The Creases Between Utterances: Jenny Xie’s “The Rupture Tense” Johnny Payne Criticism - “Whether [Jenny] Xie’s volume was long in the making or came out in a fiery burst (maybe both, by parts?), it is a work of substance, worthy of its current high reputation.” 4/14/2024
“I ask your forgiveness; I am a mountain tiger” W. D. Ehrhart Poetry - “Why does she ask forgiveness?/For what and from whom?/Why does she call herself/a mountain tiger?” 4/5/2024
Edgar Kunz’s “Tap Out” and “Fixer” Johnny Payne Criticism - “Edgar Kunz, the author of Tap Out and Fixer, does not refer to himself specifically as blue collar, proletarian, or working class. Well-meaning others, such as mentor Edward Hirsch, do so, referring to Tap Out as ‘gutsy, tough-minded, working-class poems of memory and initiation.'” 3/31/2024
Life Cycle of the Cabbage White Butterfly Gabriel Gbadamosi Poetry - “Examining for mixed motives the flaws/That turned their city-cousins ash-/Grey. She labels one Snow-in-Ghana,/As though she doesn’t trust her own desire.” 3/29/2024
The Return Miguel Guardia Poetry - “I am alive and you’re alive, and hope exists,/but I have to bid farewell to these words of mine,/which I will never shout, because I’m but a man. “ 3/22/2024
On Arthur Sze’s “The Silk Dragon II” Johnny Payne Criticism - “Whatever one may say about the People’s Republic of China today, it once offered the model of the poet-emperor, as well as poets employed in political life, wedding governance to lyric spirit.” 3/17/2024
The Indian and Draw Near, White Man Rafael Aguilar Páez Poetry - “And working together, what might we become?/citizens of a single kingdom./you could find it all in the palm of your hand/alongside Indian, yellow and black.” 3/15/2024
Walking the Butter Mill Trail Samuel Schaefer Poetry - “I sometimes think I don’t belong here/in this wood–that the tree’s knots/are frowns grown for me, or the leaf crunch/is a worm cracking a crass joke at my expense.” 3/8/2024
Turkey Buzzard Johnny Payne Poetry - “Here on a narrow one-lane/overgrown with cattails and ivy/the circle of turkey buzzards draws closer.” 3/1/2024
Bianca Stone, What Is Otherwise Infinite Johnny Payne Criticism - “By that token, perhaps Bianca Stone is just the poet for our times. Her verses wrestle with a dirty angel, one that bites and kicks. There is no snow-white falcon in her pages. But she does not quit.” 2/25/2024
Show and Tell Harold Jones Poetry - “In the actual, from which another life/Is straining to burst, to set out in navigation,/Or be swallowed by demons in the leaves.” 2/19/2024
Smart Fish Don’t Bite W. D. Ehrhart Poetry - “One of these days,/the guy with the rod won’t be so kind./This is why we hear about the liars,/hypocrites and crooks like Spiro Agnew,/Richard Nixon, Jimmy Swaggart,/Bernie Madoff, Sam Bankman-Fried…” 2/16/2024
Journey Through Mountains David Gosselin Poetry - “So many stars and mountains, crests and sky,/Are we not fools to think that we can know/What underlies such intricate designs?” 2/9/2024
Lisa Olstein’s Dream Apartment Johnny Payne Criticism - “The Dream Apartment is no Barbie’s Dream House. It is rather an abode of opaque and backlit, sometimes hard-edged reverie.” 2/7/2024
Burma Gabriel Gbadamosi Poetry - “My mad uncle had the Burma jungle/In his head—burnt-out tracts of history/He’d stalk in ambush of his sanity” 2/2/2024
Olive Tree Treaty Youlika Masry Poetry - “Don’t know how long it will take to bloom,/but I want to make a start/tomorrow.” 1/27/2024