“This is how it ends.” That’s the first line of a poem by Jess Wigent. Could there be a more wonderful beginning? I love it. I don’t necessarily understand it, but I love it. That’s my overall assessment of the issue—weird endings and beginnings I find compelling and exciting and often perfect, even though I don’t necessarily always understand them or believe I can explain them or even know what genre I’m reading. Wigent’s piece, “This One Thing Truly Makes,” is a marvelous prose poem/story with visual complements of post-it-note/memo style fragments. It’s the idea itself of “what truly makes” that makes the journal appealing, the search for essential meaning.
That search for meaning, that elusive and glorious specificity, precision, exactitude of detail and sensation, includes E.C. Belli’s poem “A Cosmology of Light”:
Noontime sun, scars forming on the skin’s surface. Stiff rays
eclipsing the street.
To know light like this. The white kind. The kind so white it is actually
That search for meaning includes the relentlessly talented Rosemarie Waldrop’s prose poem, “Detour”: “The telephone calls, there are too many. So difficult too. All these difficulties to work at work at. Not managing, and you trying to help. In your way.” And another by Adriana Grant, “Don’t Touch Anything”: “A tangle of electric lines overhead. The deer are so graceful, spindly legs propped in the life-size dioramas.” And a poem by Emily Toder that demonstrates the impossibility and simultaneous complete right-ness of the capacity of language to capture a moment in time, “At Dusk in the Dusk”:
at dusk in the dusk the
in dusk at dusk the dusk of baseball glistens
the sky of baseball at dusk spreads
in the dusk at dusk
That search for meaning also includes translations from the French of poet Paul Braffort’s “My Hypertropes” by Amaranth Borsuk and Gabriella Jauregui, published with the originals (yes, thank you!); Louisa Storer’s “Sonnet (8) Ardor”; and fiction by Robert Kloss (“Beneath the Light of an Exploding City”) and Corey Zeller, among others, though these pieces might easily also be classified as long poetry stories or story poetry.
Here is Jasmine Dreame Wagner summing up the issue’s search for meaning in her poem “Black Swans”:
It has been written, is written, will be written
That the first rule is that there are no rules; nothing is forbidden
All that has happened is happening now
All that has happened will happen
But what of our poor view of what it is to see
If all we have to see has been seen
Believe me…you haven’t seen it all until you’ve gotten your hands on this issue of Caketrain.