Call doesn’t include contributors’ notes, but few of these poets require them. The twenty poets represented here include Diane Wakoski, Annie Finch, Peter Gizzi, Virgil Suarez, Rachel Hadas, Nathaniel Mackey, Cole Swenson, Mary Jo Bang, and Jerome Rothenberg, among other poetry greats.
Call doesn’t include contributors’ notes, but few of these poets require them. The twenty poets represented here include Diane Wakoski, Annie Finch, Peter Gizzi, Virgil Suarez, Rachel Hadas, Nathaniel Mackey, Cole Swenson, Mary Jo Bang, and Jerome Rothenberg, among other poetry greats. Perhaps the most unusual and therefore most fascinating work in this issue is by Anne Tardos (a piece which must surely be part of her larger “simian series”)—five poems that consist of black and white photographs of monkeys with what read like poetry captions underneath. Here is the poem titled “Life”:
A life terminated is still a life, while a life about to be terminated
may be less so.
The world minus me is not the same as never having been.
The world is what it is because I say so. Had I, or anyone else,
not existed, someone else would have—but try and prove it.
Is a coincidence or terribly smart editing that has placed Campell McGrath’s poem “3:a.m.” with this epigraph from Rilke, “Yes, everything that is truly seen must become a poem,” immediately after? McGrath contributes three beautiful poems, as philosophically driven as the simian poems, but as unlike them in tone and diction as they could possibly be: “…hazy sun barely risen / above sandy flats of bayberry and waving reeds.” It’s impossible not to admire Call’s ambitions, from Kenneth Goldsmith’s “A3,” a poem constructed of the juxtaposition of 9/11 news and editorial texts with the language of American retail establishments (slogans, jargon, advertising text, brand names), to excerpts from Pamela Lu’s “Ambient Parking Lot,” about a group of musicians who have made a career of recording the sounds of parking lots: “Spurred by the challenge of transforming ourselves into worthy agents for our art, we set out to inhabit the conditions of creation.”