives to oneself are usually the best kind.

Brian Campbell said...

I've subscribed.

Nick said...

Brian, I'm sure that it will not disappoint.