MADWOMAN by SHARA MCCALLUM / I can’t stop thinking about this pair of lines: “Stories wake in us what is inconsolable, / begin in us again our animal mewling.” It’s one reason I turn to poetry: to validate my thirst/hunger, which feels — regardless of what I’m craving — absolutely primal. Anyone else?
LOVE, ROBOT by MARGARET RHEE / Should we lay bare the truth about that: isn’t what we teach others is designed to “improve” their code so they better meet our needs? How does it usually go when we try to change the other?
DIRTY BOMB by MARK NEELY / Our deep fried, Disney-fied, four-lane highwayed, strip-malled communities are ripe for poetry, and I love love love when that shit makes its way into the work.
OCULUS by SALLY WEN MAO / Sally Wen Mao skillfully teases out how technology infiltrates our world/physical beings and what it means to be alive in that confused (conflicted? commandeered?) space.
PARTIAL GENIUS by MARY BIDDINGER / Where prose may imply narrative, the content within each “stanzagraph” defies the narrative. By telling fragmented stories, these poems keep their distance somewhat. Like teenagers. The narrative kind of “ghosts” us in these poems; its delightful, intriguing and tantalizing.
GARMENTS AGAINST WOMEN by ANNE BOYER / The opening poem seems to describe both degrees of suffering and our attachment to suffering, and in this way, the rest of the collection continues conversations in which the narrator argues both for and against herself. It’s partly how Boyer is able to implicate both structures (like capitalism) and the self at the same time: systems are so internalized as to be indistinguishable from our human nature.
SAVE OUR SHIP by BARBARA UNGAR / “Save Our Ship” is a cry for the planet. And not just environmentally. It’s an SOS for our species (dear God, what we inflict on one another in relationships and global conflicts).