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  November 2005
volume 3 number 4
  home   (archived)
  center stage
Marie Lecrivain
Sarah Maclay: poet, teacher, and author of Whore
  editor at large
Marie Lecrivain
Fiction+Opinion=Fact: David Howard of Crackpot Press
Gene Justice
Rules of Engagement: What the Chinese Shuffle Teaches us about Poetry
Marie Lecrivain
Nessa O'Mahony's Trapping a Ghost
Laura A. Lionello
Periel Aschenbrand's the only bush i trust is my own
Aire Celeste Norell
Marv Wolfman's & Ted White's The Oz Encounter
Marie Lecrivain
L.A. Writers Recommend...part II
Angel Uriel Perales
Ariel Robello's My Sweet Unconditional
Francisco Dominguez
Pat Patriot Riot?s Me & Pudd Part I
Francisco Dominguez
Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Vol. 3
Marie Lecrivain
Ex Machina Press: Silent Voices Volume 1
  mailing list
Francisco Dominguez November 2005


Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Vol. 3

    Phyliss L. Geller and Marilyn Krepf are back with a third installment of the well-crafted Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. The volume displays the editors' strong ability to create a solid representation of the human spirit through the art of poetry. But what’s impressive in this anthology is the editors' unwillingness to use such ability to play it safe. This volume is definitely bolder than its predecessor. For one, the number of writers has increased. However, the reader may not feel overwhelmed by the large number of works. Much of the same techniques in editing that proved so successful in the previous anthology are employed here as well, mainly, the careful placing of works to create seamless continuity.

    The poets are a mix of published veterans and emerging, but accomplished, artists from the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Egypt. The themes are varied as expected from such an eclectic mix of writers with varied lifestyles and backgrounds. However, the appearance of Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award winner Philip Levine, while thoroughly enjoyable, is a little puzzling. While his inclusion serves as an introduction to readers previously unaware of his work, overall the anthology is no better off.

Which brings us back to the collection itself. There are plenty of gems in this anthology that speak of the human spirit, as well as the spirit of writing itself as with the piece from returning contributing writer, Fredrick Zydeck, titled, “Letter to Blaski from Brunswick”:

“Dear Steve: Ever notice how some poems

want to be prayed? There is this homing spirit

to such poems. They want to make their nests

at the core of mysteries I don’t even know

how to write about. Pity me. I have never

been bright enough to understand these things…”

    There is also poetry subtle in form, but profound in its careful placing of words and theme, as represented in Shari O’Brien’s “Wide Eyes of Trusting Blue”:

“Wide eyes of trusting blue turn upward

and my grandson asks

where’s Creampuff,

the gentle cream-colored cat who,

with wide eyes of trusting blue, too,

always rolled on the floor when stroked

like a purring slinky cylinder.

Creampuff is gone, I explain,

Hesitating to say the word “died”


Says the child, who struggles to make sense

Of an absence like this,

Struggles, I see, to grasp how

The warm ball of silken fur,

So steadfast, so alive,

Could disappear,

Like all things will, in time, from here.

But then,

As I look down into his wide eyes of trusting blue,

I struggle to grasp it, too.”

There is even room for poetry that is whimsical but full of the same mystical presence Mr. Zydeck previously described in his own piece. D.R. Goodman’s poem “Burr” is one of these:

“How did the pod know

a small spiked spiral,

suitable to catch on cloth,

was the way to success?

That any creature,

Furred or clothed,

Would pass?

That this young girl,

Harried by the sticke

Between sock and moccasin

Would stop, unhurried,

To work it free,

Admire its spiny elegance,

And in a spark

Of shared intelligence,

Plant it on a far oasis of grass?”

The third installment of Meridian accomplishes what its predecessor accomplished: to bring another facet of human expression within the writing form to captivate both casual and dedicated poetry reader.

Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Vol. 3, Phyliss L. Geller & Marilyn Krepf (editors & publishers), Copyright 2005 NM Cyprian Publishers, ISBN: 0-9729014-3-4, pages: 168, $14.

copyright 2005 Francisco Dominguez


Francisco Dominguez

author's bio

    Francisco J. Dominguez emigrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 13. Since then, he has written and published a book of poetry, Estranged by the Airfields of Vienna. Fran's creative work is mostly comprised of short prose and free verse. As an immigrant, his endeavors are based on an outside-looking-in perspective. Fran is the art editor for poeticdiversity, and has been writing poetry for more than 10 years. He lives in Long Beach, California.

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