OK - so I'm going to write a description (as opposed to a "review" - see previous post, below) of Fact-Simile 2:1 (summer 2009). Well, as with previous issues, much of it is in the open form/field tradition - lots of white space, structural/sculptural lines. But there are other experiments with spatial form, e.g., Michael Leong's "Elementary Morality," which makes use of columns (I'm not even going to try to reproduce it on Blogger). I like this mag b/c the poems aren't in code. For instance, Andrew Peterson writes:
George Washington died of a colonist's disease.
Him and his high horse.
Distasteful as money in the mouth is.
(I still play for quarters, occasionally.)
Wound open late nights.
So OK, the slide from lines two to three and three to four are only very vaguely topical, and the "wound" could mean "wrapped around" or an open gash. But the diction is pretty straightforward. That's the combination I'm drawn to, here. One poem even comes with helpful instructions for reading.
There's prose, too - prose poems, and Sara Nolan's wonderfully generically ambiguous "Because Everyone Is Going To":
"My second grade teacher told us EVERYONE IS GOING TO DIE EVENTUALLY and MEDITATE ON YOUR POO. Then she stood there and LOOKED at us. We were supposed to be having math - we already had our Workbooks out. . . .
"DON'T LET ANYONE LOOK AT YOU IN A WAY THAT IS NOT OK WITH YOU. Said my mother. Who was accidentally a feminist the way our goldfish was accidentally dead: CIRCUMSTANCES.
"I don't want to look at Poo, cried Betsey. We were in the principal's office. . . .
"But at home, my mother said SHE MEANT WELL."
If you've read Anise' (Anna Louise Strong) poems . . . well, you ought to, if this appeals to you at all. Anyway, why can't "creative" nonfiction read more like this? Isn't this more fun than some deadly-serious self-important sleeper that isn't supposed to be fiction but reads like the most conventional fiction ever told? Which is what this isn't.
There are some people here whose work I know (Rosemarie Waldrop, Leong, Marie Larson, Donald Illich), and a lot of people I'm glad to make the acquaintance of.
Last but not least (and first, in pagination) is a wonderful interview w/Kristin Prevallet re: mourning, ethics, and aesthetics, that is required reading. Again: no sketchy, high-fallutin diction for its own sake, but some disarmingly direct declarations and connections.
So, there - not a review, but a description. More like a revue, perhaps.
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