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Slipstream - 2005

  • Published Date: 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

“I can sometimes almost read the inscriptions on brick walls, in doorways, between/ the wing blades of pigeons.” So writes Yvonne C. Murphy, in her poem “Avenue of the Strongest.” Slipstream No. 25, a journal, as always, consisting solely of poetry, is rife with equal allusions to both the body and to the written word, both in crude and refined forms. At first this seems a strange set of motifs to underline a journal. But a second look finds body and text not altogether removed, and, in fact, a relatively popular contemporary discussion. See Jeanette Winterson’s novel Written on the Body, see post-modernism/post-structuralism, see Ani Difranco’s song “Both Hands.” While I wasn’t entirely impressed by this issue, I can’t say I was entirely unimpressed either. But so is the case when multiple authors’ work colludes to form the sort of miniature anthology that is a journal. Stephen A. Polermo’s poem “Conjoined” treats a dominant, fetal twin who consumed his twin brother in utero, as a hero, for foreseeing his brother’s malady and malformations before birth and doing something about it to avoid his brother’s suffering. This is, of course, an uncomfortable thought, but one that, at the same time, offers a sort of harrowing benediction. Ran Webber’s contemporary, disturbing, and reflective sketches adorn a few of Slipstream’s pages, offering readers a reprieve from the weighty subject matter of the issue’s poems, if not thematically, then in terms of senses most used when experiencing said artwork. Slipstream No. 25 takes risks, and while sometimes these risks are a little much, I applaud the journal for succeeding on more than one occasion.

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Review Posted on December 31, 2005

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