Friday, September 30, 2011

Eleven Eleven: A Journal of Literature and Art, issue 11

Kin to water, kin to stone—Lord
let time take its stone that my heart is
set, stonesmall
& in your hands:
tidy, almost nothing
lunar module, light square
Lord I pray up.
What is it with your white hands?
[the storm & storm, the hand of God]


Yea we go down. We go eat
the bay like soup. Vulture eggs:
goat teeth: every word
in the mouth of God, bay of God.
Every word on the stoop of forgiveness.
We have a dog. God we dogforge
soft rock and mud. On the brink
of eating catfish & cormorants. Eating
horsehair & butter. The fruit
that has been set out by god
to eat
to eat
to be done (Dawn Pendergast, “Prayers for the Personal”)
I don't usually like to talk about issues of journals my own work is in (feels harder to put aside bias; you know I already love the issue), but it sure was nice to receive the most recent volume of San Francisco journal Eleven Eleven: A Journal of Literature and Art, their (what else?) eleventh issue, dated 2011. At nearly three hundred pages, it's certainly a deal for only a ten-spot, and always good to see new work by favourites and familiar names, whether worthy Canadians or those names I've been introduced to through other means such as Dusie, including Forrest Gander, Dawn Pendergast, Susan M. Schultz, Mary Ruefle, Rusty Morrison, Meredith Quartermain, Sarah Anne Cox, Trish Salah and Rachel Zolf, and seemingly dozens of other names I hadn't heard of before. As well, some of the artwork featured is quite stellar, most notably Dennis Johnson's “Haven on Earth,” or Jody Alexander's “Sedimental , No. 7,” which really needs to be seen.

At the cemetery, the luster of my trying, the shine

of effort is extinguished. Beneath it—
not dark, not raw or cold—only this going forward

without a skin of expectation
to enforce a border
between the living and the dead.

Wild grasses beyond the cemetery fence,
cut grass around my shoes—
in every blade a sky falling
and earth rising up to meet it. (Rusty Morrison, “Necessities & Inventions”)
Featuring poetry, prose, interviews, essays, reviews and visual art, the issue is a wealth of information, yet a couple of pieces frustrate, including Marissa Bell Toffoli's interview with Paul Harding, which seems to presume the reader's previous knowledge on Harding. Why isn't there any sort of biographical information, at least, presented to introduce the interview? I have no idea who Paul Harding is; an introduction would have been nice.

Who gives up on kingdoms?
even after feats of magic and awe striking deeds
oath breakers shake the pillars
deceit breeds deceit
two daughters cut up their father
and drop him into a pot
a mercy killing
the children bloodied yet whole
fly off to other plots their names
their poisons unknown
expatiation equation
yielding 40 days,
300 days, in exile
for x and y axis plotted
they sing here on the turn of the year
at one time they were innocent (Sarah Anne Cox, “from Medea”)
What really appeals about this journal is the wild mix of styles, of genres, of writers, from those that stellar-shine, to other pieces that don't quite strike these eyes the same way. There is much to admire in this issue, this journal. Why hadn't I been paying attention before?

1 comment:

MaCaHu Press said...

Thanks Rob! Next time I'll make sure we post more info on our interviewees.
For folks who'd like to order a copy of issue 11, go to