Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
Issue Eleven
Summer 2006
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Issue Eleven,  Summer 2006
A Summer Lobster for the Fall

We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.
~ Jeffrey Eugenides, from The Virgin Suicides

When you hand me the sparrow
                      astonishment across my eyes like (happy birthday! A surprise
                                 should stretch the lusty part of night)
                                        ~ Megan Johnson from the Waiting

       Art never fails to fascinate me; poetry continues to surprise. Creativity breathes life into all things. I am amazed and enchanted by the creations of humanity; from the Parthenon to The Magic Flute to The Autobiography of Red to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, it is mankind’s creativity and devotion to creation that astonishes me —the beautiful fragments in life— that seem to fascinate me.

       a well in the Parthenon-throat        rhinestones on fire

       Just creating the tiny, small-press Arsenic Lobster requires a startling amount of energy and I am grateful that Associate Editor Clarissa and Webmaster George volunteer so much of it. I am also thrilled to have two new Associate Editors! It is with great delight that I introduce you to new Lobster Associate Editors, Lissa Kiernan and Katherine Blackbird. I met Lissa over two years ago during an online writing workshop and we have been working together ever since. You can find some of her poetry in the archives. And I met Katherine at Kent State University in her poetry writing workshop. She is teacher, mentor and a fellow student but most of all she is a supportive and devoted friend. I am thrilled the two of them are joining the Lobster race!

       heart swinging like a bell        blinded by the glory of a cataract

       Also announcing the printed 2006 issue! If you have not yet purchased the gorgeous, perfect-bound, glossy, Summer 2006 printed issue of Arsenic Lobster, what are you waiting for? It is easy—just download an order form from our archives page. Luxuriate in the electric and violet salmon-green sky in print and behold a place where sea lavender puff fire.

       starfish aching to blaze        silver mountains on stilts

       Another fabulous summer issue of the Lobster requires another fabulous lobster painting. Mark DeMuro’s, Family Lobster Races, makes me both happy and anxious. The tiny white tennis shoes, the smiling, galloping lobsters, the mother’s short-short skirt, the baby in diapers and the father rearing in his tuxedo, all delight me. The painting is imaginative and refreshing—it feels like the perfect family outing. But still, I am worried for the lobsters (or should I be worried for the family?); there is silverware looming at the edge of the table.

       unskinned in silence        her face, an artistic mess

       Just when you thought there was no relief to the summer sizzle, Amy Seigel’s poem, Blizzard, Left Unsaid, perfectly captures the quietness of winter— the weightlessness of snow just at the edge of foreplay. That which is unsaid, is left to the imagination. On the other hand, Robyn Alter’s poem, Locked Doors with an insistent, manic and often schizophrenic voice makes art out of senselessness—art from the struggle for sanity in a place where the air inside was like syrup—a place where I fret about the welfare of the narrator.

Family Lobster Races by Mark DeMuro
Family Lobster Races by Mark DeMuro
About the Artist

       the thin dip of your chest        counting fires

       Emily East's free verse, I am Delilah, is filled with strife and subtle images— a gothic doll in an unsealed package. This is a poem with teeth and with no real resolution. A poem that, after reading, I am left with a choking feeling at my throat—acid reflux. And it is Anne Heide who vividly paints a pastoral relationship between her three October poems with precise, often simple, yet delicate words. Ted Lardner’s two heartfelt poems, Poem for a Son and Check-in, leave the reader teetering on the edge of emotion—now chicory cries blue.

       shadows like sheets        clawing a clutch of stars

       Luke C Schlueter’s quirky couplets, Burning Eyes, gracefully explain just what is in the nest of the heavens. I am certain you too will be surprised. Self-Anointed by David Blaine fascinates me—the energy, the hint of bitterness, the originality—plasma sparks and rail dust. Amber Flaiz's poem, Phone Calls pt. I, rattles-on with authenticity and fervor—surely their voices still spin about.

       amid the oregano        the lifelines curling

       Gary Stepped in Front of a Train Today by Magdalena Alagna is not a pleasing poem but from the very first sentence to the burnt flies twisted in the windowsill to the shiny worms of scars on his arms, clearly one cannot stop reading about Gary. Penny Dryer writes of regret, of something gone out. Summer Storm, 1963 is both a poem about a storm and about more than that. It is Jack Zall's somber poem, And Everyone Has Forgotten Her, that reminds me of the darkness in deep sea—in oneself, and how difficult it often is to forgive. Lastly, Chris Crittenden delights me with the fruitiness of artists in Orange in the Desert—a perfect dessert.

I leave you to dine on the summer Lobster and to tell me you are sated.

Susan Yount
Editor, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal

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