Sunday, December 18, 2011



Collection by Megan Kaminski
(Dusie Kollective, Zurich Switzerland, 2011)


Mantic Semantic by A.L. Nielsen
(Hanks Orginal Loose Gravel Press, 2011)


LVNGinTONGUES by G. E. Schwartz
(Hanks Orginal Loose Gravel Press, 2011)


PO DOOM by jim mccrary
(Hanks Orginal Loose Gravel Press, 2011)


Collection by Megan Kaminski (, published by Dusie Kollective, Zurich Switzerland, 2011. 19pgs hand sewn.

Kaminski, if I can say so, is on fire. Publishing as if…chapbooks, zines and a book length text forthcoming. To say the least. This chapbook seems loaded in more ways than can be ‘collected’ from this reader. And that is, for sure, okay….and in fact adds to the delight discovered when reading/engaging with the texts. As example:
Black sky            Pour some tea and sit close daytime hours

dark credit            occupied by rain and rubber boots poke violets

wheels roll            through wet earth build deep holes in asphalt

beneath            this is the house we have always lived in

quakes seven            this house we could never breathe scarce

open windows            dust shanks light leg-ward beneath silk skirts

open doors            deep roots rising to sun beneath my feet

Okay………so space is at play here and played too. Why and how, es specially, may be of great import to not only Ms. Kaminski but other readers. However I am going to back off those questions and let the unknown be that as it may. It could be that this poem is laid out in a form I am unfamiliar with and that is possible since I know from sight very very few “poetic forms”. I do like the way the “short lines are ‘stacked’ to the left margin”. Easy to read down as separate if desired. Or as introduction to longer line a few spaces to the right. Start stop and start again….reading. There is no direction from author…no introduction or preface or obscure quote hanging over or above the text. One can only imagine what Ms. Kaminski was thinking. At the time. Imagine indeed. That adds to the meaning. Which may only be some slight weight to the final text presented. Isn’t it more than just reading. This poem is a lot about reading the spaces…seeing that it is ‘spaced’ with certain specifics within the lines. Well, again, if one chooses to describe one’s morning in the garden…..then one certainly has to be in the mind of space and design and color and windows and doors. Certainly. And so we can wonder with the poet about such things as ‘poke violets’ and ‘dust shanks’ and whatnot. She did why not we too. Why not.

I think this is a book to be discovered and enjoyed rather than meant to impress or stress a reader. Not only a treat…a delight. This book will carry you a far way. Give in.


Three publications from Hanks Orginal Loose Gravel Press (, all published in 2011 and available through the press website.

Mantic Semantic by A.L. Nielsen, professor at Penn State University. Nielsen writes with a deft and crisp hand using todays culture movements to his taste and insight. Be it music, text, sport(s) or history or language. It may be filmmaker Stan Brackage or hit maker James Brown. It may be the history of Virgina or the riff of jargon. Nielsen has an eye and sense to select what to write about and how to do that. This chapbook will, if you don’t already know his work, give you an immediate and taser like jolt from one of today’s top poets. Period.

LVNGinTONGUES by G. E. Schwartz. Here is a back cover blurb from Steve Tills referring to Schwartz’s chapbook: “This is poming you can open and read late at night and dig during that good good transition period between daytime consciousness and sleep/dream state, i.e., the most”alert” time for reading/writing.” Tills is right on here and has caught what Schwartz does with a great deal of thought and grace. He mixes words to image and meaning and leads with invisiable tension a reader into an other-wordly locale. “Take off your hat and throw it in the corner. Stay all night, stay a little longer….” Hank Senior said that.

PO DOOM by Jim McCrary. Best? Better? Compared to what? As Andrai Codrescu once said of this guys books: “He writes em and we read em.” I guess there could be worse critical response. Here is a line from near the end of this chapbook series: “…saving the best for last aint like what I made it up to be…” I suppose that could be said for the ‘latest’ as well. A critic from Ohio referred to the poet as ‘the crankster’. Cranky is one way of saying it, I suppose. The think about this author is that you can read this chapbook and by the time it is digested another one will be on the way. Not to worry. Cheap entertainment and will keep you waiting to see what is next.


McCrary waits for his Social Security check in Lawrence, Kansas. His most recent publication, Es Verdad, a 'photo essay' of baby horses in the Yucatan combines stark pictures with poetic text guaranteed to wrench a tear from the reader. An online edition available by email. See below. He also lurks in the basement of the 8th Street Taproom, a local dive which holds regular poetry readings. He participates in the open mic and operates a book table. (Hint-send stuff to give away) email:

Editor's Note: To date, jim mccrary is the only reviewer allowed to post a reviewer photo of himself because he's so bloody charming. It's also the only reason I'd allow him to review ... hisself!! To wit, here he is with Iris:

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