Thursday, February 19, 2009

February Poetry Magazine

The latest issue of the US magazine Poetry just arrived. Always interesting sometimes delightful, this is one of the most enjoyable issues recently.

It contains the usual mixed bag of poetry including a wonderful poem by US poet Michael Ryan called I Had A Tapeworm which starts thus:

I had a tapeworm, and imagined it
flat—paper-flat—like a strip of caps,
pallid red, a quarter-inch wide
with bulbous BB bullfrog eyes
peeking out of my asshole as I lolled
in a crowded fetid basement swimming pool

The issue features a collection of eight manifestos commemorating the centennial of the Italian futurists' manifesto. In 1909 pamphlets were dropped over the town of Milan containing Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto. These manifestos are a mix of the serious, the half-serious and the downright parodic. They all contain gems of contention or wisdom.

Some examples
From Presto Manifesto! by A.E. Stallings:

The freedom to not-rhyme must include the freedom to rhyme. Then verse will be “free.”
All rhymed poetry must be rhyme-driven. This is no longer to be considered pejorative.
Rhyme is at the wheel. No, rhyme is the engine.
Rhyme frees the poet from what he wants to say.

From Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links by Charles Bernstein

I love originality so much I keep copying it.
Immature poets borrow. Mature poets invest.
POETRY WANTS TO BE FREE. (Or, if not, available for long-term loan.)

The magazine can be read online here.
There is also a podcast here.

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