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Reviews

Ben & Amy Read Chapbooks: Photo Review Edition

Here are some chapbooks that Amy Lawless and I read recently and want to share with you.

 

effie by Will Edmiston (Three Sad Tigers Press, 2011)

Construction: Elegant letterpress of a cheerleader in midair after being thrown up by her teammates (from a series called Fan Death by Kristina Williamson). Thick cream card stock cover. The poems themselves are printed in whatever font a typewriter is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Poem:


Critical Review:

 

 

 

The Strings of Walnetto Arrangements by Ben Estes (Flowers and Cream, 2011)

Construction: 7.25″ x 4.75″ perfect bound silver-foil cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Poem:

 

Is Boo Boo Hiding in the Blank of Blank

 

What will spring bestow-

A paper mask tied about my nose

looking like the whiskers of a cat.

or possibly a more apt, those of a mouse.

Around you I am milkair,

or posssibly more appt, tenderbluefog.

An everything evening I’m still unaccustomed to,

with the feathers of a blind parrot

flying through it over my town.

Knowing the place below is home,

but only able to let the few words I recognize,

a Pretty Bird or Come Here,

lead me to my branch.

One sign of brilliance of that situation

is my lack of being able to describe

it within these two phrases.

The not-knowing cheers up

the knowing after all-

a shy quiet mouse that I tell to

Pour water into the saucepan.

Uncover bird.

Get bird water.

Get cigarette.

Put in mouth.

All are marks made without looking.

As even th;e best of us tire of these heroics

we rest our eyes upon the dun colored fields

pictured in the evening doodles of the hunters.

Also doodled:

Bugs, leaves, feathers, cracks in the ice, and berries

In the feathers of parrots, dividing the sun with a paper mask,

a small dun field mouse.

In the juice of berries, a feather.

Critical Review:

 

 

 

Clouds Can Trees by Taryn Andrews (Minutes Books, 2011)

Construction: 11″ x 8.5″ spiral bound with black and white cover.

 

 

 

 

Sample Poem:

New city, new shitty

When he said there are millions of suns, he wasn’t kidding. I am asleep in the grass. I have successfully relocated and that’s about all. I have someone I see. My legs grow stronger walking to his house and eventually I make it to a tall glass building. They take my picture and shake my hand. I don’t get the job. I make the journey home. I give my number to a stranger. I tie the hood over my face and walk around the lake. I am asleep in the grass. From behind, a blackbird approaches with a metallic feather, I get up, apologize, and head home.

Critical Review:

 

 

 

Dear Jenny by Genya Turovskaya (SUPERMACHINE, 2011)

Construction: 8″ x 7″ saddle stitched semi-gloss cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Poem: “Dear Jenny”

 

Critical Review:


 

 

My Own Fires by Lauren Hunter (Brothel Books, 2011)

Construction: 8″ x 5.5″ glossy, perfect bound cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Poem:

Dream

II.)

 

Babies! Babies everywhere and not

making any sounds

 

I watched them crawl over

soft white blankets

their hands so small

their movements so sure.

 

When they almost collide

with one another, they’d sit

back on their diapers and stare.

They’d move their tiny hands

to their mouths. They’d suck awhile,

together, then roll over

and start crawling again

and again.

 

Critical Review:

 

 

Thanks for your time. Please buy one or all of these chapbooks.

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