As always, Vol. 25 of LitMag offers works from many talented writers and artists. One of the most interesting works I have seen includes the Wonder of Creation by Joe Sanders. The image stands out initially because the image is eerie looking. However, after one takes in the frightening image, the connection between its description “Wonder of Creation,” and what the image represent set in. The image represents a sense of power and greatness and an entity that is far greater than human beings. Another work that stands out and is on the same league as Sanders’ “Wonder of Creation,” is Cameron Burson’s “The Meta in Us.” Like Sanders’ work, “The Meta in Us” looks frightening because it is similar to a ghostly image. However, when one understands the meaning of the image’s description, then one may understand that it reflects something that is tied to our own person. As far as I could tell, “The Meta in Us” illustrates the person or the individual beyond us – our spirit or our soul.
A recurring theme or style in Vol. 25 that I find inspiring are the contemporary poems like “Manhattan Reverie” by Kelly Boutross, “Lessons” by Brent Hambrick, and “Garden of Men” by Eli Espinoza Goodman, “The Mugging Sermon” and “Greed, Gleam” by Colyn Gremand. I find it easy to appreciate contemporary poetry that refer to people, objects, and normal or mundane events or experience but still remain meaningful because of subtle metaphors. Moreover, it becomes easier to understand or relate to poetry when they appeal to the senses, such that the reader envisions the scenes or imagery and walks through the moment or experience conveyed in them. “Manhattan Reverie,” for instance, tells a story or an experience, very casually, but at the same time, it appeals to the reader because it is highly descriptive. The poem by Boutross illustrates the concept of “showing, and not telling.” While the experience represented in “Manhattan Reverie” seems to be casual or mundane, it shows depth because of the character’s internal monologue. The same style was used in Dipert’s “Midnight at the Diner,” which is about a waitress at the diner called Buttercup. Again, the poem seems to tell a casual story about an individual’s observations about Buttercup but towards the end of the poem, the character’s internal monologue provides the depth that draws the reader in. The internal monologue in these two poems is effective in allowing readers to relate because it incites them to ask questions about their experiences as well.
The short poems also stood out because they allow the readers to think. “You Open Me” by Ashley Pereira, for instance, is three lines short, but because of its length, it becomes a more interesting experience to decipher its meaning and significance. The same goes for Burson’s “I Crawl Indifferent” and Gail Fike’s “Takutsubo Cardiomyopathy. These short poems as well as the contemporary ones that I previously talked about seem to be more interesting than the usual style and content of poems that most people are familiar about. Some poems may seem simple and casual, but like “Takutsubo Cardiomyopathy” and “Midnight in the Diner,” their simplicity is overcome by their depth.
The interview with Glenn Irwin is most informative. Irwin, as a professor at the University of Missouri and teaches literature and different areas of writing, imparted valuable ideas that could be useful to students and aspiring writers like myself. In the interview, Irwin talks about his motivations in writing, which he credits primarily to music and then to various things or events around us like the weather, how Irwin feels about grass stained baseballs, and texture, among others. Irwin’s response is highly inspiring because it teaches us to look for inspiration in anything and everything that could incite certain reactions or emotions from us, such as things that make us happy or sad, things that we find comforting, or other events that we find intriguing. Irwin also talked about his influences, which include his dad and gospel music, as well as works by other poets and writers like “The Sun Also Rises” and “The River Merchant’s Wife.” This proves that other people in the field of writing play an important role in helping other writers find the inspiration for the works. Moreover, this makes one understand that it is important to find inspiration that defines the kind of literature or art that one is capable of doing.