Monday, February 2, 2009

Janice Moore Fuller & Wild Goose Poetry Journal, October 30, 2008

Once upon a time, if you wanted to experience good, contemporary poetry, you had to subscribe to a literary journal, typically published 3-4 times a year at a university or college. Those magazines still exist today and still publish the best contemporary poetry being written, and when I teach creative writing, I strongly encourage my students to subscribe to as many of them as they can afford to. Those subscriptions are what keep the journals publishing and the poets writing.
Nonetheless, thanks to the internet, poetry today is significantly more availabe, as new online journals have appeared and proliferated and as older, print journals have created online sites as well. I couldn’t possibly name even a small percentage of the online poetry journals and sites that exist today, all of which are free to visit. A search of “poetry journals” would, undoubtedly, result in thousands of relevant hits. In fact, a recent visit to one of the online poetry journal databases,, revealed about 1400 journals, the majority of which had websites of one sort or another.
My point is that if you’re interested in contemporary poetry there is no longer any excuse for not reading. It costs nothing but time to visit the online journals and websites. Two such sites of particular interest to me are the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature at, and Wild Goose Poetry Review at
Dead Mule is the online journal which published my chapbook, Deceptively Like a Sound, last April and will publish my next chapbook, The Book of Days, in January. More importantly, they have published a vast number of local and regional authors, including most of those who have read at Poetry Hickory.
Wild Goose is a journal which I help edit, selecting poems for inclusion and writing reviews of new collections of poetry. Both websites are wonderful places to encounter good contemporary poetry and to learn about other poets and their books. To highlight the quality of the work one can encounter at these sites, I’m very pleased to reprint, from the current issue of Wild Goose Poetry Review, Janice Moore-Fuller’s poem, “Cryogenics.” Fuller is the director of the creative writing program at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Her latest book, which is reviewed in the current issue of Wild Goose, is called Séance.

Midnight is the hour when old food
takes chances, thankful not to be eaten.
Eggs beaten into omelets shape themselves
into swans and palm trees.
Goat cheese sneaks off the saucer,
skates across the ice-box grid.
Sardines wish upon a star-shaped paté
no one remembers buying.
What is the color of decay?
Lavender? Gray? If things
don’t find peace in the Kelvinator,
how can I forget Mother’s limbs
underground near the railroad tracks
still crossing, uncrossing?
Planes circle the graves, trailing
boundless ribbons I’d like to loop
through her hair. I’d dress her
in a cowl-neck gown, loose enough
to let her breathe. On some other
planet, the oxygen is as dry
and unmarrowed as her cool, cool bones.

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