Poetry Is Dead

Poetry journal, Alex Leslie (editor), issue 6,  poetryisdead.ca, $12  (one year subscription)

If you doubted that sound poetry  would ever find a home on the printed  page, feast your eyes on Steve Giasson’s  erasure composition, “Perfect Lovers  (Gay Porn Story Removed (O’s Remain),”  a two-page dedication to the letter  O that’s a cross between a connect- the-dots puzzle and a long-drawn-out  orgasm. It’s an ideal flag bearer for this  queer-themed issue of  Poetry Is Dead,  an assortment of essays, poems, stories  and art that more often than not — and  probably by chance — reads like a sex- themed issue. As with any collection this varied  in style, every reader will find a mix  of hits and misses. If tantalizing, cut- up emails are up your alley, you can  read the lengthy — and challenging —  splattering of sentence fragments called  “ff or letters to a fellow fluency” by Pam  Dick and Oana Avasilichioaei. Readers  looking for marginally traditional fare  will fnd the collection is bookended by  two compelling creations: a poem-essay  about growing up God-fearing and  gay by Lisa Foad (“Here Be Monsters”),  and a charmingly confusing interview  between issue editor Alex Leslie and  writer bill bissett, in which bissett  spends four pages pretending he’s a  William Burroughs narrative. Poet bpNichol, in his ABC: the Aleph  Beth book, neatly summed up Poetry Is  Dead’s unspoken mantra: “… POETRY  IS DEAD. HAVING ACCEPTED THIS  FACT WE ARE FREE TO LIVE THE  POEM.” First and foremost, this sixth  issue presents a congregation of people  living through their writing. (Scott  Bryson)

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