My favorite poems in the issue are “Evacuees” by Shari O’Brien, a chilling account of an evacuation of the planet earth before its incineration, and “Narcissus Regrets” by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff. The simple language and rhythm of “Evacuees” just appeals to that short poet in me. Even though it has eleven lines, two lines more than the arbitrary definition of short-short poem that I came up with for the SFPA, it “feels” more like a short-short poem than others physically shorter, mostly because it sketches out a situation that allows the reader’s mind to fill out into a complete mental novel. A good short-short poem says a lot more than it does on its page and “Evacuees” does that for me.
I loved “Narcissus Regrets” because it just flows well, although if I analyze it too much, I’m troubled by the lines, “…and/those that live them,/ change and grow…” because I was under the understanding that Narcissus stared into the reflection to his death, so I’m not sure why he’s still there in Marcie’s poem, sucking in his “gut that/must have formed/millennia ago…” However, I’m willing to forgive her this problem in logic because I just love the way the poem flows like river down the page. It’s a great read.