brief 54: Love (2017)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 2017 (March 2017)

Books and Magazines in brief:

brief 54: Love. Ed. Olivia Macassey. ISSN 1175-9313. Pokeno, Auckland: The Writers Group, 2016. RRP $20. 136 pp.

I guess I knew I was going to enjoy this latest issue of New Zealand’s longest-running ‘alternative’ literary magazine, brief (1995–), when I read the first words of Olivia Macassey’s editorial:
‘Love, exciting and new/ Come aboard, we’re expecting you’ (Paul Williams, ‘Love Boat Theme’)
The Love Boat! How horrendous! How — perfect, somehow. A dizzying abyss of saccharine ridiculousness opens up before the reader’s eyes (albeit, I fear, only the reader of a certain age). There’s still a good deal to be said on the subject, it would appear, from young and old alike. Beginning the issue with some poems from the late David Lyndon Brown sets the right tone of Sehnsucht and eternal longing from the outset, but after that we traverse swiftly a range of responses: sassy, sexy, sozzled, silly, sodden, sudden, solicited, unsolicited, cerebral, illustrated, and — Stephanie ... Stephanie Christie, that is. I’ll give her the last word:
... What can you tell me
About love? It’s a word people turn to
When they’ve run out of explanations,
Something that makes them move
That isn’t need. (p. 81)


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017. ISBN 978-0-9941363-5-0 (March 2017): 318.

[204 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 2017

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