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Unsplendid - Summer 2013

  • Image: Image
  • Issue Number: Volume 5 Number 1
  • Published Date: Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle: Triquarterly online

Unsplendid is an online journal that publishes poetry with form, but that form can be rather loose. With forms ranging from sonnets and sestinas to those that are made up for the sake of the poem, Unsplendid’s poems are sure to tackle language, using rhymes and repetition to further the ideas.

In Mary Cresswell’s “Paradelle for Census Night,” lines are repeated, showing the monotony of filling out the census, but as the lines repeat, they evolve:

Mark as many spaces as you need.
Mark as many spaces as you need.
How many people will be filling in a blue form.
How many people will be filling in a blue form.
Mark how many people will be filling spaces,
as blue as you need, in many a form.

Although Frank Gallimore’s poem is titled “Suburban Love,” it is not a sappy love poem; it’s about a love that “can’t come off.” And although in the neighborhood, “some newlyweds / will snuggle on a backyard bench, snicker and talk,” the speaker has left

a sucking catfish concentration
on the soap scummed linoleum and pests
that—like my ears’ refrain (tinnitus, doctors say),
the rings that darken my sinks, layer by yellow layer,
the mark from a ring I used to wear—won’t wash away.

Ben Berman’s “The Slightly Off” plays with words, right from the beginning with the two senses of refrain—“to stop and repeat—hold their stances / like kung fu stars in a poorly dubbed foreign / film.” This is a precursor for the poem in which the other images, too, have multiple meanings.

I’d also recommend reading Kim Bridgford’s “Moral Compass,” Steven Brown’s poem, Amy Glynn Greacen’s “Rue,” and Jeff Hardin’s “Enthusiasm Gap.”
[www.unsplendid.com]

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Review Posted on September 15, 2013
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