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–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

These days I work strictly in my tiny, beyond-cramped study.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

All of my writing is done by typing in the computer. I’m one of those who still remembers composing on a typewriter, and I have no wish to go back to those days.

What is your routine for writing?

Mondy to Friday, I write (and perform all the secretarial work involved) from 7.00 in the morning until 7.00 at night with a couple of breaks in between. On weekends, I’m more flexible. In other words, I do my best to maintain a happy, healthy marriage.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I started writing as soon as I got hold of a pencil and began scribbling stories in the margins of my big sister’s books. I’ve been doing it, off and on, for more than forty years.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I like to think I write for an intelligent audience that’s appreciative of good poetry.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I guess I’m one of the fortunate few who doesn’t suffer from writer’s block. I’ve just developed so many of what I call triggers over the years, and my study is full of them.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I enjoy travel and eating at restaurants from the fine kind to the local diner. My wife and I are also walkers.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Sometimes it’s completing a work I’m proud of. Other times, it’s receiving an acceptance from a site or magazine that I admire.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Find your voice, keep at it, develop a thick skin, take advice, and ignore advice.

Check out John’s work in Volume 1, Issue 1, and Volume 3, Issue 2.

Gary Beck–Interview

  1. I work at home, or at Bryant Park
  2. I write by hand because I am a poor typist, and I use ballpoint pens.
  3. I’ve been writing for a long time in various cycles, determined by my work in theater when I focused on playwriting and translations of the classics.
  4. My intended audience is adults, ‘or older,’ ideally who enjoy issues, storytelling, and a commitment to literature.
  5. I have an urgent need to communicate with audience,s and I’m concerned with the state of the nation and the condition of the world. I have too much to do.
  6. I mentor some young people and play speed chess.
  7. The actual act of writing and the mental state when it just flows out of the pen.
  8. If it’s vitally important to you, persevere, no matter how you’re scorned or rejected. Never accept family or friends comments as objective assessment.

Check out Gary’s work in Volume 1, Issue 1, Volume 2, Issue 1, and Volume 3, Issue 2.

Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA, with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

Four Flashes After Midnight and Flesh Shall See, Volume 1, Issue 1
The Mote in Her Eye and The Inconstant Blue, Volume 1, Issue 2
Ruins of Black Opium, The Offering of Any God, and Seaside Graphic Novel, Volume 3, Issue 2
Wreath of White, October Fire, and Orange Flame, Volume 4, Issue 1

Robert Krantz

Robert Krantz was born and raised in western New York. He studied Creative Writing and English Literature at both Niagara County Community College, New York, and the University of Akron, Ohio. He is currently a M.F.A. candidate at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. Robert has published a chapbook of poetry and prose, Leg Brace Legato, available at Amazon. His work has appeared in Akros Review, Bare Fiction, Bitterzoet, East Coast Literary Review, and Poetry Quarterly. Check out his website here.

arwen, Volume 1, Issue 1
Review of Gargoyles in Volume 2, Issue 2
Review of Mishigamaa

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Nebo, Euphony, and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest 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

Volume 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the first issue of The Magnolia Review!

To download the PDF, click The Magnolia Review Volume 1 Issue 1 January 2015.

Thank you, and enjoy the first issue!

Contributors: Gary Beck, Michael K. Brantley, Jeff Burt, Janet Butler, Valentina Cano, Matt Chamberlain, Chloe Cherubin, William Doreski, Carolyn D. Elias, Daniel von der Embse, Jeanpaul Ferro, C.S. Fuqua, Trina Gaynon, Howie Good, Mitchell Grabois, Allison Grayhurst, Julie Graziano, John Grey, Sarah Grodzinski, Sarah Jane Hodge, Henry Hughes, Clinton Van Inman,  Mark Jackley, Caitlin Johnson, Patrick Kelling, Alexandra Kolker, Robert Krantz, Taidgh Lynch, Nathen Martin, Tom Montag, Anne Britting Oleson, Sergio A. Ortiz, Richard King Perkins II, Breanna Ridgeway, J.R. Solonche, Louis Staeble, Charles F. Thielman, Sarah Brown Weitzman, D.S. West, Ernest Williamson III, and Omer Zamir.