The Burnside Review’s CD-case size fits snugly in my purse, a place from where I’ve pulled and read it the last couple weeks, despite the fact the issue is all about LA, and I’m a snobby Portlander. Sid Miller, Burnside Review’s editor, acknowledges the Portlander’s aversion to LA, then shows it’s unfounded – at least literary-wise – by including excellent LA writers and writing.
I liked a number of poems, including David Harris-Gershon’s funny and pathetic “Job’s Confession Before Committing Suicide,” C. Davidson’s succinct and insightful “Here,” and William Archila’s “Nicaragua in Black & White,” a child’s perspective on a political upheaval, which ends “I only want to be a boy / and not the men buried in the land.” I also enjoyed Julia Y’s comic strip, “Palms,” at the issue’s center, which makes fun of Californians who don’t want to rid themselves of their palm trees, despite the fact these trees are both foreign to the region and have deleterious effects.
Sid Miller talks with Wanda Coleman, the only interview in this issue. At the end of their discussion, he asks her where she would suggest a writer visit in LA. Her response is a mini-guide to literary LA, which readers will find interesting, especially if they’re ever around that area. It also set me thinking: where would I tell the literary crowd to go if they were visiting Portland? I guess I have some research to do.