Monday, January 14, 2008

A Review: Goblin Fruit Winter 08

So many of the poems in this issue were excellent in either storytelling or wordplay, and so many excelled in both, that I hardly know where to begin in letting you know what I like. Where to start?

JoSelle Vanderhooft's two pieces were, as hers always seem to be, strong. I very much liked "The Explorer's Daughter," but it was "Death Enters a Mother's Service" that had me crouched in front of the monitor scrolling up and down and up again to read and reread. Elements there of Walter de la Mare and Rosetti, strong images and rhythms, heartbreak and beauty. Lovely work.

Robert Borski's "The Bashful Young Swain at the Ogre's Cotillion" made me raise my eyebrows and laugh aloud with pleasure.

Sophanny Marin's "The Choke-Damp"...ah, what a poem. This is definitely one of my favorites, and I need to find a way to let her know. I think that by which I am most struck in this poem is her adeptness in bringing the world of faerie and the modern world into such graceful, frightening and heartbreaking juxtaposition. Well done.

Maureen McQuerry's "Selkie" is a study in wonderful line breaks (always tricky and potentially awkward!) and language that sings in both sound and sense. McQuerry is someone whose work I will be watching in the future. If all her poems are as well crafted as "Selkie" and "Chesire" (another poem I loved in this issue), I can't wait to read her books.

Jennifer Crow's "Twelve Swans" also was exquisite and exceptionally wonderful technically as well as lyrically and narratively. She has a skill in poetic construction that shines as she spins the familiar tale of the twelve swan brothers into a new poetic form with each section. Brava!

And finally, I couldn't comment on Goblin Fruit's Winter 08 issue without mentioning "Revisiting the Maiden's Tower" by Stacy Cowley, a piece that gave--and continues to give--me chills, with its images both beautiful and horrific.

These were probably my favorite pieces, but the other poems were wonderful as well and deserve a read, especially by anyone with an appreciation for mythopoetic literature. Old fairy tales spun in new directions, silk kimonos, ravens, seals, cherries and snow and a saint... It is easy to become lost here. Tie a string to your wrist as you enter, to be sure of finding your way back out.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Publication: Goblin Fruit

This morning a wonderful email waited impatiently in my inbox to be discovered. The Winter '08 issue of Goblin Fruit (which I wrote about earlier) is out at last, and in it, "Night Augur", a poem of my "own pure brain." To my surprise and deep pleasure, the Editors Who Shall Be Adored have even used it as a prologue to the issue, may-their-names-be-praised-forever.

Seriously, I am very happy and very grateful.

(There's even audio!)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Someday You'll Have Children Just Like You...

The Younger Daughter is the liviliest of our bunch. Great Scott and I are, as The Older Daughter likes to remind us, aged and slow, and her sister, as Great Scott and I like to remind her, is energy conservative (save her father prefers the briefer, 4 letter word in all its simplicity). This means that The Younger Daughter often finds herself wandering about the house forlornly looking for something interesting to do while the other three members of the family are preoccupied. Christmas break has evidently been especially hard on her, but ever the innovative child, she managed to entertain herself with pen and pencil. The results are telling.

Once upon a time there was a little dragon. Now she was a good little dragon. Her family hoarded not gems but books. The little dragon got on nerves a lot. Though she tried her best she always got on other dragons' nerves.

One day she was bored, and she'd read all her Humanology books. So she went to her sister who was reading.

"Leave me alone. I don't have any ideas. Now go away!" her sister snapped. Then she burned the little dragon's backside very fiercely, and the little dragon left her sister to the book.

So the little dragon went to her mother who was also reading.

"I'm bored. Do you have any ideas of what to do?"

Her mom was not in a good mood. "Youngling, you are taking your life into your claws. The only things that stands between you and my snapping sanity is this book!" her mother answered and gave her a good whack with it.

Sadly the little dragon left to find her father. Suddenly her father flew in the lair and removed the umbrella from over the book he brought.

"Daddy..." the little dragon began.

"I'm reading. Leave me alone, Child!" and he lashed her with his tail.

By now the little dragon's backside was hurting miserably, so she made an ice pack and lay down. Then she drew. She drew dragons killing with flame, diamond spear and tail. The her parents came in with her sister and saw the painting and realized the suffering they had caused her and asked for forgiveness, and the little dragon gave them just that, and her family learned to think before they acted.