Blue Fifth Reviews – (June 2015 / #1)

Blue Fifth Reviews – (June 2015 / #1)

Any conscientious critic who has ever had to review a new volume of poetry in a limited space knows that the only fair thing to do would be to give a series of quotations without comment but, if he did so, his editors would complain that he was not earning his money.
               –W. H. Auden, “Reading”

Each month the editors will select collections of poetry, flash, and short fiction to present to our readers. We will be heeding Auden’s advice, listing, without comment, key passages that we consider representative of the featured works. Our hope is that readers will also be moved, and will seek out the books.


June 2015

Bill Yarrow, ed.

Trying to Help the Elephant Man Dance by Tim Suermondt
The Backwaters Press, 2007
69 poems, 100 pages

1.    Summer does have glorious stories to tell,
        placing my eternal soul in peril,
        one of the eloquent vixens capable of making a man

       forget he lives in Hell.
tim suermondt
              (from “Patton Bumps into a Sense of Peace Outside Avranches”)

2.    A world away
        a man is swept

        off the street, disappearing
        into the small h of history.

              (from “Bad Night at Club Solitary”)

3.    A candelabrum in my soup–
        nonsense, though nonsense
        born of living.

              (from “An Understanding”)

4.    I grew wings, somehow,
        and may I say
        they look damn snazzy on me.

              (from “Apocalypse”)

5.    I confess: lyricism has always escaped me
        but I’m flying as well as everyone else.

              (from “Flying, Without the Geese or the Plane”)




The Undermining of the Democratic Club by Rob Cook
Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014
63 poems, 130 pages

1.    Today, I exchanged a song for the terrorist elephants, the terrorist giraffes, the terrorist oxygen, the terrorist fern forests, the terrorist mercies of medicinal marijuana, the terrorist sunsets, the terrorist shark sleep, the terrorist carrots and celery and kale that do not leave the body, the intestinal photos of the Gaza Strip taken from the cries of a leaking child, the war on shadows, the war on people who find enough to eat without having to plant pancreatic spores in the hells of the soil, the creek bed underminingofthedemocraticclubLakota whose fully-subsidized hack drinking earns the status of enemy activity, and though I saved his name on a dollar that trusted me once, I won’t discuss the terrorist child helping a turtle find its little door in the terrorist grass.

              (from “Sand Song of Mesopotamia”)

2.    The howling of guns in your eyes
        a North Dakota loneliness in your throat

              (from “Red Lake”)

3.    She comes from a long line of missing information.

              (from “Woman from the Village of Painted Weather”)

4.    Who could trust
        the flag with its middle finger
        pointed at Mexico, Pakistan, Iraq?

              (from “Darkening Dust Village to the North”)

5.    No language left anywhere. No one paying attention.

              (from “In the Absence of Great Men”)




The Park of Upside-Down Chairs by Alexandra van de Kamp
CW Books, 2010
43 poems, 130 pages

1.    Life is a parade of molecules showing off
        its different disguises, so why couldn’t I be
        part tree or table? Who know the exact boundaries
        between ourselves and what surrounds us?

              (from “Scientific Theory”)
2.    Van de Velde choses his miracles
        carefully. A man bent on the ice
        ties his skate. His red sleeve
        burning out towards you
        like a caught flame, a promise
        not quite forgotten.

              (from “Winter Landscape”)

3.    In all these photos, nature is a mute witness. The day
        always seems on the verge or snow or rain—the sky gray
        as a pearl, waiting for something to occur. History is
        constantly overcast, reduced to a brooding tone, as if
        it knew the metallic grimness the next century and a half
        would bring.

              (from “Daguerreotypes”)

4.    The heart is a cave and grief sputters its flames, throws
        its flare of clarity against the trickling, furrowed walls.
        Then the glyphs on the stone glow, and I am forced to read
        my one story back to myself.

              (from “Regret”)

5.    … Think of me as a shawl
        thrown over the tenuous shoulders of a thought,
        a shimmering pullover hugging each lift
        of the arm, a perfectly-weighted gabardine
        that lets pass the bare essentials, while a dream
        flickers its lightning, uninterrupted, across the mind’s
        voracious sky.

              (from “Arachnoide”)


About bluefifthreview

Blue Fifth Review, edited by Sam Rasnake, Michelle Elvy, and Bill Yarrow, is an online journal of poetry, flash, and art.
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1 Response to Blue Fifth Reviews – (June 2015 / #1)

  1. susan tepper says:

    Fabulous issue Bill Yarrow!

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