Introduction to Abyss & Apex Poetry, Issue 54

Hello readers of good poetry,

I am delighted to present another excellent slate of poems to you from various regions of the country. The poetry in this issue is heavily surreal and fantastic.

It opens with a sixth-sense type of poem, “The Visionist,“ by Chloe Clark (Ames, IA). The chill she leaves is intensified in “The Alley” by Jill Angel Langlois (Yorkville, IL). From her ongoing collection on fairies and the Neverland, a prose poem by Laura Madeline Wiseman (Lincoln, NE), “The Crying Tree,” demonstrates the effective use of the fantasy metaphor. An imaginative work by Marian Rosarum (Boulder, CO), “A portrait of the witch at sixteen,” draws you in with intriguing line breaks all the way to the climactic end. The pensive poem, “The Black Unicorn,” by Bruce Majors (Dayton, TN) is confessional, disturbing, and gripping. The very surreal poem, “In the City of Broken Umbrellas,” by Alexander Lumans (Denver, CO), not only is contemplative, but sustains the psychological horror of the previous poem, and segues nicely into another Bruce Major poem, “Hall of Mirrors,” with even more introspection. And it seems that mirrors play more than an incidental role in some of these poems, as in “Detail of Silence” by Carol Dorf (Berkeley, CA); it is no less intense. This sonnet-like poem has italicized references to Charles Pierre Baudelaire and Bertrand-Jean “Odilon” Redon. The issue closes with a philosophical question posed in “Why I Stay Up Late in August” by Marri Champié (Kuna, ID). Astronomy—the witnessing of stars and all things heavenly—often precipitates such questions. This a good place to end this collection. Please enjoy.

John C. Mannone
Poetry Editor

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