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Magazine Stand :: Cave Wall – #17

Magazine Stand Cave Wall #17 cover image

In the introduction to Cave Wall #17, Editor Rhett Iseman Trull addresses the feeling I’m sure many of us have experienced – repeatedly – given all we witness in the world around us: What good are we doing writing poems? In response, she writes, “I get it. Language feels futile. A poem can’t cure disease or stop a war or bring back the dead. I hear many poets ask it in time of tragedy/atrocity: What good are poems? Well, here. Read this issue. It’s the only way I know who to answer that question.” Helping Trull answer that question in this issue, readers can find poetry by Angelique Zobitz, Dion O’Reilly, Renee Soto, Jeffrey Bean, Benjamin S. Grossberg, Matt Mason, Roxanne Halpine Ward, Abbie Kiefer, Angela Dribben, Devon Miller-Duggan, Erik Jonah, Julie Hanson, Angela Sucich, Dannye Romine Powell, Brady Thomas Kamphenkel, M.L. Brown, Ellen Kombiyil, Ruth Dickey, John Poch, Han Vanderhart, John Krumberger, Brandon Amico, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Anne McCrary Sullivan, and artwork by Elvia Perrin.

Cave Wall Offering Fall Subscription Deal with Feedback

cover of Cave Wall's Winter 2019/Spring 2020 issueFall Subscription Deal: The first 20 people who purchase a 2 year (4 issue) subscription OR a set of back issues may receive feedback on one poem from one of the following Cave Wall editors/poets: Rhett Iseman Trull (Editor), Sandra Beasley (Editorial Advisory Board), Sally Rosen Kindred (Contributing Editor), Renee Soto (Contributing Editor),  Lisa Ampleman, Cathy Smith Bowers, Lauren Camp, Julie Funderburk, Jennifer Grotz, Terry Kennedy, Sandy Longhorn, Amelia Martens, Dayna Patterson, Joel Peckham, Jim Peterson, Molly Spencer, Matthew Thorburn, or Lesley Wheeler.

Visit our subscription page here, if you are interested: www.cavewallpress.com/subscribe.html.

Once you make your purchase, we will email you to set up the details of your poem feedback. Some subscribers have taken us up on this offer but we have 12 spots remaining.

Maggie Smith Writes to America

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

In Cave Wall Number 16, Maggie Smith writes a poem to America. “Tender Age” focuses on the reality of the country, which is decidedly “not what I learned / in grade school.” Instead, this America “caged / even the babies.”

She questions who our laws serve, questions where the country’s conscience lives, or where it’s been removed from. Reminiscing on the past, Smith writes of the street she grew up on and the church she attended, as well as the handbells played there. These memories are unburied again as she wonders whether there will be “neighborhoods / named for this undeclared war” like we’ve named ones “Lexington, / Bunker Hill, Valley Forge.” Finally, the piece ends on the images of the handbells again ins sobering stanza:

America, when we want to silence
the bells, we extinguish
their open mouths
on our chests.

This poem is unfortunately continuously timely and relevant with the continued practice of caging migrant children and following the recent news that another 1,500 have been “lost.” Smith’s poem encourages readers to join in as she speaks to America and against the horrific, harmful systems we’ve created.