Mishigamaa by Robert Krantz

Krantz submitted to the first issue of The Magnolia Review. His poems are magnetic and show poetic mastery. His language builds strong and lasting images. His chosen language sounds a melodious music to read aloud, a rhythm that you have to play to completion.

In “Pearl,” the speaker begins with, “I remember the wheat fields / of Iowa and the photograph / of you I took with me, / and how neither ever really ended.” The speaker continues, “We ate and loved / much in that decade, / collided with stars, / authored myths / and stuffed our age-spotted hands / into denim pockets.” The image and sound carries through the lines, building to the final image of “The half shells we find on beaches / were once a thing joined together, / breathing, and grinding / new pearls into place.” The poem builds like a pearl, with the images stringing together into a cohesive piece.

Laundry can be boring. The speaker reflects on his fellow laundry-doers in “Load,” where “The bachelors in the laundromat / spill their words / like bleach / on black clothes, / speak of condos / and alimonies— / thick humidities turning.” The clothes transform into more, they are “damp thoughts” as they wash, and they “…breathe[s] / restless poems / into my blues and grays. / Soon this summer rain / will end, volume of water / striking pavement / will knob itself silent.” Krantz ends the poem with a moment that draws the reader back to the reality of the laundromat, “The cash machine, / against the flecked wall, / reminds me to change.”

The collection ends with “Pathfinder,” about a hatchet and its story. It shares the story of two boys cutting down a tree and of a sibling wrestling game gone awry.

Overall, Krantz’s poems are musical and full of images that inspire looking at mundane events in a new and interesting way. I look forward to reading more of Krantz’s work.

Check out Robert‘s work in Volume 1, Issue 1, and a review of Gargoyles in Volume 2, Issue 2.

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review, and North Dakota Quarterly.

Rain, The Author and Winter Burial, Volume 1, Issue 1
You Read Me Stories, Volume 3, Issue 2
Interview
Blue Blood, Manifesto, and Lenny, Volume 4, Issue 2
Falling in Love, I’m in a Painting by Hopper, and Freak-Show, Volume 5, Issue 1

Gary Beck

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. He has 14 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations and Rude Awakenings (Winter Goose Publishing) The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications). Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pigs Productions). As part of the continuing series, ‘Stand to Arms Marines’, Gnome on Pigs Productions will publish the third book in the series, Raise High the Walls. Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance and Flare Up will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. Extreme Change will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His short story collections include, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. The Republic of Dreams and other essays will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He lives in New York City.

Check out his website here.

Sightings, Volume 1, Issue 1
Visitations II, Volume 2, Issue 1
Book Release, Tremors, Virtual Living, Perturbations, Blossoms of Decay, Now I Accuse, Sudden Conflicts, Expectations: A Collection of Poetry, Rude Awakenings, Internet Yearnings, Voices of War, Blunt Force: A Collection of Poetry, The Remission of Order, The Republic of Dreams: And Other Essays, Acts of Defiance, Flare Up, Transitions, and Contusions
Purchase Power II, Volume 3, Issue 2
Interview
Clown Show play announcement
Review, Internet Yearnings, Volume 4, Issue 2
Homeless VII, Volume 5, Issue 1
Review, Blunt Force: A Collection of Poetry, The Remission of Order, Volume 5, Issue 1

Michael K. Brantley

Michael K. Brantley is the author of Memory Cards (2015, BRW) and the forthcoming Galvanized: The Unlikely Odyssey of a Carolina Confederate (2019, Univ. of Nebraska). He has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and teaches English at N.C. Wesleyan College.

Memory Cards, Volume 1, Issue 1
Number One Pork Chop Man, Volume 5, Issue 1