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The Canary - 2006

I’ll admit it, at first I was intimidated. It was the periwinkle of the front and back covers that mollified my disease. Thing is, my hands aren’t familiar with the heft of a 125 page journal, especially one comprised entirely of poetry, especially one comprised mainly of long poems. On first flip-through they felled me, hard. A substantial journal dedicated entirely to poetry is a sad rarity these days. The Canary is a necessary and matchless one. First Brenda Shaugnessy’s “One Love Story, Eight Takes.” Then Andrew Mister’s “Liner Notes.” Then Alice Notley’s “Logic.” Then Carrie St. George Comer’s “Winnemucca.” Then Raymond McDaniel’s “X  Y  Z.” 1) “Because nothing is truly forgotten and loved.” 2) “People on the street will / tell you things if you stop and listen. I don’t have any money.” 3) ‘‘Please tell me something / with which I’m familiar. / isn’t there another part of now.” 4) “They say it’s a hard exhale, a power sigh, / an extreme haaa, but nothing close to laughing, / the rare opposite of a cough and impossible to capture, / appearing as dust on the lens.” And 5) “My tongue’s getting all funny but speak me those words you said. / ooo  vay  dublavay  eeeks  egreeks  zed.” (The) Canary (n): 1. a small, yellow songbird of the finch family long bred as a cage bird; 2. a sweet white wine; 3. a light yellow; 4. an exceptional journal of various and, at times, progressive quality, often consisting of lengthier poems and generally pleasing its reader with its solid footing and candor. Get your hands on this bird. It's not going anywhere, and going so much further. [www.thecanary.org]

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Review Posted on April 30, 2006
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