Friday, April 30, 2010
Hanging Loose 96
Hanging Loose Press
Review by Irene Kornas
What is happening in poetry being written presently? There seems, (to me) to be a blunt force; words mean exactly what is intended. There does not seem to be an under belly, metaphor, or a play with words. The writing feels like reality television. The spectator thinks, what is being shown as immediacy, an on the spot reaction to a situation; in reality the shows are scripted, similar to the poems being presented, presently, to the reading audience. This says to me, "any one can write poetry." Right? I'm making judgments about poetry today and I'm sorry for using this wonderful magazine as the scapegoat, but, here are some of the first lines from poems in this journal, that substantiate my premise, a scripted immediacy that perpetrates itself as poetic reality, but then again, it is a reality, story telling:
1. A woman sells expensive lotion
2. My mother does this thing
3. She stood between blacktop
4. I woke in my own bed
5. lowered myself into the small bluish
Here are five last lines from other poems:
1. and Jesus answering, "Everybody pays"
2. Blistering line drive
3. My father was a hard act to follow
4. Eager to fulfill a consumer need
5. Where the resolution seemed a good deal less than clear
In supposing these lines are poetry, when taken out of context, I might read them as an opening and closing of a newspaper article, and with this need to present reality as real, like a reporter reporting what happen yesterday, and what's wrong with that? now, that, newspapers are switching to computers, one will be able to take a manageable paper book and read while on the way to work.
The challenge for me is to stay realistic while reading prose, poetry and essays, by trying not to think for myself, but to read what is written as the Gospel truth of what is being told.
There are twenty four men and thirteen women represented in this magazine and I applaud the diversity of cultures and gender. This alone keeps my interest even when those differences, 'blur' in sameness:
"Man is a verb
Meaning to staff
Woman is not a verb
You cannot woman
What will happen
If you try" Mac Barret
I understand there is an over all theme, a purpose to the sameness in this issue, yet/still, I am reminded of the sameness in poetry, 'out-there' and Hanging Loose 96 offers me an opportunity to express my distaste for such ness:
"Render, oh render, render me asunder with your scarlet blooms. Startle me awake and wide to be gifted in purposeful ways. Why am I so fascinated by you? This is all I know about, to come to grips profoundly within the drama of family and raw feelings. Do I really want to call you up from within and inherit what is so hard to dislodge? One reason I try to figure these things out, I hear you whispering to me, is so as not to figure myself out. One image after another in this ultimate writing, stems from that dream image, and the message it leaves you to wander through, you devoutest of pilgrims. To say the word love, out loud". Pansy Maurer-Alverez
This magazine is worth the read and reads like quick fiction; each page tells a story. Don't pass over this issue or you'll miss the telling.
Wilderness House Literary Review
Ibbetson Street Press