This issue of Pleiades, with its cover depicting George Washington with his scalp on fire, contains a generous review section (nearly half the issue’s pages are devoted to reviews) and a few features, including multiple poems by Kevin Honold and Jap Hopler, with introductions by Cate Marvin and Louise Gluck, respectively. Kevin Honold had a long sectioned poem about the Iraq war, quite topical and all that, but my favorite of his was the brilliant “The Groves of Baal,” meant to echo the Biblical language of the book of Lamentations with an odd, colloquial voice chiming in the background:
Remember the weird stories in Scripture?
Yeah. The sea monsters, even.
Even they nursed their young.
And the evil daughters,
become cruel as ostriches in the wilderness?
Yeah. I was on ostrich.
The reviews section covers everyone from Ted Kooser to Dana Levin to Kent Johnson’s latest chapbook, from Yale Younger poet Richard Siken to Brigit Pegeen Kelly, each review examining the book with enough detail and energy to actually help the reader decide whether or not they might enjoy each book. I always enjoy this journal, and continue to recommend it for its intelligent work with a leaning towards the surreal. [www.cmsu.edu/englphil/pleiades/]