Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Stephanie asks if anybody's yet talked about the way Combo doesn't give each poem its own page but just launches unceremoniously into the next one as soon as the last one's done. I.e. no "white space."

Oh, yes, your high school English teacher always told you the white space was really, really important. Usually, though, what it's meant to be is "classy," serious, like giving you time to pause and reflect upon the profundity of what you've just read. Running right on to the next poem is a mark of the amateur anthology--like those vanity-press things where they're trying to cram in as many poems as possible into the alloted pages so they can make as many people as possible buy the thing.

If so, well, hail amateurism. The effect in Combo is more giddy and breathless. What? stop to think? forget it, we got another kick-ass poem breathing down this one's neck. It keeps the poem from taking itself too seriously, which seems at least from the one issue I've read to be a vital part of the aesthetic. Breaks the frame around the artifact, or something. Keep it coming.

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