I am pleased to have had the privilege of serving as the guest editor for Spring 2016 issue of Subprimal Poetry Art/Music. After carefully reading and examining the many submissions of poetry, prose and art (approximately 900 pieces), I sadly had to turn away some good pieces. Though I did not reject work for submission guideline noncompliance, I did dismiss work that was devoid of rhythm, as well as clarity, and which had no literary depth. Some pieces did not consider our aesthetics at all (something remedied by a cursory examination of the website and reading/viewing sample work). However, there were many delightful pieces and I believe you will enjoy the works represented.
For example, a few of these fine works appearing here are from notable poets and writers, such as William Doreski's Pearly Chaos, Roberta Feins' House of Straw and Lois Marie Harrod's Seven Deadly Sins, whose deft use of language and imagery make their poems sing, even howl, their haunting aspects. Others take chances with form that serves the contents well, for example, a creative list poem of sorts by Sharon Alexander, My Name Was Once an Argument or the powerful litany by Terry Martin Why Did I Do It?. Conversational verse, even with a measure of passive voice, in the right hands can be powerful poems — rhythm and effective line breaks can help lift them into poetry. For example, Carl Boon’s poignant poem The First Time is more than merely lifted, it is skyrocketed into poetry. In contradistinction, a piece of apparent prose can be actually closer to poetry. Denmark Lane’s piece Día de Los Muertos is so full of compressed writing and resonant with internal music, I’d be remiss not to call it a prose poem. And songs. Songs can be poetry, too. Allen E. Rizzi’s song-like poem Ponokáómitaa was originally written in the Blackfoot language by the author. There is a beauty in simiplicity there.
The visual artists, no less than the literary ones, grace these pages. Their works were the last ones I had selected for the issue. I looked for complemetary pieces, or at least those that were congruent with mood. Perhaps these were the most subjective in my decision on which ones to select… there were many meritorious submissions.
I wish I had time to go into each piece in depth, there is much to be said about every single one appearing here, but alas, my words could be more voluminous than the collected works. So, please enjoy all of them, as I will again after they go live.
John C. Mannone