Sunday, May 8, 2011

Goblin Fruit: Spring 2011, Fifth Anniversary Issue

By Alexandra Seidel

The spring of 2011 brings us yet another issue of Goblin Fruit that succeeds in weaving a colorful tapestry of imagery, language, and myth. It comes clothed in the most tasteful art that readers of Goblin Fruit have already gotten used to over the years.

This issue, while it does not have one single theme, contains a lot of birds, or at least allusions and metaphors that employ birds. The first piece is J. C. Runolfson's 'Crowfunded', a work that tastes a little bitter, looks a little bleak, not unlike spring and not unlike spring, it holds a balance most evident in the last few lines.

'The Making of Witches' by Paul McQuade invokes the spell of fairy tale, tells us of the way these tales can bind, both the reader and the characters within them, no matter what happened before the tale began. McQuade uses language and metaphor well to deliver his message, his reading of the poem makes it that much more memorable.

Second before last, we find C.S.E. Cooney's 'Ride of the Robber Bride' that stands out for its use of rhyme and meter and a chorus that has the potential the haunt like the lines of a favorite song. 'Ride of the Robber Bride' is not at all as serious as might be expected, it narrates an intelligent story and manages to entertain all the while. The readers might find themselves considering the need for speckled cows.

As the issue began with birds, it ends with Shawna Lenore Kastin's 'Icarus', that same Icarus from Greek myth who is the embodiment of the wish to fly, that thing that makes us envy the birds. The poem makes the reader recall that hubris spells downfall as often as not.

Somewhat apart, Goblin Fruit offers its readers a serialized poem, 'A Silver Spledour, a Flame: Act I' by Catherynne M. Valente. This piece is surely deserving of its own review once it is finished. For now it should be mentioned that 'A Silver Spledour, a Flame: Act I' is based on the Persephone myth. It is already quite clear however, that the myth is not just retold. Valente explore, revalues, interprets, using elements of language and form that one might not usually expect in merely "another poem about Persephone." This work takes new turns, and makes the reader curious for the sequels.

As is the case with McQuade's 'The Making of Witches' and 'Ride of the Robber Bride', most of the poems in this issue are accompanied by an audio version and in almost all cases, the piece benefits from that. Since this is an Anniversary Issue, I would encourage the reader to take some time to explore. There is a prize draw, poets feature and more of interest. Enjoy!

The issue can be found here: