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CUE - Winter 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 3 Issue 1
  • Published Date: Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

This slender, elegant prose poetry journal is full of rhythmically lucid, semantically challenging works. The digital ululations of Andrew Zawacki’s “Roche Limit” crackle with imagistic suggestiveness never yielding to static; Jason Zuzuga’s tight-lipped description of abandoned cargo containers in “Donald Judd” proves that “nothing” can be bordered, defined, organized, and given a delightful shape. Most successful are David Lehman’s wry facsimiles, particularly “Poem in the Manner of Ernest Hemingway.” Cue’s esoteric subject matter may not always be accessible to the poetic amateur, and, oftentimes, the ironic voids of these pieces feel a little too deliberately constructed. In weaker efforts, emphasis is placed on the structure of the artifices themselves, resulting in “proems” that leave an impression of awkward solipsism – and little else. Brian Clements’ “Subject Positions” (a series of “grammatical” “definitions”), while containing several hilarious examples of syntactic peek-a-boo, more often seems recursively paranoid, as in: “We’re not going anywhere. We’re not going anywhere. We’re not going anywhere…” or, “I’m in the theater. I’m in the water. We’re in the atmosphere. Where are we?” Well, nowhere really. Though many of the charges levied against contemporary poetry could be brought against Cue – Los Alamosized imaginative flights, obscure obsessions, bias for wordplay at responsibility’s expense – these are ultimately shallow criticisms, for which the journal’s content does more than compensate. Cue’s contributors are nothing if not linguistically vivacious - thrusting their arms through the bars of the ivory tower windows, creating not passions, not explosions, but ripples through the hot, arid air with forceful, controlled, consistent motions.

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Review Posted on June 07, 2016

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