Apparently the requirement for good poetry nowadays is the same as the requirement for good contemporary art: that I can’t understand it.
(In fairness, that may say more about me than the poetry or the art…)
I recently read Issue 42 of the Potomac Review, and I managed to find one poem that I not only understood (I think) but also enjoyed, one poem that I definitely understood and enjoyed, and a couple that I enjoyed parts of but mostly didn’t understand. The rest… “Huh?”
I won’t tell you which category this came from, but here, enjoy the last stanza from “Signs” by Marjory Wentworth:
I have let the water pull me for miles,
for years. I’ve watched birds turn
their heads in my direction. I didn’t notice
all the signs surrounding me. But I have
felt the stars throbbing like hearts
in the darkness. It has something to do with love,
and the way it hides and waits
in places we never expect to find it.
Also in that issue was “Harvard Man” by Michelle Brafman, which was a FANTASTIC story, the kind I’d love to write myself — and think I maybe could, someday. I contacted her (via her husband’s email address, which was more or less the only thing that turned up on Google) to let her know how much I enjoyed it, and she very graciously replied with thanks and encouragement on my own writing. Another point for Nice Writers!
“Alice Dale” by Laura Albritton was the other story I quite liked.
Immediately after finishing the Potomac, I gobbled up THE KITE RUNNER (my thoughts on its AMAZING-NESS here) and now I’m onto The Cincinnati Review 4.1. It feels good to be reading this much, so hopefully I keep it up. Though writing more might not be so bad either…