The Centrifugal Eye Spring 2016 - Unformed

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The Centrifugal Eye

Spring 2016 Volume 10 Issue 1


Front & Inside Cover Photography by Larry Tremblay Cover Design by Eve Anthony Hanninen

Volume 10 S


Issue 1 R
















Staff: Eve Anthony Hanninen Editor-in-Chief & Art Director Karla Linn Merrifield Contacts Editor & Review Columnist Maureen Kingston & Jenne Knight Assistant Editors Dallas J. Bryant, Gram Joel Davies & Ocalive Olaopa Mwenda Casual Reviewers Stephanie Curtis, Dallas J. Bryant, Tyler Smith Art Assistants Anonymous Readers Circle

Inside Cover Photo: Larry Tremblay is an avid photographer who lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Look for more of Larry’s studies in contrast and form inside this issue. Fonts: Display — Arnprior, Baskerville Old Face & 101 in My Yard ⪤ Body copy — Baskerville Old Face Stock Art, Photos & Spot Illustrations courtesy of

Copyright 2016 The Centrifugal Eye “Collected Works”


“Half-Boarded Window” Photo by Larry Tremblay, 2016

Poem Pairs Complementary poems in Free Verse and Form Variations Written by Solo Poets and Poetic Duos


Editorial “Packing & Unpacking” by Eve Anthony Hanninen

Formed/Unformed Pairs by Solo Poets


accompanied by mini-commentaries from

Jared Pearce Phil Wood James Toupin Martin Willitts, Jr. Ron Yazinski John Grey

10 18 22 28

Formed/Unformed Pairs by Poetic Duos


accompanied by mini-commentaries from

Colleen Powderly & Karla Linn Merrifield Judith Terzi & Lucia Galloway Deborah Guzzi & Cyndi MacMillan Laura Bayless & Jennifer Lagier Bruce McRae & Karla Linn Merrifield

38 42 46 56

Poetry Review 60 on Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled : Unlocking the Poet Within By TCE Column Reviewer Karla Linn Merrifield Announcements



By Eve Anthony Hanninen, Editor-in-Chief of The Centrifugal Eye

I’ve done a lot of that this past year — packing and unpacking, that is. I moved across three provinces to two different cities within the span of seven months. Moving can be strenuous, tedious, stressful, exhausting. Yet it can also be exciting, emotionally releasing, and even adventurous. Regardless the reasons for moving, there are inescapable tasks involved in relocating, two of which are packing and unpacking. If you do it yourself, like my husband and I had to this past year, it helps to develop systems for streamlining the process. Gathering all tools and materials so that they’re always at hand and grouping objects for fit are two such factors to consider. And while I hope I don’t have to do anymore packing/moving/unpacking again for a good, long while, I can appreciate how my many experiences with the processes of relocation reflect this issue’s theme, Unformed. At the least, I’ve come to recognize the moving process as a useful analogy. Can you guess? Unh huh. Yes! Packing is like form. It’s all about decision-making and observant execution. To pack efficiently, you must organize varying shapes and sizes, using reinforcing materials, into interlocking fashion. If you’re the sort of packer who needs harmony amidst similar objects, or you have an eye toward advantageous and functional unloading in future, then a structured plan — as well as patterning, such as packing by room — will also come into play. Similarly, unpacking can be like writing free verse. (You knew that was coming.) The process of unpacking is less exacting than packing form into its constraints, as the safety of belongings is less of a concern after the move is over; the activity of unpacking is one of unwrapping, unfolding — usually at a more relaxed pace than is packing — and of placement of elements into a different environment, perhaps even in innovative, relational configurations. A new home may invite non-traditional experimentation in design. Both packing and unpacking are the necessities of moving a household of belongings; they are of equal importance. In the world of poetics, both forms and unformed verses also have their equal uses; obviously, when you’re familiar with either format of writing, you know that each process teems with specific activities that serve to create function, meaning, and beauty. Whether you have a preference for one type of form over another, or can find equal pleasure in reading and/or writing forms and free verse, I bet you’ll enjoy this issue of The Centrifugal Eye for its contributors’ courageous attempts to juxtapose formed and unformed poem pairs. Will you recognize which poems are packed and which unpacked? Get moving! 6

“Form & Function” by Larry Tremblay, 2016


Formed / Unformed Pairs


“Unfolding NYC” by Louie Crew Clay, 2016

By Solo Poets


Blue Jays Mating But I don’t see how— Well, I know how, I’ve nested my six Eggs, been nettled every Season by the nip In her beak, in her striking Wing and eye batting— But those birds, twisting The harsh pine so flush With rough branches, spiny Needles, how to lace That world and tie Their knotted race, Is the grace of angels. There they go, snipping The grey sky, their shriek A triumph, a lamentation, For the mate, for the egg, For the biting tree And the indifferent sky— Something I’ve seen, something to fly.


