Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Texas Muse

More from our fiscally embarrassed cousins to the north - 32 Poems is a smart little A5 poetry mag out of Texas Tech University that publishes poems of 32 lines or less. Basically the tendency is toward the succint and tautly lyrical in a late Robert Frost, Roethke kind of way. Somehow Sandra Beasley gets away with a compelling 55-line poem entitled "The Wake", resplendent in that grand tradition of Americans abroad

The girls, they are finishing now, they are yawning,
and the gondolier mutters for his lunch.
As they pull away from the canal's slick edge

the water holds, for a breath, the shape of their passing.
He knows no plate could manage that wet cleave,
no pastel give more than the dimmest echo

of that blue lack.


The editor, Deborah Ager, runs a tight ship, and there is a consistent tone that runs through this issue that whispers of "writing class". But this is fabulous, inventive, vibrant poetry that has graduated well beyond any school. There are one or two try-hards, but at least they try. All in all well worth the few rusty pennies I spent on a subscription. 32 poems gets a big thumbs up from Justin Lowe. Just click on the post heading for more.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Thanks for the mention. Deborah at 32.