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