Milk and Honey Siren, Review
If Jeremiah Walton intended to create an anthology that was entirely unified, logical, mainstream, and direct, then he failed. Though I don’t think that’s what he intended when he selected works for Milk and Honey Siren. I think that he knew there’s a certain beauty in chaos, and that as readers we are receptive to such a chaos as to relish it. If that was the objective, then boy, he achieved it.
M+HS is a pick-and-choose medley for differing tastes of readership, from somewhat traditional narrative poems that invoke popular culture and sentiment, to the aesthetically intriguing and bizarre, the abstract works that seize us in delight. Some of the poets that lassoed me wild were Kyle Hemmings, whose monkeys were daunting, Dan Hedges, whose blurbs were a bit dystopian—a flavor I love—and Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto. His monolithic political and cultural feast, “I’VE SEEN THAT MOVIE, TOO!” zigzags in and out of biting satire and pop potpourri. He presents a maniacal totem that strings characters like Prufrock, Holden Caulfield, and Seinfeld in the same lineage of cultural dystrophy, the degeneration of our own personalities into parasites of media references. It’s an excellent piece among many others that strike the reader with literary brutality.
Walton’s anthology has its flaws, though it accepts them. Not every work identifies with the central themes prescribed. Not every part of the framework is too neat. But M+HS is still a hell of a show. Bottom line: Walton and those anthologized made some spectral and illuminating art. To bastardize a poignant line in the final piece of the collection, “The Festival,” by Samuel McGrath, “there are hearts” behind these pieces…and I’m still reading.
4 out of 5
– Alex Grover, Yorick Magazine
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Posted on February 19, 2013, in Cool Stuff and tagged alex grover, anthology, collection, Dan Hedges, Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto, jeremiah walton, Kyle Hemmings, lit, literary, mag, magazine, milk and honey siren, nostrovia!poetry, poems, poetry, Samuel McGrath, yorick magazine. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.