amongst books

amongst books

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Poetry at the Zine Off

February 5, 2014 - Pressed

Pearl Pirie's broadside "POLYVOCA" combines whimsical sound play and unique turns of phrase with poignant thoughts, such as "what we have in comma/is this:/the om in/commotions/the calm in commotions/the mot in it/the moths in us/with a broken wing/inside breath, yes breast,/yes breath"

Nina Jane's chapbook is "an investigation into the meaning of hips with a particular focus on the pelvis…" & includes images, facts & poems.  The poems here are sensual, physical & kinetic, full of life. NJ offers some fine slant rhyme & sound play in her poems.

Avonlea Fotheringham's beautifully made little book entitled "Acknowledgements and Poems" comes with a CD recording of some of her longer pieces. There's a depth and passion to her writing that I admire. My favourite was the playful "On Falling in Love with Dead White Guys, which imitates the styles of poets Eliot, Keats, cummings, Rimbaud & Donne.

Jeff Blackman & Justin Million collaborated on a collection called "leg brain," which features a sexy fishnet stockinged leg in a high heel, covered up with a lamp shade, reminiscent of a surrealist's collage or piece of visual art from that era.  the work inside is playful, humorous, sexual, down-to-earth with poems about strip clubs. the two poets work well together. both have a sense of the absurd & the beautiful.


Chris Johnson's "Barrier, III Well" is a small blue book with stapled title square in newsprint & insides covered in coffee stains. It begins with a melancholy epigraph from Nadine McInnis' "Two Hemispheres"  & continues the theme of madness from McInnis' book with small poems articulating madness, alcohol, anorexia,  melancholy & estrangement. Johnson's body of work so far is full of elusive love & the speaker's sexual activities. These poems have a great deal of bite & tension. there's a poignancy to this work: "the barrier between me and well."

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