Posts Tagged ‘Figures for an Apocalypse’

Figures for an Apocalypse

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

FfaACoverWeb-685x1024Figures for an Apocalypse
by Edward Mullany
Publishing Genius Press, 2013
198 pages / $14.95 buy from Publishing Genius
Rating: 7.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Mullany’s newest collection of prose poetry is titled from a book by Thomas Merton. Merton is known for being a Trappist monk and poet, but his poetry receives mixed reviews. In Commonweal, William Henry Shannon lambasts a vast majority of the volumes of Merton’s poetry as “mediocre or just plain bad”; however, Shannon concedes that amongst the thousands of lines of poetry “one will also find fine poetry there.”

In many cases, the mark of fine poetry is to appear effortless—and, perhaps, in some cases craftless. Edward Mullany’s newest poems seem to be nothing more than simple titles with surreal imagery acting as a sort of call and response. Take “The Statues of Weeping Women” for example: “Along empty highways they / were placed at equal / intervals.” That’s the whole poem.

Other pieces in the collection are seemingly plotless, page-length prose poems which simply describe everyday occurrences, as in “The Wrong Child” wherein a girl’s mundane day of school is described in exacting detail:

After recess, when a teacher appeared near a door near the entrance to the building, with one arm raised, as an indicator that recess was over, she crossed the playground quickly and went inside with all her classmates, and went up a stairwell, and down a hall, and into the classroom she always went into that year, and sat in the desk she’d begun to think of as her own.

Or as in “Say No” which starts by saying (more…)