Misunderstandings Magazine

I’m no great fan of poetry, and have trouble telling the merely mediocre from the bad. Between Misunderstandings Magazine’s lettered (not numbered) pages, and its bewildering picture poems, it succeeds in being as exclusivist and esoteric a zine as possible. I nearly missed the bylines accompanying the pictures, and couldn’t find anything in the pictures themselves to warrant them. The images are dense and draw the eye, but don’t seem to say anything. The poems range from rhythmic, articulate, and witty to haphazard verse. “Cicada” by Lynn Trait, stands out with its careful construction and gentle slyness. Otherwise, there’s an impression of future potential if the poets only hone their craft some more. Maybe the “Freeway” poems are too clever for me, or maybe I’m right when I suspect the pay-off doesn’t warrant the effort spent. It’s also easy to get an emotional response with a trite rhapsody to the body of a dead dog, but the poet’s skill has nothing to do with it. All in all, an anthology I’d suggest skipping. (J. Blackmore)

Litzine, Jim F. Johnstone & Ian Williams, issue 7, $3, www.misunderstandingsmagazine.com, misunderstandings.magazine@gmail.com

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