News on the Muse
There's a worthwhile poem by C.K. Williams in the current issue of The New Yorker. It's called "Doves"; it owes something to, and I think improves upon, the Phillip Larkin poem The Winter Palace. (It's a pity that the New Yorker doesn't see fit to excerpt its poetry selections on its Web site.)
There's some good stuff in the current issue of the Black Warrior Review. I particularly like the interviews called "Lives of the Poets". That said, I wish I were better able to appreciate the current popularity of McSweeney'sese, especially in the interview genre: nothing can be asked except with whimsy, nothing can be phrased except nonchalantly. Rank seriousness is to be avoided, perhaps because it is confused with bombast, cliche, or arrogance.
One of those interviewed is the poetry phenom Aimee Nezhukumatathil. She's younger than I am, but has published two more books of poetry than I have (i.e. two). Primed with this jealousy, I looked her up on-line, but found her poems to be worthy only of admiration and envy, not of bitter critique. Alas!
I'm sending off another manuscript this week to the Pathetically Hopeful Poets' Contest. (Not its real name.)