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Borderlands - Fall/Winter 2006

  • Subtitle: Texas Poetry Review
  • Issue Number: Number 27
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

There's nothing particularly distinctive about Borderlands, but it does contain some fine poems, and there's nothing wrong with that. Many of the poets here take small moments for their subject matter, suggesting larger introspection, as in a poem by Eric James Cruz. Here, an early morning run in a beautiful, pastoral place puts the poet in a meditative state of mind: “It is good to come here, / this happens to be your life, / this cradle of dark things, / this place in need of naming.” Another, completely different trip through nowhere comes from Alexis Quinlan in “On the Wye,” in which a couple gets lost and has a bit of a spat as “[ . . . ] a vast wall of bleak / kept somersaulting at [them]; it was a goddamn / Ted Hughes poem nailed to the scary green tit / of England.” Jennifer Gresham's “Funeral Home” finds the narrator, with a dying man named Harold, fighting a yard full of weeds, both knowing full well that they can only pull out enough to set up lawn furniture for a brief while. At night, she swears she can hear the weeds returning, singing a sorrowful dirge. And there is one poem, “a white kite flying,” by first-timer Charles Thomas that defies an easy explanation (or brief quote), but effectively uses rhythm and repetition to create a sense of mystery, sadness, futility, and beauty all at once. For these and many more solid poems, this is a great journal worth exploring. 

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Review Posted on June 07, 2016

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