Saturday, March 17, 2007

Review of /nor (New Ohio Review), Spring, 2007

Review of /nor (New Ohio Review). Spring, 2007.

Available here:

1. From: The New Form?

Is it just me, or is everyone writing the new American epic? Look at the table of contents in this beautiful literary journal (and I will expand on the ‘beautiful’ word choice anon) and you will get my meaning. Kristen Prevallet is from “The Distance between Here & After,” Noah Eli Gordon and Joshua Marie Wilkinson are from “Figures for a Darkroom Voice,” Carla Harryman is from “Adorno’s Noise.” I could continue. So many “froms” must reflect editorial decisions that I must applaud. These editors believe in the American epic and lo, that epic cannot fit into the space of a literary journal.
I’m not sure if there is a whole from which these froms have come. If your from came from a whole, please email me for I would like to know. Derrida awaits. From personal experience, all of my from poems have come from nothing and I just wrote the word ‘from’ for ease of classification. I will assume that’s just me.

2. The Beauty of the Thing

My sister is getting her PhD in Art History at Mc Gill University (the Harvard of Canada) where they teach you something called “Thing Theory.” We don’t learn that kinda shit in the Deep South. I don’t know anything about “thing theory” but oh look…there’s a wiki entry. Yeah, thing theory totally relates to /nor.

Side Note: Editors—keep this beautiful thing a going. Way too many journals like /nor come out with one issue that’s excellent and then the staff changes at the university and BAM—it’s back to the same conventional poems.

P.S. It’s a beautiful thing to get a review copy in the mail—that by the way ends up in your boyfriend’s pickup truck—and then finally gets to your office the next day. In my hands, this object has become a thing. The thing! Jesus, god, it’s alive. It’s alive.

3. Connect These American Poets from /nor with Their Lines of Poesy

A. Jarnot, Lisa:

B. Clay, Adam

C. Mister, Andrew

D. Tharp, Shannon

1. o dog and treadmill / power have / to push the cat and wheel

2. your plague paraphrased in a single word / still unspoken

3. the sky’s the color of urine, the color of the spine of Robert Creeley’s collected poems.

4. lost things go / somewhere. // Or place / is belated.

Side Note Two:

Look, my friends soon to be (maybe) Dr. Sandman has got to read a whole lot of Marjorie Perloff in PhD school. So she has absolutely, positively no desire TO READ HER OUTSIDE OF CLASS IN A LITERARY JOURNAL.

4. An excellent magazine, my friends. Keep up the good work.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Review of Joe Massey's November Graph

Sandman’s Review of Joseph Massey’s November Graph

Chapbook Available at


Connect the Dots…Today, my ex-boyfriend called me a “Media Whore” for publishing a poem in a magazine for which he has no respect. November Graph is dedicated to “Shannon.” I wish it were dedicated to me. It will become a sensation, a collector’s item, and how I wished to be a small part of its genisis.


November Graph is sitting on the edge of something—a antique chair with a red velvet cushion. It’s a car with two wheels on one side of the cliff and two wheels on the other: “toward / a row / of eucalyptus.”


Phenomenology can be disappointing when put into hands that cannot craft the hands that craft them. This is not an example. The white space is carving a place for the world to shatter the world. Listen:


half a humming-

bird’s body
swallowed by

one of the few
fuchsias left.

Which makes me think: Speech slurs. Birds swerve. Words are swallowed. We say what the world cannot. The body is only ever half the body. Half-life-- and so the world moves forward, edges, off the cliff.


And then there is the fact that “words / occur / to gather.” Why so much buzzing in these poems that are so un peopled. I mean the buzzing language of the world devoid of nature that is the nature it comes to. This buzzing that is carved out of the white space. The foliages “flinch (es)” and that is human. The house is abuzz with the music of the world and it moves—no, it “sifts” out—over the world.


Make sense now of this:

Robert Creeley “Hanging on the weather’s edge…” The epigraph to Massey’s little book. An animal torn from the fog. Go little book.
This is a poetry review blog. The spirit of this blog---wild, fun, crazy, poetry reviews. Soon to be Dr. Sandman will review your book if she likes it.