She admits she is haunted, but does so softly, writes George Drew in his poem, Haunted, and that seems to be a running theme throughout all of the poems in this issue. We hear it in Basho’s whispers in Meena Alexander’s, Little Burnt Holes, we see it in the graffiti on the walls in Jenifer DeBellis’, Asylum, and we feel it in Wendy Mnookin’s Russian Novel when the narrator pulls Anna Karenina/ from the diaper bag.
Maybe we were subconsciously preparing for another harsh New England winter when we chose these poems, remembering that in a winter-hardened house, as Sheryl White writes, nothing approaches that will end in honey. But as Jose Treja-Maya reminds us in Inipi, there are certain songs that last forever. And these poems sing – offering us both the burden of a broken body, from Zilka Joseph, and the blue on our bodies/ that can’t be blotted out, from Karl Krolow.
We are particularly delighted to include a section of elegantly spare and deeply intimate poems by 20th century poets, Karl Krolow and Kuno Raeber translated from German and Swiss German (respectively) by Stuart Friebert.
Language haunts us because it is a conduit for disruption. It is a space for discussion, for reflection. Words linger. They stay with us. Ultimately, we are haunted by what we are trying to heal in our own lives.
Kindest regards, Ben Berman, January Gill O’Neil, and Dzvinia Orlowsky