Wednesday, June 14, 2006

zafusy and other matters

What is it about spring 2006? Several new online litmags edited by women poets have launched spectacularly recently. One of my favorites has a name that just sounds like fun: zafusy. It grabbed me right away by featuring one of my favorite poems from one of my favorite poets on the front page: Amy Clampitt's luscious Marine Surface, Low Overcast. Clampitt has to be one of the only poets besides Walt Whitman who can make of excessive modifiers a zesty art form. Where some other poet trying such a poem would come off as simply over-laden, Clampitt's spin on ... well, just on fog ... is stupendous. So I liked zafusy immediately -- and then I noticed they bill themselves as "experimental." Oh no! I can't submit to an experimental magazine. But then I remembered that one reviewer compared me to Alice Fulton. I had to look up her work and, guess what, she's experimental! But in the most appealingly un-experimental -- that is to say, I could actually understand her poems -- way.

Who cares about labels? And that's one of the things I think the Internet poetry community is able to do well: soften the sharp boundaries between this label and that one. There's too much happening too fast, it's all so fluid, even publishing, that making bins and rules seems unlikely to stick for long.

More on new discoveries soon.