Magazines #3


Colour version of b/w photo from Rabbit 1 by Nicholas Walton-Healey
Colour version of b/w photo from Rabbit 1 by Nicholas Walton-Healey

Rabbit editor Jessica Wilkinson has fusslessly put together some of the best newer writers around in this new print-on-demand poetry journal (based at the University of Melbourne). The poems are generously spaced, each poet has their own title (or name) page; there are photographs, reviews, an interview with American visitor Lesley Wheeler (as well as her cracker poem 'Virginia is for Heterosexual Lovers').

Rabbit 1 includes a couple of long, what I call aformalist poems, such as Tim Wright's 'Suns'. The poem is in dialogue with the form of a list, but Wright counteracts that with different deployments of single lines, enjambed lines, short couplets, such as:

sun on John Ashbery, flipping an LP

at a party in the 1960s

It's not all American celebrities though: River Phoenix and Heath Ledger are brought together; and while Walter Benjamin reads Ted Berrigan, Bruce Beaver reads Benjamin. 'Suns' could at times be a chant, but this is interrupted by shifts in tone, cadence and diction - from description say, to commentary. Not description in terms of the poet's eye, but the eye as connected to the heart - as pump, not sentiment centre. With lines like 'a sun groaning, sick in bed, complaining', it could be the sun as death-of-the-author; but we also get 'sun like a creek' and 'a sun with spikes on it. a sun with snowflakes on it.' Wright's poem presents an assemblage sun. It argues that 'every organism is more or less a congeries of suns'. It's an eight page poem of possibilities, 'carried home in sleeping bags', or 'on Henry James ... on fun runs': 'indivisible/ suns'. There are many wholes and heats.

Unused cover image for Rabbit by Nicholas Walton-Healey

For copies of Rabbit 1, or enquiries email editor Submissions are open for Rabbit 2 (food + drink theme) and Rabbit 3 (visual poetry); word, pdf or jpg attachments to same address.