Spring 2016, Volume 20

From the Poetry Editor

“How did I miss the suddenness of things?” asks the speaker in Katie Montgomery’s poem, ‘Blaze.’ Well, the suddenness of things seems straight out of Hegel, and his tangle of language. Meanwhile, here in our tangle of language, today marks ten years for Verdad, which is stubbornly incredible for a non-academic journal in an age of online mags that pop in and out of existence like dark matter and white noise. The traditional tenth anniversary gift is tin or aluminum: shiny things. So, in this issue, we bring you some shiny trinkets, magical gifts from crows and the wind, such as Peycho Kanev’s darkly surreal speaker who notices “the next-door neighbor in his / tool shed builds a coffin out of light” or the persona of Francesca Bell’s poem who asks, of drowning/swimming, “Who can say / who’s failing, / who’s having fun”? Meanwhile, Ryo Yamaguchi’s surgical, spatial poems endow image with narrative, with resonance, as in:

The construction site is a resonant
       fifth, light breaking

across a gymnastic distance
       like a story

lacerated so it may drain
      and finally be thought

all the way through.

We also offer you a few poems in traditional forms in this issue, such as Michael Lavers’ villanelle, ‘Republic’ and David Long’s ‘Pangram Haiku,’ both of which keep their traditions fresh via contemporary diction, as Long’s speaker relays, “Janey texts boyfriend: / U make me quiver.  Puh-leeze . . . /  we gonna catch fire!” This issue also features blazing poems by Christopher Buckley and Phil Nast, and unforgettable fiction by Brooks Rexroat and Gilbert Zamora, a mesmerizing art gallery by Fabrice Poussin, and a selection from our archives, including noteworthy work by Doug Anderson, Traci Brimhall, Eric Loya, Frank X. Gaspar, Jon Simmons, Brian Sousa, and Charles Harper Webb.

I wasn’t there in the beginning, but today is a tribute to Bonnie, Frank, Jack, and Rochelle—the founders and their work, the engine they’ve kept running. It continues to be an honor to be a cog in such a wonder of a machine. These are the shiny things we’ve found to bring to you on this, our anniversary. Enjoy.

                                                                                     — Bill Neumire