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Five Points - 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 10 Number 3
  • Published Date: 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Triannual
A capricious God, a toad-killer with a nine iron, and a broke gambler whose only joy in the world is Howard Stern, walk into a bar called Five Points. The only question is, why aren’t you there already? This issue serves up poetry ranging from Charles Simic’s “Metaphysics Anonymous” (“The unreality of our being here, / an additional quandary we are cautioned / not to concern ourselves”) to Richard Howard’s challenging but compelling re-vision (“Look again, look closer.”) of Peter Paul Reuben’s painting, “The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus by Castor and Pollux.” Howard writes, “memory takes some time to compose / itself into a story all of us want to believe, / although of course it wasn’t like that.” These lines brought a 17th century painting of a myth directly into contemporary life—no small feat. There are smaller moments captured in the poems here as well, from David Wagoner’s snapshot “In the Green Room” to Jane Hirschfield’s tiny, haunting “Rainstorm Visibly Shining in the Left-Out Spoon of a Leaf.” Susan Wood’s “The Soul Bone” ended sentimentally. Though I appreciated Jana Martin’s observation that “Red-haired girls keep their hearts quietly inside,” perhaps the trio of red-haired girls made “Galletas” feel emotionally inert. Happily, Virginia Beth Shield’s gorgeous portraits of a Southern family provided the opposite reaction. In “What Kind of God are You?,” Michael Griffith offers trenchant thoughts on the relationship between writers and their creations, with an assist from Mark Twain, who Griffith quoted at length on the propriety, efficacy, and occasional necessity of character-drowning. []
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Review Posted on July 30, 2014

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