Friday, July 8, 2011

What I'm Reading: Barn Owl Review 4

90º ~ dead calm, uninterrupted sun, even the shade sweats

We find ourselves again waiting, waiting, waiting for news from the vet.  As we wait, I return to a favorite journal, Barn Owl Review.  I read this through when it arrived a few months ago but didn't have a chance to post about it then.  It's been wonderful to dip back into the cool pages and revisit some of my favorites.

For those not in the know, Barn Owl is an annual poetry-only journal with some book reviews as well. Number 4 also includes a new feature, a folio, in this case a series of Oliver de la Paz's "Dear Empire" poems.  It is edited by both Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson, along with their fantastic supporting cast.  Each of the four issues is a gem worth its cover price and probably more.  The poems are eclectic, lively, and engaging. 

Nin Andrews * Stacey Lynn Brown * Jenna Cardinale * Brittany Cavallaro * Elizabeth J. Colen * Juliet Cook * Jaydn DeWald * Lorraine Doran * Carolina Ebeid * Suzanne Frischkorn * John Gallaher * Peter Joseph Gloviczki * Brent Goodman * Matthew Guenette * Carol Guess * Charles Jensen * Stephanie Kartalopoulos * Steve Kistulentz * David Dodd Lee * Rebecca Loudon * Amit Majmudar * Adrian Matejka * Oliver de la Paz * Louise Mathias * Shane McCrae * Robert Miltner * John Minczeski * Carrie Oeding * Alison Pelegrin * Dan Pinkerton * Nate Pritts * Liz Robbins * C. J. Sage * Carmen Giménez Smith * Catherine Wing * Cori A. Winrock
Plus, featuring reviews of David Dodd Lee and Elizabeth J. Colen.

Today, I thought I'd highlight just a few of the poems with poet, title, and first few lines to whet your appetite.  I confess that most of the pages are dog-eared in my copy, so this selection is difficult to the extreme. 

Elizabeth J. Colen
"Wife Beater" (prose poem)

There's a tattooed girl at the counter in the bread shop and she's thin and she's tough and she's scarred and you start talking about what her life must be like.

Brent Goodman
"To the Student Who Asked You What My Poems Mean"

I cannot find my hands.  Nor will a tongue against
wet cobblestone help triangulate one's
penultimate destination.  Let us first turn
our desks into a circle.

Amit Majmudar
"Radio Mustasim"

All afternoon, the boys collect
radios like firstborn
door to door.

In earshot of the mosque,
target practice.
Panicked Panasonics
leap off the wall, innards outed
in a blizzard of slivered
transistors, speaker-sieves, plastic shrapnel.

Oliver de la Paz
"Dear Empire" (dissidents) (prose poem)

Dear Empire,

These are your dissidents.  They are dark and threadbare like the stripped corpses of trees in winter.  They feather the hillsides with their cloth houses.  The whole hillside is awash in bright fabric--a riverbed of canvas.

Alison Pelegrin
"River of Voices"

I have this inarticulate theory of being wronged.
I can't shut up about it.  I'm hooked on Katrina,
my worst luck (and I was lucky!) doling out
sucker punches, ulcers, and suspect fruit,
and who can make peace with bloody kisses?

Well, that's just a hint of all the goodness wrapped inside.  Perhaps your appetite is whetted, your curiosity peaked, and all those other endless cliches.  If so, I hope you'll support this journal.


Carol said...

I thought this issue was gorgeous as well. Really loved Rebecca Loudon's poem, as well as the others you highlighted.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks for stopping by, Carol. I wish I could have highlighted every poem, but I didn't want to give away the cow. :)