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Columbia Poetry Review - Spring 2009

  • Issue Number: Number 22
  • Published Date: Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

Poet Rachel Zucker quotes poet Matt Rohrer in a poem about poems titled “Poem,” which is the first poem in the latest issue of the Columbia Poetry Review:

The other day Matt Rohrer said,
the next time you feel yourself going dark
in a poem, just don’t, and see what happens.

What happens, it seems, is fucking. Beginning with Buck Downs in “my secret job”:

I’d rather start
a fuck
than a fight

And ending (literally, it’s the last poem) with Timothy Liu in “The Famous Poet”:

at my party eyes
the shelves to see if his books
are there. Apparently
not. Stares. Wondering what
the fuck he’s doing there.

Okay. That’s not really a poem about fucking, but fucking as an exclamatory remark about poems. I rest my case. This issue of the journal is about fucking poems.

Here is Maureen Seaton in “Proclivities 2”: “Therefore, poems with cocks in them make me / cease to wax”; and Brandi Homan in “Things Have Been Said: Vol. 1”: “I’ve met women like you before / You’re fucking cool…for a girl”; and Laura Glenum in “from Maximum Gaga. Pelvis Impersonator”:

Esteemed Colleagues –
Females who are promiscuous tend to evolve high sperm counts & large testes. They live in caves, lose their eyes & their color.

And Dolly Lemke in “I Never Went to that Movie at 12:45”: “I wasn’t honest with most of my boyfriends. / I just wanted to have as much sex as possible.” And Emilie B. Lindeman in “Panty#VSO7” from “Panty Poems”: “The woman behind the counter straightened her suit jacket and said the free panty must be pink and pliable, plain also.” And Maureen C. Ewing in “With Her Voice in My Head”:

Who says, I know her? or That no children come from me to love. Who does the asking? Does it matter? Give me the lotus that grows in the house you built in your stomach.
I taught her how to talk about sex. She taught me now to like it.

And there’s also something fucking beautiful, a poem by Bruce Weigl, “Meditation after Prayer,” no less colloquial, but a reminder, nonetheless, that the world is fucking mysterious and that poetry can be fucking amazing: "I am far away sometimes, although not entirely by choice. What happens / after prayer is a question in the form of heat that tingles my spine / just to the edge of pain, where we like it. I can’t say it any other way."
[english.colum.edu/cpr]

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Review Posted on November 16, 2009
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