Speculative Poetry Round Up December 2014

This will be my final post for this year. I thought it fitting that it should be a Round Up, but it won’t be encompassing the whole year, but rather just the time since my last Round Up a month ago.

This time, I seem to be following a newly discovered poet around the web. It was quite accidental – John Reinhart just started publishing speculative poetry but he is just about everywhere!

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Interfictions.com brings us 6 gorgeous poems in their 4th quarter issue. “Shadows Into Light” by Kythryne Aisling is a beautiful explanation of why artists do what they do when they expose themselves and others. “Witches of Salem” by Gwynne Garfinkle is a poem to which I can directly relate. The poet and I must be of a generation and share a basic geographical origin. The poem spoke to my nostalgic self. “Concerning The Curious Burial Customs of the Witches of Megaira” by Elizabeth McClellan is one I’m going to have to spend more time with. Not just because it’s epic in length, but also because it is mysterious with hidden depths and swirling undercurrents. A very interesting poem of (at first) seemingly unrelated poetic snippets in boxes by John (Serreno) Reinhart, “Dark Light” is another worth spending some time with.

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Songs of Eretz eZine from November is chock full of excellent poetry, edited by Steven Wittenberg Gordon, “the harlot” by Ross Balcom, “red light” by John Reinhart (there he is again!) made me think about all the stuff that goes through my own mind when I’m in a holding pattern like at a red traffic light. “An Ode to Poetry” by James J. Tuffy (the editor’s grandfather), is a lovely piece, which might have been a letter to the (newspaper) editor, which Gordon has worked into a poem. Others include “The Slaves in My Basement, by Marie Vibbert, “first contact” by the editor, “Just Words” by Lauren McBride, “45th Reunion Redbook Rubrics” by Gerard Sarnat, plus a Father & Daughter Special Feature of Delbert R. Gardner and Adele Gardner: “After Hearing Frost at Eleven” and “Row Your Boat Ashore” respectively. I have always enjoyed award-winning poet Adele Gardner’s poetry and understand that it is from her father that she gets her poet gene. These two poems, give a wonderful picture of Adele’s beloved father. The first is not so much about Frost, but about Gardner and his wife, a typical conversation of an evening that just so happened to occur after listen to Frost read poetry on the radio. The second was written after Adele’s father passed away and is a loving tribute.

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Silverblade.silverpen.org This magazine features consistently excellent poetry of a speculative nature. With the November issue No. 24, editor John C. Mannone has outdone himself. His featured poet, Roald Hoffmann, is a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry from 1981. In fact, Mannone is a scientist in the same field and studied the Woodward-Hoffmann Rules and Hoffmann’s quantum chemistry models as a grad student. It’s a minor coup, apparently, that Mannone got Roald Hoffmann to submit to the magazine. He has three poems within. My favorite is “Crossing the Mekong”.The poetry by other authors is also wonderful. “*,” by Simon Perchik is an interesting little surreal poem, which gave me a very unsettled feeling in my stomach, fascinating images. “The Near Shore,” by Michelle Markey Butler is the story of an accidental ghost, with wonderful medieval details. Bruce Boston’s “Septuagenarian Flashback” is, I suspect, a bit auto-biographical and replete with gorgeous language and vivid imagery. “Harboring” by Kate Gillespie is a fascinating look at the micro in our world. David C. Kopaska-Merkel has written “Hard Row,” narrated by yours truly, and even now, I barely understand it. In cases such as these, I can still enjoy the lush words, easily recitable (not stilted) despite their infrequent airing. And “dream,” by John Reinhart (he’s everywhere!) is a gorgeous dwarf length poem, which lights up your brain in just the right way. The illustrations by Sue Babcock are gorgeous and clearly originals for each poem.

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A new-ish blog has popped up on my radar lately and it’s become a source of delight, enlightenment and inspiration every time I read it. It is “A Speculative Poetry Blog” written by Bryan Hall (pen name Kurt MacPherson). He started it as an exercise for a technical writing course, “New Media Writing”, which required it. I’m glad he has. He writes about speculative poetry, its forms and his writing process, including an example of his own poetry; reviews; news; and the occasional haiku poem such as this horrorku:


rusty gate
squeals with the coming dawn
oblong box slams shut

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And while we’re on blogging; David C. Kopaska-Merkel, who has produced 99 issues of Dreams & Nightmares, a print speculative poetry magazine, often posts poetry, mostly haiku or very short pieces on his blog. “Wish Upon a Star,” “Evergreen,” “Pioneers (a rengay),” “I Too, Am Aghast”. Are some favorites from the last 2 months. You will also find nano-fiction, notification about Dreams & Nightmares (an excellent read, by the way) and other interesting tidbits.

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There you have it! Thank you for joining me this year on my exploration of the wonderful world of speculative poetry – I’m looking forward to the coming year – I have so many wonderful collections to review!

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