Sparrows Mating Complete, invisible Universe, findable When the syzygy dies In a ripple of feathers: A briefness, a lag, A holding, a rupture. Their tiny orbit complete, It’s no big bang That drives them apart Or gravitates them together— The world moves along, However God counts them, And like a star dying, Their tryst is nothing to us As we regard our constellations, Yearning for patterns, However small, However torn.


“I wrote the sparrow poem at least a year earlier, after, well, seeing two sparrows mating. But I should clarify: I'm not walking around looking for birds in the midst of their moments. The sparrows were just there; I was just there — it was like magic. The jays occurred in a similar way — these jays were tearing around in this tree — I started thinking it would be difficult to do what they were doing, in their way, for me, that is. The patterns came from the image. That is, what I was watching, witnessing, had a sort of rhythm in the world at that moment. When I went to draw connections from the image to human living, part of the form came from the image and part came from that rhythm. “The poems began with the image and the idea. From there, as I work on the image and idea, the rhythms of image and sound remain on the page while other areas of the poem get washed out. If I've got the image and the sound, then it's a matter of lines (keeping the words inside the lines of the idea, like coloring). If it's time to write and I'm having trouble, I sometimes choose a metrical pattern and see where that takes me. I find that he's exactly right when Ashbury says form can be like the pedals pushing the feet. “Several years ago a friend of mine and I constructed a great argument. She mentioned one day that rhyming was stupid. I was in the middle of studying Yeats. I wondered why we would want to disregard a mode of applying a layer of beauty to our language. We were emailing our positions back and forth over several weeks — she maintaining that rhyme was dead while I was trying to defend the tradition. Since that argument, though I was not really rhyming a lot, I began rhyming a lot. Yeah, partly it was to tick off my buddy, but partly, too, it was to investigate rhyme as an option for creating meaning through emphasis and adding a layer of beauty. From those experiments it was really a short step to more traditional forms. I don't know my percentage of open to traditional forms. My guess is that I spend more time mixing traditional and open forms. Currently, I've been working on a series of fourteeners (which have the rhetorical poise — or idea-shape, if you like — of a sonnet, but without attention to the sonnet's rhyme scheme or meter). A year ago, I wrote my first corona (a linked series of traditional sonnets). [Form and free verse] both have their difficulties, and at times I'm both comfortable and uncomfortable in each. I suppose that's part of the work of the poet.” ~Jared Pearce

Jared Pearce teaches writing and literature at William Penn University. Some of his poems are forthcoming from Albatross and Asymptote, and others have recently been shared in Angle, Belle Rêve Literary Journal, Far Off Places, and Birmingham Arts Journal.


Stock Art: “Lovebirds” & “Jay in Flight”


Playing at Being Dylan After the pub an aubergine cloud broods over the boathouse, nests within my head; its thunder quickly clips the fading roses, and through the bracken winter waves rage. To taste is to destroy. Yet how I hunger to play those naming games and make all things shiver with meaning. Thistles thrive beneath the snailed church, and mussels priest the shore. After the storm this hush brews a druid's cup spilling a sullen art over the marsh. I climb the fern-clad hill, gulping the quiet. Enough to slake a holy thirst, but never his.


Laugharne Mussels cling to the salt-cracked rock. He labours within the boathouse, clipping the lines of faded roses, uprooting rusted bracken, weeding out the familiar until hearing the poem shiver with rhythms. But not enough. He bins another page. A scatter of sweet wrappings litter the floor where a bottle lingers to nurse the words out of him. To drink is to destroy. Yet how he thirsts to play naming games, to spill his sullen art over the marsh. Let winter waves rage, let the hush ferment a druid's brew and pump his veins to climb that hill blistered with autumn fern, and below let the church slate and stone glisten with a congregation of crisp meaning. It will be enough to slake his poet's thirst. An aubergine cloud broods over a boathouse in Laugharne. He writes. He drinks.


“The form poem was written first. The subject matter drove the form. The intention was to empathise with the subject by adopting a persona. “The persona required a richness of imagery, expressiveness in the rhythms of a longer line. The poem, whether through language or subject matter, decides form. I treat the poem as organic. I need to listen to the poem, not the limits of my own aesthetic.” ~Phil Wood

Phil Wood works in a statistics office. Enjoys working with numbers and words. Recently published work can be found in online publications London Grip, The Recusant, The Stare's Nest, streetcake, The Screech Owl, and The Open Mouse. This is Phil’s second appearance in

The Centrifugal Eye.


