More poems than plays, the drama here consists of three short, one-act pieces.
More poems than plays, the drama here consists of three short, one-act pieces. Jim Quinn’s “Her Deer Story” stands out as a play that is at once comical and horrifying. A woman recounts an evening in which she is arguing with her man when their car is slammed into by a deer. The grisly incident has given the woman a moment of pause, but she lets the man convince her that it is of no consequence. As for poems, the work here tends to skirt into the obtuse, but there are some great picks. Stephanie Dickinson’s “Super 80, 1946” looks at an old wedding home movie and ponders all that these people don’t know is coming – not only personal illnesses and deaths, but the bizarre facts of modern times: “That dead men’s sperm make babies and pig / hearts sewn into human chests beat. That cows fed sheep / brains go insane.” In “It Happens in Kansas” by Kevin Griffith, a twister brings Oz’s Tin Man into the Heartland (“Pa hoped we could sell him / to the freak show carney at the county fair.”) Included is Gabrielle LeMay’s prize-winning chapbook, Pandora’s Barn. LeMay’s work is haunting and strange, filled with surreal imagery – good stuff indeed. [Poems & Plays, Gaylord Brewer, Department of English, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Single issue: $6. http://www.middleenglish.org/poemsandplays/index.html] – JQG