Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
|Issue Nine, Winter 2005
The Winter Lobster
"Currently, an empty circle has appeared / where months ago a snowman collapsed. Its infrastructure—too sad to continue. / Yet there is much to learn from a dissolving / humanoid form. All flesh is made of tears for instance / and a portion of grit."
—Dean Young, from "Yellow Sports Car"
When it rose up above the island and spread its wings, the markings on them seemed to resemble a vast, screaming face, unfolding against the sky then folding again, then again unfolding. It was as though heaven itself was giving vent to its anguish, as beat upon beat the great creature ascended.
—Clive Barker, from "The Abarat"
Fish and Lobster by Folke LindenblattAbout the Artist
Breathless. Torn. And like many others before me, I limped toward poetry dragging a ball of torment chained right to my very life. Thankfully, in the seventh grade, I discovered and was drawn into the haunting melody of Edgar Allan Poe:
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee—
—Edgar Allan Poe, from "Annabel Lee", (1849).
Looking back now, I am certain it was the first time in my life that I had recognized and actually believed in love. Perhaps I even realized I needed it. Poetry was my first counselor. And yes, today, especially as the nights grow longer and the skyscrapers begin winking on and off as I walk to the El, I enjoy my poetry darker, darker and darker still.
The beginning of every winter, I yearn for my music to be haunting, my scarves to be long and my opera suicidal. It is no secret that as the ball of misery gets farther away and I am maimed by joy more and more every day, I wrench pain toward me. Certainly, this haunt of winter has revealed a much darker issue and with elegance, Rebecca Loudon delivers suffering like delicatessen in her poem, Rabbit Skin Glue. She also notably exalts the complexities of both emotion and body in, Have your bacon and eggs, have your toast.
With tone masterfully controlled, terror becomes both true and beautiful in Tom Patterson's Moonleaves Near Anzio, 1943. This Dark Lowing by Lissa Kiernan unfolds as a self punch into the heart, a chest pain, a deep desire "to savor each slowly diminishing limb." Her etchings at heartache sting like poisoned braille.
Informal and with eager verse, it is Yvonne Hortillo that remarkably reminds us the maladies of humanity with, the condition of fingernails and E. Starling's poems are like tiny songbirds departing, fading and returning from a nest of need and sorrow. Her poetry awakens the reader and reminds the writer to "recollect the dream, write it down." With imagery drawn from deep inside the creases of a half open hand, Anna Husain invites you to see "[the] thread, immaculate as worms to touch" and white space actually disquiets the reader in Matthew Friaf's poem in absentia.
Reality kicks the shit out of Pessimism in Robert Wynne's Tealight Gets a Paper Cut and with a column of tension, Corey Mesler gathers us back into a fist only to point out that "sometimes the floor is too far away." In a poem delivered from the slice, slice of a sushi knife, Suzume Shi will drench you in good-bye with, Yanagi (tanrenga). Pleasantly, oh so pleasantly and with careful lines like "how restful it is to saw and no one says a word," Simon Perchik spreads the virus of mortality like airborne bird flu and self-destruction has never been as tantalizing as Sean Kilpatrick's petite waste-fields of never her.
I invite you; drink-up the darkness of disturbance and fill your mouth with the brisk winter intensity—bold belch of the Lobster. AND, tell me you are satisfied.
Editor, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal