I don’t have a lot of time these days in the lead up to x-mas and new year. Many things to finish. At any rate, I wanted to point out two excellent poetry magazines, Sawako Nakayasu’s Factorial & Jesse Seldess’ Antennae. I am usually underimpressed with most magazines, but these two really stand out. Factorial is dedicated to good quality collaborative writing. Sawako has done an excellent job in selecting a range of energetic pieces that generally cohere within the x number of pages dedicated to each issue. The impression is that there is a clear unifying aesthetic between the pieces, even though style and content may be very different. Sawako’s own writing has a strong pulse and so do most of the pieces in Factorial. I’ve only been able to glance through Factorial 2 and it appears there is more in the way of recent work in this one. The only surprise thus far is that the one piece I thought I’d like (I like one of the writers), I really didn’t! Before discussing Antennae, I would like to add Factorial!’s distinguishing features are that the writing is very NEW and fairly interdisciplinary. Almost every poem in the magazine is doing something visual or musical or performative. And although you can say this about any magazine, one can really see a dialogue between other arts going on in many of the pieces in unexpected ways. Please remember I’m writing this in a rush! Antennae. I’ll admit that Sawako introduced me to this; in fact I’m basing my comments on the issue she lent me! At any rate, Antennae is a magazine of very musical writing. Some pieces definitely recall John Taggart and Minimalism with the heavy use of repetition and homophonic words, as well as the very careful shifts in emphasis and theme. And approaching the advances of a lot of modern music, many of the pieces are starting to move like the 21st Century. Wasn’t it Elliot who said something about poetry needing to adapt to the rhythms of the automobile? I wouldn’t say that much writing has gone that far yet. Stein perhaps?? (There is Christian Bok’s Motorized Razorblades!) Well, some of the work in Antennae is certainly getting close to it. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought that poetry was gathering dust and was becoming a happy parlor-game. Perhaps it is. These two little magazines help to dispel my doubts, at least for a while.. But I still hate poetry!

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