Sunday, February 22, 2009


POIESIS NO.2 ( Alternating Current POBOX 398058 Cambridge, Mass. 02139 ) $4.

Local poet Leah Angstman is at it again. This prolific, small press holy fool ( I mean it in the best sense of the word) has released a new pocket book of poetry that she has named “Poiesis.” There is a captivating painting of a tearful, blue-eyed, blonde woman on the front, a creation of Angstman herself. Inside are some of the finest contemporary small press poets plying their trade in the little magazine scene today, including: Pamela Annas, Alan Catlin, Jeff Fleming, Tim Gager, Ed Galing, Rebecca Schumejda, Jessica Harman, Mignon Ariel King, B.Z. Niditch, Charles Ries, Joseph Verilli, Simon Perchik and others. So many poems, and too little time to mention them all. But I will let you sample a taste of the rich lyrical fare. Charles Ries, known for his reviews, fiction, as well as his poetry, has a zinger and a winner of a poem that tracks a writer’s retreat from the literary circus to well, the real one:

Why I Gave Up Writing and Joined the Circus

I left it all; the paper and pens, publishers
and agents who could not love my inner
fantasy and joined the circus.

The make-up, big nose and fancy pants
helped me overcome my feelings of
obscurity. I created an identity grander
than my literary art. I now have something
worth writing about.

I married the fat lady, she gave birth to
a midget; I learned to swallow swords,
made friends with a contortionist who
told me to turn my pens into pretzels,
and live like a real man.

The featured poet is J. J. Campbell. In his poem “damage” the poet quickly fleshes out the sudden and raw face of damage in its different forms:

a tornado ripped
through a town
in the south and
this backwards
fuck came on the
news and said it’s
kind of scary how
much damage can
be done in just a
few seconds

i started to laugh
and thought the
same can be said
when one doesn’t

pull out fast enough.

Angstman, the founder of the Propaganda Press that publishes this fine zine, has a good eye for good poetry, and has compiled an excellent collection of work.

Highly Recommended

Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Thanks for the review! Just as a sidenote, J.J. Campbell is a he not a she, but thanks for the kind words!