ILK THREE came fat with an apple in its mouth. We are more than proud and more than delighted with its contents. It is much like a cosmos, it is so full and so various.
(We hope you enjoy exploring it)
As ever, we asked our poets to respond to other pieces in the issue.
After a long enough period of reading poems, I find myself hearing the echoes of one poem in another. Sometimes it’s the image, sometimes the exploration, sometimes the method of movement in a poem. In Lucy Beiderman’s poem “Song,” I picked three notable resonances that I thought would be interesting to look at.
Poem 1: Wendy Xu’s “This Year I Meant to Be An Elephant” in Red Lightbulbs — http://redlightbulbs.net/issue7/xu.html
When I first read “Song,” I immediately thought of Wendy Xu’s poem. Wendy has a way of winding her poems using a slightly veiled anaphora that is similar to what I find in “Song” when Lucy writes, “No you can’t borrow my sweater/Though I’m not using it/And you can’t have a bite of the enormous burger I’m not going to finish.” I think of Wendy’s line: “Last year I forgot/whole people until having lunch again/with those people. Last year I forgot really/embarrassing secrets like being allergic/to regular soap.” I enjoy the gesture of illustrating the grand using the daily, the mundane, the item one never thought could find its way into a poem.
Poem 2: Mathias Svalina’s “One Knowledge” in Blackbird— http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v3n1/poetry/svalina_m/knowledge.htm
One of the notable lines in Lucy’s poem is, “It’s my American and you can’t try it,” which, sadly, is a pretty recurrent theme in the contemporary discourse of U.S. politics. The mistake that “Song” parodies is the same mistake that Mathias Svalina investigates in “One Knowledge,” “There are not many knowledges/ in my head. I told her that in English knowledge is a single idea,/ supported by much, not many.” Without getting too rhetorical, there is a myth of singular authority that still surrounds things like nations, language, knowledge. The idea that the prescription of the majority is what should define the authenticity or inauthenticity of other’s experiences. The two lines that follow Lucy’s line quote above take a jab at the absurdity of this sort of monolithic view when she underlines how “Everyone calls it something different.”
Poem 3: Nick Sturm’s “Red Car from the Future” in Aesthetix— https://aesthetixpoems.wordpress.com/nick-sturm/
Perhaps it’s just the image of the sun as vehicle at the end of Lucy’s poem, or it’s that these are both just poems that I love, but I was instinctively drawn to tie these two pieces together. Perhaps it’s that Nick’s line “We go out for emotions and sodas!” connects so directly to Lucy’s stanza where emotion becomes entwined with beverage. These are both poems that travel a great distance as well, where one can observe “St. Petersburg where I eat tomatoes and create/inexplicable machines in praise of accidents and laugher” or where “The road along the water curls like someone else’s hair.”