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first published on NHI Review

Indefinite Space X

Sometimes I really wonder about the names of publications. Why are they called what they are called? Well, in this case, the name, INDEFINITE SPACE, is incredibly appropriate. This is not a mainstream journal, nor is it an avant garde one, but rather, it spans the space in between these two limiting definitions, and does so very nicely. The production is neat and the pages are uncrowded. And yet, somehow, I would not describe this journal as being eclectic. The selection seems to not have been a random one. At one end are the visual poems of Fernando Aguiar and Christian Burgaud. A transition occurs via the experimental texts of writers like Richard Kostelanetz, Bruna Mori and John M. Bennett, through to others a little more accessible, like Miriam A. Cohen, Peter deRous, Jeffery Skeate, and lan Haight. Then there are poems that approach the mainstream, from recognisable names like Simon Perchik, Alan Catlin, Michael Estabrook, and B.Z. Niditch. The remaining pages are aptly filled in by several good poets, and some artwork from Wendy Lu.

Overall, this issue is a good mix, and one representative of what is going on in small press writing today. There is no workshop stuff in here, and it is clear that the writers published are also readers.

reviewer: Giovanni Malito.


Indefinite Space XI
The poems in the magazine INDEFINITE SPACE do just that: create a feeling of indefinite space around them for the reader to explore. The cover immediately intrigues with its black and white photo of an ancient empty passageway by Matthew Joy.

Most of the poems are unusual and interesting, and are given space on the page to breathe and allow readers to use their own imagination (an exception to this was Carlotta Abrams' fine AT LIBERTY CITY SCHOOL, a longer poem cramped by a tiny font).

Lines from the poems tend to linger and echo with a strange beauty, and ask to be experienced rather than merely understood as, from HOW TO MOVE IN THE SHAPE OF A CRUCIFIX by Rob Cook:

I learned the sun falls a million ways on a mountain trail, so each becomes a different trail

I learned if I dressed like a folding chair I'd never be alone

Or consider this gem from Giovanni Malito:

the monotony

of every day
existence grief
comes as a respite
and a scratch
embellishes empty face

One or two of the poems struck this reviewer as a little pretentious, but at least the magazine is trying to make a difference and is taking a few risks. Well worth taking a look.

reviewer: Ian Seed.

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