January 21st, 2010 / 1:30 pm
Uncategorized

Maggy Poetry

Hey this is new and interesting. Also, attractive! Meet Maggy Poetry, a new journal edited by Alina Gregorian, Allison Power, and Adam Fitzgerald–three people whose first names all begin with “A.” Is this how they came to agree on an alphabetical arrangement for their issue? (It’s by last name, but still.) The journal is a perfect-bound 8.5 x 11 volume with a handsome cover–you might reasonably mistake it for an issue of Purple or Flaunt (except that it, duh, the cover says Maggy on it)–and a very impressive and varied list of contributors. Some of the biggest “Names” are John Ashbery, Timothy Donnelly, Jeff Clark, Mark Strand, Fanny Howe, Alice Notley, and Matthew Zapruder. (Just because they do the alphabetical thing doesn’t mean that I have to.) Of the up-and-comers, I was especially glad to see Bianca Stone and New Michigan Chapbook Prize-winner Ben Mirov. Plus translations! We get two Dante cantos from Mary Jo Bang, and some of Richard Zenith’s Fernando Pessoa. Oh and did I mention the previously unpublished James Schuyler poems? Holy Christ there’s a lot to be excited about here. How they’re doing it for ten bucks an issue is beyond me, but that’s not my problem anymore than it is yours. The point is, they’re doing it. They did it. It’s here. You should get it over to where you are, but if you’re still not convinced, look below the fold for some samples from the issue, hand re-typed with love and a hearty cheers to The A Team on the occasion of their auspicious and promising debut. (And with apologies about the space-breaks, which are represented by¬† _ marks–please just ignore them, and know that in the actual issue they aren’t there.)

“Refuse”

by Jeff Clark

_

You eat well and transcribe

You shit quickly in the morning

You only slander in self-defense

You manufacture affection

You get up, shower, and check your messages

You network, correspond, advance

You write preening, disposable statements

You wash come off quickly

You drink bottled water and monitor headlines

You check your money and messages

In sorrow you’re seductive, in catastrophe a fascist

You think precisely what you read

_

from “Canto V”

by Dante, translated by Mary Jo Bang

_

If there were a universal god who listened to us,

We would ask it to give you peace

Since you’ve treated us with pity in spite of our perversity.

_

While the wind was silent, as it is now

We can hear and speak about whatever it is you’d like

To hear and have us speak about.

_

I was born in Ravenna, on the Adriatic Coast,

Where the Rivers Po and Rubicon meet their tributaries

And lazily empty themselves into the sea.

_

Love lit a fire in my lover’s gentle heart. He fell

In love with the pretty girl I was. How the girl I was

Was taken from the world still disturbs me.

_

Love, which is impossible to not return

When one is loved, compelled me to love him in return,

So that even now, we’re one in hell, as we were above.

_

“Our Bodies, Ourselves”

by Bianca Stone

_

Fruit is healthy. Running in one place with a drowning look

is healthy.

_

What we did all those years, swallowing each other

without chewing properly, lounging and weeping into one another

until our bellies hung down past our knees–

_

was something else entirely.

_

from “One Hundred Poems”

by John Yau

_

Universal

There is something in it for everyone.

[…]

Exhortation

Please use our toilet paper the next time you visit.

[…]

Beside the Remains of a Pumice Tower

Scarlet moss, but never a flower.

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13 Comments

  1. Matt Jasper

      Based on the description & having read a quite good unpublished book manuscript by Adam Fitzgerald a few years ago, I ordered this and loved it as text and artifact. Especially enjoyed The A & Z of the “name” list yet was also fond of work by Christian Hawkey (untitled mini-masterpieces), Evan Hansen, and Jessica Dessner (who had the best titles). Schuyler’s Glacier & Gift poems are among his best.

