The Tulip-Flame (2014)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)

Books and Magazines in brief:

Chloe Honum. The Tulip-Flame. ISBN 978-0-9860257-5-4. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2014.

Chloe Honum: The Tulip-Flame (2014)

I suppose that Chloe Honum must have anticipated that I would pick up her book with a certain feeling of surprise, given its thoroughly high-culture-American trappings. Her covering letter, though, explaining that she was brought up in Glenfield, and that this, her first collection, accordingly contains “many poems that draw from my childhood in New Zealand,” made immediate sense of the discrepancy. There’s some great stuff in here in any case, whichever country she identifies with in future:
I know about you, I want to say. Mean drunk. Molester. I am seven or eight. It is fall, the Zen season, the trees clearing their minds. Gold sap. Lavender. Grandfather, where is your memory? I would like to help you look for it. I would like to see you crawl under the shrubs. [“Nursing Home,” p.20]

I have to say that I like that very much: there are so many disturbing overtones about it, so many reasons to feel ashamed and worried. I think the short prose poem is an excellent medium for Honum, actually: the form seems to lend itself to adding just that one more creepy detail which brings the thing to a kind of febrile Lovecraftian life.


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 231.

[214 wds]

Poetry NZ 38 (2009)

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