Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Broome Street Review no. 7: Impeach

Dear Readers,

Last night, plowing through my pint of Ben & Jerry's, I didn't bother fighting it—the despair that bubbles up when wondering what to do about the bodies we almost lose, bodies almost forgotten, bodies buried under so much Phish Food (and/or Cherry Garcia). As the poet Bettina Judd wrote in her 2014 collection Patient. "Questions that lean toward the body sometimes trip over the dead."

Bodies line the pages of our seventh number. These bodies are an unintended thematic consequence of having curated an issue around questions of impeachment. Further evidence of what weighs on our minds through this farce of a presidency and its murderous legislation. Not the first time I think: perhaps the cadaver (the fallen body) is a hallmark of 21st century despair.

The poets and authors here published are grappling with this despair, fighting the facticity of lives poised precariously against a hostile state. In this, The Hottest Year on EarthClaire Donato learns the febrile distinction between love and tenderJoanna Howard follows with a funny and incisive case for the denials that make us human in a Relative Economy. Tina Cane swims us through a Body of Water where pain and pleasure, the sensuality of lived experience, drive us to stay afloat. In CorpsesYeji Y. Ham's river of language is haunted by a different kind of buoyancy. Sarah Passino, like Goya's Saturn, can't help consuming the lives of those she most loves in How Many Children Have I Swallowed And It Is Not Even Noon, a lyric dirge on the antidote of intimacy as snare. With A New MathTyrone A. Parks evokes the Nation of Gods and Earths and its Supreme Mathematics. With his boots on the ground, Steven Alvarez climbs over redacted borders to deliver a fragmented song of Amurka's present. And we end with hopeful words for the future of mankind from the Portugeuse poet António Osório, thoughtfully translated by Patricio Ferrari.

Bound in a protective, impeach-flavored sleeve, this is our first full color number. It will also be our last. After two terms of literary precedence (April 2009 - July 2017) the Broome Street Review is leaving office. As LeRoi Jones wrote in his 1963 poem Snake Eyes

We take
unholy risks to prove
we are what we cannot be...

I hope this journal has not failed to risk. My sincerest hope is that you've been inspired, challenged, frustrated—moved by some part of this endeavor. And while the ice caps are melting and our rights are being stripped, I hope this energy moves you to take more risks—to fight in good faith for the possibility of a different and better future. Because you won't find it at the bottom of a Ben & Jerry's pint. Take it from me.

These eight years have been a marvelous gift and I'm glad for this record, this journal. It has been a special honor and privilege to publish so many brilliant makers. I encourage you to pick up a copy from the Brown University Bookstore, Ada Books, McNally Jackson, Berl's, or Greenlight in the coming weeks. You can also buy it directly from us online ($10 + $4 s/h — see the link below). Or, if you're strapped for cash, send us your email address and we'll send you one gratis


Gratefully,
Andrew E. Colarusso
Editor in Chief




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