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Literary Bohemian – Summer 2011

The editor’s note of Issue 12 of Literary Bohemian promises an escape for summer, urging readers to “let the summer change the equation to x = why.” Through 17 poems, all rich with setting, the issue definitely accomplishes this goal.

The editor’s note of Issue 12 of Literary Bohemian promises an escape for summer, urging readers to “let the summer change the equation to x = why.” Through 17 poems, all rich with setting, the issue definitely accomplishes this goal.

Melissa Carroll writes about being in a cantina, vividly painting the feeling of freedom and being where one wants to be: “As if in answer, a thunderclap // chars all that blueness, a gesture against impossibility. / Suddenly these chickens, the tequila, are perfect.”

With her excerpt “Peacocks,” Sarah Kay takes readers to a cement rooftop where Ravi, a young man, asks the speaker to write a love letter for a girl he likes. Giving him a letter riddled with clichés, she wishes she could’ve written him a different letter, a letter that captures Ravi’s gentleness and the night: “The peacocks are enormous. They sound like cats. No one seems to pay them very much mind, but the males dance across all the rooftops of the village, begging for someone to notice their tails.”

Aiding readers in their escape, Andrew Kuhn brings them to Park Avenue with his lighthearted poem “Park Avenue, espresso.” With his quick, fun read, he describes types of doormen: “skittery, twitchy doormen with that junkie sidle / doormen who anyone could see should not be doormen” and “drink-blasted doormen scored and scoured / capillary disaster-red roadmap faces,” until I could picture these characters standing beside their doors.

In his poem “Hot, or Why I Boogie,” Edmond Menchavez takes readers to Aguilar Street and a magical night when the speaker spots a boy who mimics Michael Jackson in the dim light of the only streetlamp on their road, “he made a planet fit on a dirt road, / turned a streetlight to a spotlight, / with just his sandals and nothing / and everything.”

“Prairie Sure” by Carol Light captures life in the country. She paints pictures of corn fields and “The dust, the heat, distrusted, the screen door / slapping as the slat-backed porch swing sighs,” and questions if she’d miss any of it.

In this issue of Literary Bohemian, each poem so vividly captures setting, whisking readers away into their promised escape. As Janice D. Soderling writes in “Constants and Variables,” as she takes a walk with her dog she says, “I know the whats, the why is yet to learn,” a further reminder to allow this summer to turn all y’s into whys.
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