Friday, March 06, 2009
Court Green 6
Cora Jacobs, Managing Editor
Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
Copyright © 2009 by Columbia College Chicago
Review by Zvi A. Sesling
Court Green 6 is an annual publication of Columbia College Chicago and a whopper of magazine with 65 pages of poems and another 62 pages entitled “Dossier: Letters.”
Let me begin with the poems. There were so many I liked it is difficult to highlight some. However, Charles Jensen’s poem “Barcelona, City of the Sad Divas” speaks in a language of creativity that fascinates and frightens a reader, while being exhilarating.
Here from the middle of his poem are a few lines, but I recommend you read the whole poem for its full impact:
Where men felt anxious, they offered
two bee-stung lips for company.
Where men felt abandoned, they offered
torn up pictures of forgotten parents
They provided salt for every wound, every corner
of the city was ripe with good junk.
Where they offered junk, they substituted
coffee grounds, homemade breakfasts.
Other poets in this volume include Michael Homolka, Kate Greenstreet, Ron Padgett, and
then there’s Shana Cleveland’s “Chickenfight at the old lake tonight” from I select the second of four short paragraphs:
At the place everyone goes there were
movies and loneliness. There were big pillows for
sitting and popcorn but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This one too is worth reading in its entirety and depending on the kind of poetry you like
there is something in here for everyone.
However, the most fun I had was reading the section entitled “Dossiers: Letters.”
They are poems and prose poems opening with Rachel Loden’s “Dear Question Mark”
which is a poetic letter to the rock singer of 96 Tears. A clever ditty indeed.
Teddy Macker has several letters entitled “The Cockeyed Prayers” which live up to their names such as ‘TO EVERY PRETTY GIRL I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE,” “MARATHON FEELER” and others.
Alice Notely, wife of the late Ted Berrigan chimes in a series of letter poems, one of which she wrote with Allen Ginsberg back in ’82:
I walked past Leven’s window on Mirror Street
I knew it by the sign that said “Leven’s Window”
in wispy old-fashioned script, on a
postcard beneath the window (shade drawn)
It started snowing. When I (slowly)
turned & faced the street I would wake up:
“Come back next year.”
There are many more, most of them clever, insightful or just plain fun. You’ll find the living and the dead here including Elizabeth Savave, Kimiko Hahn, James Schuyler, Albert Goldbarth, Nicole Cooley, Anne Sexton, Allen Ginsberg (a personal favorite of mine no matter what he wrote), Trey Sager and Lynn Xu to name a few.
I recommend this issue not only for the talented writers, but also for the writing they produce, some of which is unusual yet interesting and, if you seek to learn from reading, you will receive some wonderful lessons.