The Return — A Review

The Return, Mike Dillon — Finishing Line Press, $14.99.

Mike Dillon’s experience in haiku fills his longer-form poetry as well. The Return brims with potent, economical, imagistic poems—the publisher’s description as “laconic” is apt. The poetry’s brevity is a strength, inviting contemplation. The poems draw from a deep well of faith; not a sentimental faith, but a faith that knows sin, suffering, and death, as well as forgiveness, joy, and resurrection.

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H. 3681 is bad for South Carolina

Edit: This post is also available as a letter to the editor at Holy City Sinner, and as one of the posts I have shared on Medium.

In Latin, they ask “cui bono?” In English, they ask “who benefits?” In American, we respond “follow the money.” I present South Carolina House Bill H.3681. Let’s find out who benefits from a bill that denies municipal governments the ability to regulate nicotine sales.

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Calling the Garden from the Grave — A Review

Calling the Garden from the Grave, Lesley Clinton’s new chapbook (available here from Finishing Line Press, $14.99), is a collection of well-balanced tensions — rooted in place, yet unafraid to travel; modern in tone, yet grounded in tradition. Clinton has crafted these poems with care. The result is a chapbook deserving of careful readers.

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A Sonnet to Start the Year

Brian Fink invited an all-star lineup of poets to end 2020 with a little “poetry salvo.” By a slip of the thumb, he included me on the list. This was my entry.

 pridie kalends

The masses do not mourn the passing year. 
As if a calendar could circumscribe 
their suffering, they celebrate and cheer 
this orbit’s end (and heavily imbibe). 

Our planet now returns to take its place 
by Two-Faced Janus (though I’m told that’s wrong— 
it’s savage Juno’s month. Her only face 
is cruel and unappeased by drink or song). 
Like Sisyphus’s boulder, we spin back 
to where we started, only to begin 
our plodding pace around our starry track, 
until we make our homeward turn again,

      those lesser gods, each time- and season-bound,
      mere passengers with us on this great round.