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Good Foot - 2005

Quick summary of the use of the term “experimentalism”: Some people impose the label on themselves as a license to do anything, while others get the label applied to them for lack of any better term. Good Foot poetry journal, where it is experimental, sits on the edge of the second camp. Coincidentally, the NASA lab photo scheme is appropriate: Here is poetry that seeks to reach a higher understanding, to communicate with an unknown end. It’s what makes a line like “the aubadal dream urinal of grail-good intentions” fit in place in a poem about the otherwise serious subject of famine. For 76 pages, the poetry never rests. Tom Sheehan, in “When Blue Fails,” shuffles through image pieces that suggest the color (mood?) without naming it (“Wallpaper in a friend’s hallway, / where no light happens”; “This forearm vein a doctor / tries, calls it anfractuous”), while Leslie Hoffman partakes in dissection logic in “Moravia’s Realism”: “If the worm being cut is the worm / of consciousness, we are all increasingly in danger / of awareness (a more specific condition of being / disturbed by reality).” But the best moments in Good Foot aren’t experimental at all. Rynn Williams’ “Chaplin in West Texas” features children overdressed by their elders to protect them from fire ants, and their awkward steps call the Tramp to mind: “stiff legs, / toes turned out, shuffling like encumbered penguins— / what we lacked in bamboo canes and charm we made up / in old bald brooms and lots of eyebrow.” Even if there can never be enough NYC mags, Good Foot surely qualifies as one of the standouts. [Good Foot, Box 681, Murray Hill Station, New York, NY 10156. E-mail: . Single issue $8.] —Christopher Mote

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Review Posted on October 31, 2005

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