  2. Matt Jasper

      Based on the description & having read a quite good unpublished book manuscript by Adam Fitzgerald a few years ago, I ordered this and loved it as text and artifact. Especially enjoyed The A & Z of the “name” list yet was also fond of work by Christian Hawkey (untitled mini-masterpieces), Evan Hansen, and Jessica Dessner (who had the best titles). Schuyler’s Glacier & Gift poems are among his best.

  3. alexlouis

      Baumann is really good. I liked Y2K and what I’ve read of his in the Tyrant.

      German is just a weak Tao Lin aper. No discernible talent and a skin-crawly hipster affect.

  4. alexlouis

      Baumann is really good. I liked Y2K and what I’ve read of his in the Tyrant.

      German is just a weak Tao Lin aper. No discernible talent and a skin-crawly hipster affect.

  5. Justin Taylor

      Did you leave this on the wrong post, alexlouis? These guys have nothing to do with Maggy.

  6. Justin Taylor

      Did you leave this on the wrong post, alexlouis? These guys have nothing to do with Maggy.

  7. Janey Smith

      I wish all poetry was projected on screens. Oh, and billboards would be cool, too.

  8. Janey Smith

      I wish all poetry was projected on screens. Oh, and billboards would be cool, too.

  9. Matt Jasper

      I agree about the screens and billboards so long as the Poetry Magazine and American Poetry Review constructions are allowed only in Totowa, New Jersey where the people are already beyond harm. There lived a man there named Victor Dalbon who was seen late at night swinging a pipe in his yard and singing. His “EIGHT FORMS OF TORTURE” window posters were among the best forms of public poetry ever–though the Is Reads project rivals his work and of course completely demolished PM & APR. I see the little Poetry Pegasus and want it dead. I see the poet pix in APR and despise the format so much that I can’t even read the poems. As for Maggy–I should have mentioned that David Shapiro is a mad genius–that reading his New and Selected Poems & torrential/ typo-ridden Facebook posts has made life more endurable.

      Perhaps not oddly, Justin excerpted a cross-section of the magazine that is nearly opposite to the best verbiage I would have underlined. For example, I think Jeff Clark is entertaining yet can ring a tad empty beneath some (not all) of his constructions. Probably just a matter of taste, as I have friends who think he’s more consistently great. Maybe I have been perverted by reading old Kayak magazines. I’ll erase them from my head, pretend to favor direct statement over schizoid mumbling, and try again.

  10. Matt Jasper

      I agree about the screens and billboards so long as the Poetry Magazine and American Poetry Review constructions are allowed only in Totowa, New Jersey where the people are already beyond harm. There lived a man there named Victor Dalbon who was seen late at night swinging a pipe in his yard and singing. His “EIGHT FORMS OF TORTURE” window posters were among the best forms of public poetry ever–though the Is Reads project rivals his work and of course completely demolished PM & APR. I see the little Poetry Pegasus and want it dead. I see the poet pix in APR and despise the format so much that I can’t even read the poems. As for Maggy–I should have mentioned that David Shapiro is a mad genius–that reading his New and Selected Poems & torrential/ typo-ridden Facebook posts has made life more endurable.

      Perhaps not oddly, Justin excerpted a cross-section of the magazine that is nearly opposite to the best verbiage I would have underlined. For example, I think Jeff Clark is entertaining yet can ring a tad empty beneath some (not all) of his constructions. Probably just a matter of taste, as I have friends who think he’s more consistently great. Maybe I have been perverted by reading old Kayak magazines. I’ll erase them from my head, pretend to favor direct statement over schizoid mumbling, and try again.

  11. Karen O

      Title of the Clark poem is actually “Refuse Disciples.”

  12. Karen O

      Title of the Clark poem is actually “Refuse Disciples.”

  13. HTMLGIANT / An Announcement from Maggy Poetry: Contest Deadline Extended

      […] Announcement from Maggy Poetry: Contest Deadline Extended Regular readers know that I’m a fan of Maggy Poetry, and I meant to announce the First Annual Maggy Poetry Contest when it first began–but then I […]