On the subject of serial killers, poet Ruth Danon writes that they “leave notes, write in code.” They “grow increasingly impatient.”
“They hate the dark,” she muses. “They want to be found.”
So do poets. And Danon’s latest collection, Word Has It (Nirala Publications, 2018) reads like a series of notes dispatched from the brink of an apocalypse. Birds fall from the sky. Red-eyed people weep. There is blood. Dark, ominous omens of all shapes and sizes rain down.
In a time of deepfakes and alternative facts, we often ask ourselves what is real anymore, how can we trust our own eyes? Chris Campanioni chimes in on our collective existential crisis with his latest book of hybrid works, the Internet is for real in which he proposes, as the title indicates, perhaps the most sure thing in our world is that which is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. As if cutting and pasting a Pinterest of poetry, memoir, and essays, Campanioni invites us to join him through a pastiche of pop, pulp, and philosophy as he analyzes the internet and its impact on intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, as well as identity within individual and cultural contexts.
Hannah arrives home from school to find that Tim has removed the entrances to the house again. In place of the front door, an escalator now descends toward her.
Lying beside me with his head on my chest, Strauss, a white and black English Setter I had recently rescued from the local animal shelter, cocked his ears. I glanced up from my book into the velvety darkness outside the second-story bedroom window which, during the day, offered a charming view of the historic mule barge canal as it skirts the Delaware River and threads under the low, arched bridges through New Hope, Pennsylvania, a gentrified mill town just north of where George Washington crossed the Delaware to sneak up on the Hessians.
One of the first poems in Marylen Grigas’ Shift, “About Muscle,” relates the life cycle of a sea squirt, a creature whose time on earth culminates when it comes to rest on a rock and devours its own brain.
Sometimes two people
come together with their bodies
and it is so like the way
they feel inside
and the first person holds out
an apple to the second
Through the stereoscope I see
myself preserved in ash
in a glass cage three dimensionally.
the cubicle where we daily toil, the demoniac cackling erupting
from the empty spaces down the hall, size of an in-box
crammed with memos and motions, size of the St. Louis Arch,
When my daughter was three, in those young mothering years of just her and I, the vibrant autumn days when we walked along our Vermont dirt road, picking knotty apples from wild roadside trees, and out of sheer rural loneliness I wished for someone to stop and talk, I wrote a novel.
Twenty-seven is too old for my sister to run away from home, but, after seven unreturned phone calls, I started seeing signs in vegetables.