The first issue of Soft Targets is exciting. Editors Hoy and Feinberg already have a pretty steady focus on what they're looking for -- there's an undercurrent of immanent violence and disruption in many of the works: poets that make sense together, really the most interesting younger poets like Ben Lerner, Lara Glenum, Brian Howe, Catherine Wagner, Linh Dinh, Alyssa Wolf. The presentation is really strong, as is the scope -- maybe if you took certain elements of Ugly Duckling Presse, Fence, and Combo, you'd maybe have something close to Soft Target's aesthetic. Interesting, tho, in this context, poets who I'm usually a fan of -- Matthew Rohrer, Joshua Beckmann -- come across as reall, well, soft, or overly-whimsical maybe. Especially DC Berman's comics in the issue -- a little (or way) too Wes Anderson man-child for a journal where Linh Dinh is the emotional center.
Also, the new issue of Cue is really strong, the best issue thus far (this is number five, I think) . . . New work from Michael Palmer that is a complete departure from anything he's done before; when did he turn into Franz Kafka? The two best pieces in the issue are from younger dudes, Dan Hoy's "Patrick Lives" and Jason Zuzga's "Donald Judd," which utilize the textures and moves of fiction and journalism, respectively, to dig up new sensations. Strong stuff as well from ol' favorites like GC Waldrep, Andrew Zawacki and Lisa Jarnot. David Lehman in here as well, but I fall asleep just seeing or writing his name. David Leh. . . .
Ryan Murphy's Fungo Monographs has just released Seven Palms by Kira Henehan, a slim but beautiful chapbook -- the slipperiness of the NY School is pushed and expanded both in terms of reach and device:
I paled down to green. On the bright side: my eyes! Soft falling birds! I had a thought it concerned a spree but the gardenia smell, heavy somehow in this thin wild air, all lime and blue, confused. Who had the saffron-flavored rain? Those great citrine dreams? All tangled among the dunes? That, Nero, was the golden time.