Angle poetry is acute, possibly oblique, but never obtuse.
Rhyme is fine, even if slant, and we incline towards metre.
Here are some sample poems from the current issue on rotation.
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The Obscurantist’s Confession
I have written my share of inscrutable poems: Forbidden
to declare what I wanted to say, I made sure it was hidden.
I have danced in the glow of the diamond that stays in the rough
and succumbed to complaints that it still wasn’t murky enough.
I’ve indulged in the art that aborts its own chance of fruition,
planted flowers to prune and dissect, and then blamed intuition.
In the end, what a slippery slope, unforgivingly steep—
in the end, what a difficult secret the truth was to keep.
After Reading Derek Jarman’s Chroma
The skeptic claims that color is a figment
of the eye’s imagination, not a fact
or property inherent in the pigment.
Compared to size and shape, it’s too abstract,
a mixture of a wavelength and a name
that painters use in service of their vision.
They’d sooner praise the dimensions of the frame
than speak of shades and terms that lack precision.
But your meditations on the spectrum show
that colors hold a wealth of information:
the danger lurking in a yellow glow,
the wine-dark red that stirs the congregation.
The mysteries a color leaves behind
exceed what those philosophers can find.
This is the schizoid zone, the mirror maze,
the dark half-world where Smiley never smiles
whose currency is counterfeit denials.
This is where guilt is blessed and love betrays.
This is the empire of the paranoid,
where every glance entails a double take,
where trust or truth can be your worst mistake.
This is the black abyss, the hidden void.
This is where patriots from topflight schools
conspire to instigate deceitful ploys,
a nursery stocked with clever, lethal toys.
This is where players have to guess the rules.
This is Panopticon, the scanning eye,
the shadow nation of the secret police.
This is where murder is the path to peace.
This is where safety rests upon a lie.
No Longer Will I Praise the Flesh
No longer will I praise the flesh. Muscle
bulges uglily or else it’s flaccid meat.
Saggy the testicle, saggy the teat.
Weakness reigns and so we ask, what corpuscle
is whiting out the red? What tussle
between bone and joint bedevils, hips to feet?
Lost teeth, lost hair: we are all incomplete.
No longer will I prize the flesh. I weary
of its constant, nagging needs,
its odors, ordures, slobberings, and bleeds.
The body isn’t safe. It fails. I’m leery
of its frangibility. My theory?
It’s just a cosmic joke that bruits and breeds
and we’re the dupes as any dope concedes.
Kate Bernadette Benedict