Some lovely, carefully crafted and enticing work here, including poems by Joan I. Siegel, Lynnell Edwards, and Kate Gleason, as well marvelous hybrid work (verse, prose poem, prose) by Nancy Eimers, and Christina Mengert, who is interviewed by Amy Wright. Wright’s questions are provocative (“Do you have recurring dreams?”). Mengert’s responses to Wright’s questions are as captivating as the excerpts from her piece, “Anatomy of Ascent.” Of the reference to “true things” that appears in the work, Mengert says:
I imagined truth to be a kind of prison – a word or idea used to restrict the freedom of another person, to lock them into a specific world-view, to make their thoughts and actions predictable somehow…And yet…the word is not the thing…The line, ‘I never meant to care about true things’ I suppose I offer as a kind of confession: from an intellectual mistrust of the word and its use, an anxiety about these kinds of ideas in my own work, to a recognition of something transcendent which bears the word truth on its back because we do not have a word sufficient to the task of revealing this thing.
Wright also interviews poetry star Rae Armantrout (three of her poems appear here as well). More provocative questions and answers. Armantrout’s poems, typically, are cryptic, cautious, deceptively small (tiny lines, large spheres of meaning).
Nonfiction is intelligent and distinctive, including Brenda Miller’s clever meditation on the word (and object) “tongue,” and Carrie Shipper’s “Ghost Traffic,” which really is about a phenomenon called “ghost traffic.” Miller, too, is interviewed by Amy Wright. More clever repartee here (on the tongue theme).
Four short stories round out the issue, including “Remarkable” by Dina Cox, a story one can’t help but wanting to read as it begins, “When I was nine years old, I watched my grandfather burn down the family business.”