"He cries his way into the lumber. Probably trying to explain the liquor on his breath and the tar on his back. "
"You were not true to me, the sea said."
"Bombastic recordings hence / incessant in the stairwell"
"..if we dreamed of flight as evening fluttered down, / the fields and rivers turning below like plates passed around a table"
WE WANT TO SAY:
Happy March, you all. And happy beginning of Spring. . let's hope the nice weather sticks around for more than twenty-four hours, such that we might get into the iced-coffee and pie shortly.
Poets! Three of them for you this month!
First on the docket is none other than Kirshman comma Matthew. Two poems from this fellow are a treat to the tooth, and we are especially keen on the first, "Prelude to a Fertility Tale." This little piece takes us down the rabbit hole -- or wait. .a 'brain hole' -- and into a realm of bees and kings, giants and rough surf.
The substance of myth is carved out of the ground, packed into bricks, and layered up to create shimmering and golden castle walls. And then, aluminium too, and all the 'superficial' that flimsy 'stuff' represents.
What we love about Kirshman is his unexpected juxtapositions, lines that on the face might not go well together -- those strange collocations that abound in his poetry and work in the way that magic does. Slights-of-word and a spade tip in the murky earth. lit
Tina Johnson's poems are fleeting images of rural locals, sharp in their detail and never convolutedlitt. They are lightweight and ephemeral; sit on the hand like a turtle dove, white and unbounded. We are bird lovers here at the Bacon, and so we're naturally drawn to Johnson's ornithological lines: "And if we dreamed of flight as evening fluttered down" . . . Spend time with these poems, watch as they gather strength and momentum as if from a western wind, and let them be gone. . . into
Trigger-happy Isaac Davis. The Boone-dog hisself.
We can infer from title alone that this piece involves?—the workplace. It follows through there, but—and the phrase comes up deep in the piece—it's also got its talons in 'the human condition'.
We can't quite call it a psychological study, too many tie-rubbings and cow-bells for such a limited analysis, but this piece in its stud moments strides beyond the battered arc of a telemarketers office into a spun web of real characters who hold hands, talk smack, make amends, drink, joke, and sale sales, all in the name of Tragedy.
At surface, there's that stale fluorescence reminiscent of the more uncomfortable scenes in The Office; the rat-trap scent of werewolf piss and bleach among which is littered a host of really stately turns of phrase & action that transform the whole thing into a lovely study, one that cares enough to hold yours and Juan's hair back while y'all let go of what you have to.
This is pressureless, accessible; very much a drive-in piece of work. What other fixings would you like?
Hows about California Tom, Mr Piekarski, who probably prefers Thomas but, with the hiker and the bandana we imagined might go by Tom to some.
Here is poetry of Place, of waters submerging, meeting, wherein a certain high and low meets at a juncture that we can't call objective because that would remove a certain something in the work. These are two distinct poems that are largely tied to the actuality of events. There's no overt investigation but there is a recording in them that serves the state well, allowing room for one's own mind to urge along the images and make of it what one will.
There's soundplay that mimics the elements within: 'styrene fishermen with moving lips who flank the Museum entrance.. highly rhetorical, effective in luring gullible tourists through the turnstile'. And we suppose what most draws is that slight bit of biblicality that infuses the longer 'Stowed Away' with the possibility of transcendence.
A worthwhile jaunt towards verse this month. The budlets of spring make of our region a place for possibility. We're eager to turn towards a refreshing mid-year, and hope that this thin volume of work will provide at least a nest for the day, if not longer.
Take care, towards April,
J & ew
Isaac Boone Davis is a drifter and thief. His fiction and journalism can be found in the archives of Writethis.com, Smokelong Quarterly, P.I.F., Fiction 365, The Blue Lake Review, Fiction Magazine, Jersey Devil Press, and The Southern Pacific Review. His Journo-fiction story The Cherry Picker was nominated for a Pushcart award. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tina Johnson lives in Sitka, Alaska. She has a day job, but gets up early to write in the mornings. Her work is heavily influenced and inspired by nature. She lives in the Tongass National Rainforest, a temperate rainforest, so wildness is right outside her door. She has been published in Tidal Echoes and Connotations, two Southeast Alaska publications. She has also been published in Windfall, Chanterelle's Notebook, The Old Red Kimonono.
Matthew Kirshman lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two daughters. He is an English teacher, but before that has had a varied career-telephone repairman, bartender, and cook, to name a few. Writing since the early 1980s, his publication credits include—Altpoetics, Charter Oak Poets, Dirigible: Journal of Language Arts, Futures Trading, Helix, Indefinite Space, Key Satch(el), Mad Hatters Review, Phoebe: The George Mason Review, posthumous papers (NothingNew Press), Vangarde Magazine, The Wayfarer, Xenarts, and Z-Composition.
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Scarlet Literary Magazine, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, New Plains Review, Poetry Quarterly, Boston Poetry Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Third Wednesday, Avatar Review, Vox Poetica, Main Street Rag, The Artistic Muse, South Jersey Underground, The Tower Journal, Poetry Super Highway, Lowestoft Chronicle, Eunoia Review, and many others. His travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, was published by Gable & Gray. He lives in Marina, California.