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Hawai'i Pacific Review - 2004

Some lovely work here from Hawai'i and beyond, with an emphasis on poems about the natural world, although strong poems and stories consider other subject matter, as well. I was happy to be introduced to poets whose work I had not read before, above all, Joseph Stanton, professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawai'i in Manoa, whose poem "The Hospice Flocks of St. Francis" moves with the quiet, self-assured power of a flock of birds: "The thought of them lingers: flecks of tiny,dark-chocolate birds, / dressed for mourning but full of staying alive,  / ecstatic mouths filling with seeds / and unsolvable small songs." The most unusual, and for that reason, the most fascinating piece in this issue is short fiction by the prolific and talented Wendell Mayo, "Twice-Born World." I'm tempted to call this a prose poem or perhaps poetry prose, although it might also be categorized as sudden fiction, a burst of lyrical tension and a small, tense plot-less plot unfolding inside language that is as finely crafted as poetry: "Stay—and by the double light of the cleft and cowardly moon, we will raise a split ladle to the cold, numb mouth of the twice-born world."
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Review Posted on February 23, 2016
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