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.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

"The Interpreter's House (issue 57)" by Martin Malone (ed)

A 100-page A5 magazine with 70 pages of poetry (4 of them by a Featured Poet), 10 pages of prose, 8 pages of reviews, 5 pages of contributors' notes, etc. Amongst the poets are Carole Bromley, Angela France, Gill McEvoy, John Mole, D.A. Price, etc. The editor's had some time to settle in now - there are submissions windows and a poetry competition - see their web page for details.

It begins with a villanelle. After that there's barely an end-rhyme. There's poetry like John Mole's ("Waiting for test results/ I recall my father's bookshelf/ And the embossed gilt spine/ Of Black's Medical Dictionary.// How I would take it down/ When no one was around/ To find the condition/ That matched each new ache ..."), Edward O'Dwyer's ("If she knew the things/ you've thought/ as she has shovelled your chips/ in a brown paper bag,/ your two battered sausages,/ extra salt and vinegar,/ predictable as rain/ on a bank holiday weekend ..."), Varasahya's ("The ice cream/ scoop isn't/ working./ The release/ on the handle/ has jammed") and A.A.Marcoff's ("could/ we/ interpret/ the/ integrity/ of/ fishes ...") amongst pieces like Bob Beagrie's

daylight fading
the voice of the sea climbs
the shelves of shingle,
         turns the air
         into frills of lace
that decorate
         the forests of our lungs

I liked both the longer prose pieces. Here's an extract from e.g.Jönson's -

For a while, I lived in the part of Malmö where a hijab is as common a sight as an unveiled head, and women covered from head to toe billowed down the streets like sailboats in mouring; stopping to buy tomatoes, perhaps, or tins of fruit. Once, on the bus, the driver refused one of these black-gowneds the ride, on account of not being able to see her face. "You could be anyone," he argued and I turned my head, embarrassed, and thought: so could I

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