Sunday, June 07, 2009
THE ENDICOTT REVIEW
The Endicott Review
Vol. 26, Issue 1
Review by Lo Galluccio
The Endiccott Review combines the work of student writers and those who are outside working professionally or who are widely published. This creates an intriguing and wide-ranging collection of over 100 poems, plus several insert pages of photographs that are, colorful, imaginative and conceptually inspired. Some highlights are the war memorial pics by Johnny Bonacci and David Inestroza’s corporate-sponsored hockey rink shots.
Ted Reicher’s poem, “At the Astapovo Station” is a stunning and spacious call and response which seems to circle back to Tolstoys’s struggle with God – a God of waiting.
“No God sees.”
“No God sees the truth.”
“No God sees the truth, but waits.”
Lauren Peterson writes a prosaic but nice narrative called, “Driving to get Lost” about the value of ignoring a GPS and finding oneself in new surroundings, as if time pressures didn’t matter in the modern world:
“when I’m lost
when I’m found
when I’m lost again.”
In a sultry portrait of a man’s adoration for the charms of the young Lauren Bacall, Richard Mayer concludes:
“How sad for a man if he couldn’t whistle!.”
referring, or course to her most famous star-turn with Bogart.
In the Introduction to this edition by many of the editors – all interesting, philosophical statements about poetry-- Ripley Bottom writes:
“Poetry is angel’s wings on a mouse”
“Poetry is failure”
“Poetry is connection”
“Poetry is skin against skin”
“Poetry is the thinnest strand of string between the piano and the street.”
What I like about this collection, is the variety of voices and the subtleties of the writing, from historical pieces, to modern portraits, to almost “flash fiction” poems to philosophical testimonials. And there is humor:
Doug Holder’s funny and sardonic anti-ode to spring: “Spring: This Ain’t No Love Poem” starts by castigating the tulips:
“Oh for Christ’s sake
here it is again.
like maddening colorful clichés.”
Chris Tipler turns in a gorgeous portrait of an ordinary woman living in the lush extraordinary landscape of Seville, Spain….a poem called, Dulcinea, where “sea anemones scattered in brilliant reds among the sage,” and “trellises of grape drop.”
“Rome is Burning” – one of my favorite poems in the issue – uses a jagged rhyme scheme and compelling juxtapositions of life images that history is about to turn -- “The asphalt angel’s crying….” And ships sailing and “prayers for concrete cowboys” – a picture of reverence and irreverence swallowed up by fire that leaves the men dead and “the women and children sold as slaves.” As in all wars, this poem extends beyond the actual realities of Rome burning, which it did three times. Sawiski’s poem resonates with a strange abstraction and a concrete augury.
Another treat is Stone Soup’s MC and fine writer, Chad Parenteaus’ “Found Poem” from the pages of a Wayfarer’s letter giving tidbits of what weighs on a post-WWII maritime man.
“I got a mitt here –
it’s pretty nice and
about time I got one.
Nothing new on Pre-flight
Lisa Beatman, author of “Manufacturing America” also contributes a handful of interesting works, among them the pithy “Glass” and the more narrative poem about buying lamb in Roslindale for grilling. In “Halal” she contrasts the reality of a freshly slaughtered, “long bone with muscles intact, red.”with a daydream about free lambs gamboling on a hillside.
Against the experimental dream-like and signature Hugh Fox lovc-obsessions in an assemblage of poems across two middle pages:
“Fun to see my Amazonasmaniac wild-piranha river you-say-it-
I’ll play it wife dyeing her wild jazz-hair black and
stringing it into tame post-menopausal saintliness”
is an elegant villanelle, “Letter” by Valerie Wohlfeld, a fresh breath of formalism
in a collection of mostly modern free verse.
Bagel Bard and poet organizer Harris Gardiner contributes a witty poem about a frog gaining leverage on a beautiful Princess in “Froggy Goes Courting:”
“Beauty won’t outscore common sense.
Well, maybe in your youth. Face it.
You will grow old; then we’ll start
To mirror each other’s looks.”
Finally, Sergio Inestrosa’s poems to Li Po and the Moon in Spanish and in translation are jewels of imagery and refraction:
“He wanted to attain
the moon’s peaceful mood”
“he died, drowned in
its pearly reflection.”
And in “Lunario” or “Concerning the Moon,” he writes in five sections about different auras of the moon:
The moon’s pallor
Turns its back on the sun
while it sleeps
The honey-colored moon
in the womb of night
This is only a smattering of the many poems worth reading, including the ubiquitous and prolific Lyn Lifshin’s work. I urge you to pick up this Spring’s issue with an auburn cover close-up of a bewitching girl laughing.