The Constant Critic

Timely poetry reviews

Whorled

Ed Bok Lee

Allegedly, the earliest forms of writing were actuarial: lists, of inventory, accounts, transactions, rules, laws. If so, the lists should be as familiar to us as any form of text could be. And they are, of course, but that doesn’t prohibit them from being strange…

Some Math

Bill Luoma

There were a few years in the mid-nineties when it looked like the poets gathering in New York might fuse a thousand disparate styles and beliefs and wishes into a single beam of classical beauty, rude comedy and what can only be called zen clarity…

Panda

Chris Alexander

Like any good conceptual work, the description of Panda (KFP) by Chris Alexander can be taken at its website-word: Two and a half years in the making, this book-length poem assembles thousands of fan responses, brief summaries and descriptions of the title character from DreamWorks…

Amnesiac

Duriel E. Harris

…I am a word full of E’s &#8212a cool porcelain bell, a spore, a briny rusted lock, a passing scab, an errant cell turning. &#8212“self portrait (with vial & corn tash)” How can one respond to the trauma of global violence? Written against the backdrop…

Lifer

Annette Basalyga

The less I think I know about a poet, the better the chance I’ll take to the book, as long as I can work out what I’m looking at and sail between oh that and I don’t get it. (Sometimes I like the comforts of…

Saint Erasure

Donna de la Perrière

Despite currents of panic and loss flowing through Saint Erasure, this book manifests quietly. It has the feeling of speech performed by a solitary speaker in an abandoned picnic shelter overlooking the sea. If you have driven any stretch of U.S. coastal highway you know…

the new black

Evie Shockley

If your mother or father or the wolf what raised you fulfilled her or his or its obligation to make you fit for civilized company, she or he or it taught you not to be a show-off, a braggart, a gloater. Of course, if whoever…