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Burnside Review - Summer 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 2 Number 1
  • Published Date: Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

If ever you’ve gazed upon artworks born of the Surrealist movement with awe, you’ll readily absorb the concept that not to understand is, in itself, a way of understanding. Just as Surrealists aimed to circle like sharks the locus of aleatory explosion, the subconscious surfacing, spilling forth through the murky waters of convention, so, too, do the writers that comprise the Summer 2005 issue of Burnside Review. In theory, Surrealist art, like artwork of any era, concerns itself foremost with itself, then its audience. Artists aimed to tear at the piñata of despair to reveal the ripe and virile confetti within. This is where some of the work in this issue breaks down, and where some of it really takes off. Whereas Nicole Walker’s poems “As if a fact” and “Where P is P & not P” succeed in their starkly vivid frankness and searing imagery—a pair of severed hands, nipples dragging slowly across a dirt floor—Rob Carney’s “She’s a Pisces; No Wonder I’m Capsized” and “Pour Another Round for the Fiddle Player,” mainly leave the taste of candy hearts in my mouth. And Jen Currin’s poem “String,” an apostrophe to a goat, Lorca-esque in its absurd catalogue of natural images, discomforts me, because it’s so difficult to say why it’s good. Thank you, Carney and Currin; jilt me or give me nothing at all. This unassuming journal is saddle-stitched and born of non-profit origins. The issue is almost entirely poetry, save a pair of reviews and an interview with Kim Addonizio. Though another read-through on the interviewer’s part might have made for a smoother read, Addonizio makes some poignant comments. My favorite, is accessibility in a poet a trait to laud or shadow? This issue of Burnside Review inadvertently answers and refutes this very question. [Burnside Review, P.O Box 1782, Portland, OR 97207. Single issue $6.] —Erin M. Bertram

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Review Posted on January 31, 2006

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