Saturday, December 20, 2008
CHIRON REVIEW ISSUE #85 (522 E. South Ave. St. John KS 67576)
I have been trying to get a poem of mine accepted in the Chiron Review for the longest time. And there is good reason. This newsprint, tabloid journal of poetry, reviews, and interviews publishes work that is raw, exciting, rude and most importantly dangerous.
And of course this is what the Alternative Press is all about. No painfully polite or pleasant poem…this stuff live and breathes.
In the current issue I noticed a poem by my friend and fellow “Bagel Bard” member (a literary group in the Boston area) Zvi A. Sesling. Sesling’s poem “Grammar” bristles with humor: “the verb on your tongue is hard to swallow/ Adjectives in your ears are pleasant/Nouns in your eyes can be seen yards away/ Why must you eat conjunctions?
There is also an excellent piece by a fellow Somerville, Mass. resident Taylor Stoehr. Stoehr frequents the Sherman Café in Somerville, a favorite haunt of mine, so it is fun to see his article and translations in the issue. His essay deals with the lyric poetry of ancient Greece. Much of the poetry of that time (starting in the Seventh Century BCE), was destroyed by wars, fires, etc… Taylor Stoehr writes: “Some remnants of this vast treasure, still valuable as scrap papyrus, were used to wrap mummies instead off fish, and scholars today are still peeling shreds of verse off corpses…”
There is a revealing interview with AD Winans by Teri Reis Kennedy, in which Winans claims he doesn’t want to be labeled “ poe.t” Very interesting for a guy who produces a prolific amount of poetry, and has been in hundreds or perhaps thousand of small press literary magazines.
And I was pleased to see that Gloria Mindock’s poetry book “Blood Soaked Dresses” (Ibbetson Street) was reviewed by the master Charles Reis. Also Ed Galing’s “Confessions of a White Hat’ (Propaganda Press) was reviewed. I know the press’ founder Leah Angstman, and she is making a name for herself with her innovative publishing house based in Cambridge, Mass. She also is a barkeep at a bar named “Bukowski’s” I used to hit that place now and then.
And Charles Plymell, who I had the pleasure to interview in Configurations magazine, has a signature sacrilegious poem about religious Fundamentalism:
“In Kansas, the Fundamentalists
Taught me that God made man
In His own image and likeness.
I hope He likes His dirty asshole!”