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 Oh and did I mention the previously unpublished James Schuyler poems?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.)
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
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
There is something in it for everyone.
Please use our toilet paper the next time you visit.
Beside the Remains of a Pumice Tower
Scarlet moss, but never a flower.