6x6 #35: they say triangle
Poetry Zine, Kim Hunter, Anna Gurton-wachter, Judith Goldman, Bridget Talone, Ted Dodson, & Katy Lederer, 56 pgs, Ugly Duckling Presse, uglyducklingpresse.org, $6
This penultimate issue of Ugly Duckling Presse’s long-running magazine is as much a treat in its physical assembly as it is in the poetry contained. The magazine, which features six authors per issue (but mysteriously measures 7”x 7”) is set on wide-margin cream paper, wrapped in a stylish letterpress-printed blue jacket, and bound with a thick minimal rubber band (courtesy, says the colophon, of Keenan Rubber, Ohio). It is this ingenuity, the product of un-named volunteers and skilled designers, that would keep me purchasing Ugly Duckling publications even if they were filled with blank paper.
Poets Kim Hunter, Anna Gurtonwachter, Judith Goldman, Bridget Talone, Ted Dodson, & Katy Lederer fill the pages of this edition with a healthy variety and high standard. Kim Hunter’s contributions are among my favourites, lapsing from the blues rhyme-scheme of “they say triangle” (“this is the blues | that shade the sky | made a baby from the dust | of a butterfly | grew house of shadow | and door of song | made flesh walk hot | as the day is long”) into the breathless exhortations of “everything about the river is true” (“the detroit news reported there would be no more reports from | the detroit news | and that all previous reports were fabrications | except for the ones about the river | everything about the river is true | for now”). Her approach is often too ponderous to be called activism, but too polemic to be read as an unassuming lyric. This is poetry with a strong spine, and deserves the title-card it receives on this issue. (Joel W. Vaughan)