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Cimarron Review - Winter 2006

  • Issue Number: Issue 154
  • Published Date: Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly

You could sit down and read this issue 100-page issue of the Cimarron Review in a single afternoon, but I wouldn't advise it. The contents of this handsome, deceptively thin journal demand a few long, thought-collecting breaks. The poems and stories here are all packed to bursting with emotion—big, messy, often ugly emotion. Some examples of what I mean by messy: the mother in Susan C. Greenfield's short story, "Binoculars," is not only jealous of her teenage daughter's beauty and budding sexuality, not only protective of that same daughter in the face of a creepy voyeuristic neighbor, she also (and here the mess begins) spies on her daughter herself; in Theodore Worozbyt's poem, "Beautiful Things," the mess is more delicate, but just as complex, composed, as it is, of lettuce seeds, nasturtium petals, old poems, potatoes, a stranger named Gretchen, a beloved wife, cocoa flavored cereal, and the poet's own "hold on dimming things." Much of the work in this issue has a casual, almost conversational tone, and some of it approaches laugh-out-loud funny, in particular Scott Miles' story, "When You're the Mailman," and Charles Haverty's story, "Continuo," both of which are laced with humorous toss-offs that add necessary charm to morally confused first-person narrators. But what most struck me about this issue was the sense of an unwavering editorial presence. Not only are all of the pieces here emotionally powerful, they are powerful in notably unsubtle (raw, rough around the edges) ways. Clearly the editors at Cimarron Review are attracted to depth of feeling over stylistic polish. And although this preference lends itself to the occasional awkward turn of phrase or slightly blocky plot construction, these shortcomings don't matter much in the end, as every word in these pages is sincerely felt, sincerely delivered. []

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Review Posted on April 30, 2006

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