Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FINDING THE WAY

Editor Gary Entsminger and his Managing Editor Susan Elliott have two of the most intellectually active minds I know, and in the latest issue of Pinyon Review, Entsminger contributes an intriguing article entitled “Finding the Way.” It’s an instructive essay about how the Earth and all living creatures project energy fields and is the introductory piece in this eclectic magazine that features noteworthy poets, photographers, scientists, and artists. In the article, Entsminger, a masterful analyst, explains how readers can determine personal polarities using a compass and a pendulum. I was surprised by the sentence: “Men often, but not always, have positive polarity and women negative polarity…” and suddenly remembered having read that Jesus had 100 percent positive energy. When I find a compass, I’m going to conduct my own polarity test and see what’s going on in my energy field. Entsminger’s interests in science, philosophy, history, and literature are frequently reflected in the editorial page of Pinyon Review issues.  I recommend reading the brief article in Pinyon Review #9, which you can order from Pinyon Publishing in Montrose, Colorado.

The ninth issue of this small press magazine also features seventeen writers ranging from an artist and ecologist to a photographer who often provides the photography for covers and articles related to night sky landscapes. The latter, Stan Honda, spent a month at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico as an artist-in-residence and reported on the landscape, ancient pueblos, and the vast sky above them, photographing the changing moonlight moving across the landscape during certain lunar phases, as well as scenes like Jupiter above the North wall of Penasco Blanco.

Susan Elliott, whose artwork has appeared in many of Pinyon’s books, contributed a debut poem that reveals the energy of a highly creative mind, “a meditation on the emblem on the flag in the Death card”: “artichokes bloom[ing] in front of the mason’s old stone cottage/ – purple astral spheres/ full moon/hung/over windless/morning waters…” Susan’s word imagery matches the magic of her visual art, and her exquisite poetry reflects the insights of a practiced observer.

Stuart Friebert, who often corresponds with me, is an outstanding translator of German poetry, as well as an excellent poet. Friebert founded the Creative Writing program at Oberlin College and recently published Floating Heart with Pinyon. His prose piece “Burying Beetles,” in this issue of Pinyon Review showcases the range of his talent in a true story that reveals the cultural conditions prevailing in post-WWII Germany.  As one of the first exchange students sent to Germany after WWII, Friebert spent a winter break from his studies at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt, Germany with Richard and Sybille Kramer, relatives of one of his grandmother’s friends back home. He includes accounts of the efforts of German military to track down former Nazis and a drinking party in which the soldiers suggest doing what the Nazis perfected – “take hostages and kill one an hour until the swastika-worshippers give themselves up.” Friebert hints at a frightening understory, and the suspenseful account alludes to his experiences after learning that Sybille was a Jewess saved by Richard and hidden in the loft of a barn belonging to the widow of Richard’s best friend Dieter Braunfel. Readers shouldn’t be daunted by the title “Burying Beetles.” It’s a page turner!

Noteworthy among poems by Robert Shaw, whose latest poetry collection, A Late Spring, and After, will be published by Pinyon this year, is a poignant one entitled “Voicemail,” an amusing commentary about the recording voice of the woman in his voice mail message: “Once or twice, knowing how crazy it was,/I’ve dialed my own number to hear her,/stopping myself short from leaving a message./I couldn’t ask her – could I? – to call me back./I think the utterly disquieting truth/is that holding her calm voice to my ear/even now feels to me like protection,/and that I fear erasing it would set /a seal for all time on the house’s silence,/unbroken now unless I talk to myself.” According to my personal terminology, “Voicemail” is “pathotic.”

As usual, Pinyon Review #9, contains the work of authors with innovative approaches to memories, feelings, observations, and revelations and is a significant contribution to the body of literature published by small presses in the U.S.

Order from Pinyon Publishing, 23847 V66 Trail, Montrose, Colorado 81403

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