Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Coconut, Octopus, Pettycoat

Sometimes I think I've exhausted the poetry ezines in terms of reading, but there are a lot more out there than you might find in the usual listings. I spent some time today going through three I hadn't read before.

The one I enjoyed most was Coconut. Their second issue has poems by Elaine Equi and Jessy Randall. I'm a fan of both of those poets, the first famous, the second hopefully someday. I didn't read the whole issue, though I plan to. My favorite poem was Jessy Randall's "Forgetting Simon Perchik." It was funny and musical. His website declares him as the "most widely published, most unknown poet" or something like that. Probably where she got the idea. I recently read a poem somewhere by Perchik but, and pardon the pun, I forget where and whether or not I liked it. Elaine Equi's "Ciao Bella Chocolate Sorbet" was also good, as was Arielle Greenberg's "The Little Cars: A Birthday Poem." Coconut is also working on a couple of e-chapbooks which I look forward to. All free!

I also enjoyed issue 6 of Octopus Magazine, which definitely had the best layout of the three I looked at. Very nice. One of the best things about it is the editors' intros to the poets. One of the bad things was sometimes the intros were better than the poems. I did like Jill Beauchesne's "East Village Work Unit, 2," and Betsy Wheeler's non-sonnets ("Last night, while sleeping, I bent everything I own/in half..."). The first issue also has three wonderful poems by Matthea Harvey. I wish more magazines would introduce the work of its selected poets. It really helps draw in the reader.

Some of the poems in Octopus were too clever for me, ie full of disconnected if punchy words and images that didn't make sense as a whole and left me shrugging my shoulders. I don't know, I think I'm an intelligent reader. I read poetry (a wide variety) for years and years before I attempted a word myself, so what am I missing? I find a lot of contemporary poetry like this. Am I a philistine? I hope not. I hope I'm not "missing it."

The ezine I least enjoyed was Pettycoat Relaxer because it was dominated by the clever. But it had its moments. I did like Aaron Tieger's "Last Thought before Sleeping," and Ellen Goldstein's "Reprieve," which seemed a little out of place in this zine.

1 comment:

Bob Hoeppner said...

I'll have to check 'em out. Thanks for the tip, Sarah.

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