Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

"Fuselit 15: Tilt" (March 2010)

I've not seen this magazine before. Fuselit this time is hand-bound with orange ribbon and has a cover of 'jugshi tsasho' handmade paper from Bhutan, holed like a pinball table. It comes with a mini-CD and a bonus A6 booklet. Let's deal first with the bonus booklet - "Dr Fulminare's Bardgames". It involves game rules (for Dominoes, etc - my favorite is Jenga) translated so that they can be used to produce poems. I tried to assess the rules and the resulting poems together. The Domino rules were too loose (the poems ok) and the Scrabble rules too tight (a miracle that the poems exist at all). The "Old Maid" rules are just right, though I think the poem might have been stronger.

Oulipo has various offshoots - Oucuipo (about CUIsine), etc - but there seems to be no Oujeupo, which is rather a surprise given the Oulipo interest in chess. I think this booklet is a worthy contribution to the field.

Some of the poets in Fuselit have had books published by Penguin and Simon & Schuster. There's a surprisingly wide range: abba rhyme; shaped; haiku; a dialog; a 19 line poem where each line starts with the word "tilt"; and Nicelle Davis' "Disclaimer ..." which succesfully has a bit of everything - even holes.

Is this the shape of things to come (either round or A6, but always holed)? As e-mags take over, perhaps paper magazines will need to flaunt their materiality.

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