Thursday, May 01, 2014

Hanging Loose 103

Hanging Loose 103
Hanging Loose Press
Brooklyn, New York
ISSN #0440-2316
$11.00  2014

Hanging Loose has proven to be steadfast, with good writing, issue after issue. In order to do the magazine justice I will review one poet who I think is indicative to the flavor presented by all the poets in this particular issue; with a small review of the art work . I will try to show the reader why this magazine has lasted all these years.

JM Farkas's poem, “Nothing Makes me Think of You,”:

“Not your wife's favorite TV show with the actress you say
looks like me, but doesn't. Not the frantic, tympanic mating
dance of the Birds of Paradise. How the girl birds simply watch
with their three eyelids open, all unimpressed and blinkless. Not
the neuroplasticity of the brain or the maple syrup shortage. Not
the Ecclesiastes Equation of direct proportionality between increased
knowledge and sorrow...”

Farkas confronts us with words that may not be in our usual vocabulary. Tympanic, is a medical word relating to a particular bone. I couldn't get a complete meaning, other than from the poem.  I reread the first portion of the poem to get into the rhythm and to adjust my inner sight. In the first line another man's wife is enough to set up the entire poem and helped me contend with the poem. The poem carries us quickly to the next line, breathless, 'blinkless', like a movie star on the pause button then fast forward. And who wouldn't want to look like an actress. Not the poet. She wants to look like herself, the surreal renderer, an unimpressed watcher. The poem flowers and concocts a journey about a scorned lover or the lover as lair:

“Or the fact that female penguins prostitute
themselves for stones to build their babies' nests. Not the song
about glinty butter and hot knives. Or the words, fluster
and cinemascope. Not the hotspot between Bach and the Supremes,
“Where Did Our Love Go,” that space where two lines of music crack
together. Not drizzly fireworks or french fries covered
with gravy and melted cheese. Cheese, specifically, makes me
unthink of you. Your heart, after all, is not composed
of cheddar. Not Gouda, not manchego, not even a holey
slice. I won't stick my tongue or an anamorphic eye right...”

'Cheese and drizzly fireworks or french fries', all these phrases quickly catch our eye and the rhythm beats us into the paradise dance, word dance, sexy dance, dance about 'not.' Like a collage the poem pieces itself together with knowing or is it intuitive, then revision, which brings the poem to our eyes:

“through that moony surface, just to see if your face
is on the other side. It isn't, and I don't have to
look. Your face is already all over the face of our baby
that was never born. The one we never conceived, even though
I might have said I wanted to. Or maybe you said so, twice? Or maybe
you showed up at my apartment after a bumpy
four-hour bus ride from Boston and gave me a pizza cutter,
and proclaimed all the kinds of proclamations a girl hopes to hear
from anyone except the boy who winds up saying it.
And I said: no thanks, because I was too young and ornithic
to see. Someone once told me that it's hardest to write
a love poem, but i'm convinced it's harder not to.”

Farkas has two poems in this issue and they both epitomize contemporary verse. Farkas uses language like cheese that she cuts off small pieces from and chews on what refuses to be said. Pain is reversible. It can be seen on the outside and dwells inside with words such as, 'cutter, harder, crack.'  The poet goes gentle into the night or the poem or the song or the music. The poem contains all the information and word play we need to understand. Well done and so very very full, the emphasis is always on the poem.

Albert Kresh paints in a similar genre as the poetry submitted. He takes his historical view point, German expressions and paints in a loose thick style. The pigment strokes the surface in contrary colors, then the pigment builds up to the place where it dances our eyes and becomes a place to live with or in.

Hanging Loose 103 is magical with open verse. It's no longer experimental, in that, word and form experiments have proven to be the fore-runner to today's poetic. Poets have learned their history and are taking the previous experiments to new heights, their own voice is being carried with the help of the previous, concrete, found, and language poems. The poems form a new dictate. They are fresh and saucy, full of themselves, the poems are fearless, young, and strong. The displaced nouns, verbs as nouns, paragraphs as couplets, daring to let go of what was known, for what is to be known. Hanging Loose gives the reader the best newness, the best car wash trips, and the best relish put onto the page, the best reading, each and every time.

Irene Koronas
Poetry Editor: Wilderness House Literary Review
Reviewer: Ibbetson Street Press,
Boston Small Press,
Cervena Barva Press

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