Stock Art: Far left— “Mussel Stew” Above— “Mussels & Barnacles” Right— “Empty Glass Bottle”


Fear of Heights Come to the edge where vision nears The heaven temptation made, The acrophobe finds himself not afraid To fall. That lack is what he fears, Watching the devils of the eye.

Two boys were running across a flat, endless roof. However fallen, angels surmount Mere worlds; a man might want The try, to launch wingless from the height, Stay the while at the tip of flight, See the pivot of earth and sky,

Suddenly, they came to an end. Waking, I knew I was the one who could not Make that apex all his play, As angels need not care Not troubling that our flight falls from the air. He waits to want to walk away, Saved by the whispers of the I —



Muse 1 In his heart of hearts, every man who has ever written a woman a poem knows it is not what she wants. What does he expect it to do? It is a paper boat sailed on a stream. She knows it floats past her toward the muse he imagines he does not believe in. And he thinks the muse would never ask, What is cruelty?

2 Poet: To write, love. Writing, love. Love to write. Loving, write.

Muse: Right, luv. Love right.


“In both of these poem pairs, the formal element came first. In each case, for different reasons, I felt that the formal poem needed a complement. In the ‘Muse’ poem, the formal element came as a play on words that seemed to express a human situation, both in its meanings and in the terseness of the repetition. In ‘Fear of Heights,’ trying to depict a dreamed-of angelic flight seemed to work best when played against a stanzaic rhyme scheme that spread beyond a quatrain. “My normal process is to gather anecdotes, phrases, or thoughts that I think could be the basis for a poem and wait for an adequate form to occur to me. The adequate form may prove to be a traditional meter or a rhyme scheme, or it may be a free-verse ordering that nevertheless seems to me to contribute a regularity that helps elucidate why the germ of the poem seemed resonant. “My natural instincts, I suspect, are for metrical lines and equal-length stanzas but not necessarily for rhyme. Over time, though, I think that I've tended to write more in free verse that plays off of those inclinations. Introducing more irregularity has seemed necessary to rough up sometimes over-smooth surface effects in poems. “I often try shifting between free and formal verse. This will take place when I'm dissatisfied with the effect that is achieved when I have fit my idea into what seemed an otherwise perfect formal fit, whether free or traditional. More often, these days, I subsume rhyme schemes into free verse forms, an approach that Robert Lowell seems to have taken as he made the transition away from formal verse. Sometimes, as in the poems for this issue, the formal solution seems right, but to lack something, and I'll find a complement which often takes a different metric approach — something like Lennon's switching between a waltz-like 3/4 and a rocker 4/4 time in ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds ’.” ~James Toupin

James Toupin, a retired government lawyer, teaches in the law school of American University in Washington, DC. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, most recently Virginia Quarterly Review (online), Beloit Poetry Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Poecology, and First Class Literary Magazine. He is also a published translator, of Selected Letters of Alexis de Tocqueville (University of California Press), and co-author of a book on patent litigation issues. James is a longtime contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. 20

Stock Art: “Origami Boat”

“Fisheye View of Mr. Jay’s House” by Louie Crew Clay, 2016


Geese in Patterns At the geese crossing they move in tight lines; cars honk, almost hitting. It is not time for them to take off in flight until the ground whitens into frostbite, chill settling like feathers, our teeth chattering at geese crossing. The geese move in tight like army columns headed into battle might before dying. The winter sun is blanching. It is not time for them to take off in flight like pilots preparing for bombing all night. We must learn patience. In our car, waiting at the geese crossing as they move in tight protecting goslings, making sure that they’re alright. Oh look, our children call out, no shoving. It is not time for them to take off in flight. It is normal to be startled by this sight. Cars are waiting, the goslings hesitating at the geese crossing. They move in tight; it is not time for them to take off in flight.


Goose Boy 1 Grandfather says he had distant Indian blood, a thin shallow trail like onion roots. Because of that, he claimed he could transform into a goose. When winter arrived early like an out-of-season hunter, I found goose prints in mud, and grandfather was gone. Magic is strange that way. In gray wintry clouds, I’ve heard, I could follow if I wanted to; it was in my blood, like peeling onions reminds you of loss. By my generation, I am almost rinsed clear of ancestry, but the magic is still deep within me, an echo in morning light lessening as faraway geese. 2 Goose Boy knew winter was early, but he was caught off guard. Already the night was an axe cutting the light shorter and shorter into flint sparks. Soon snow would hunt all those who could not survive. Goose Boy knew it was already too late, so he smoked on it. This is how you prepared for important decisions. You saw solutions in the smoke, you heard wisdom between breaths. He sang a changing-song, for this was a time when songs had great powers. His feathers became a white robe, thick like bear fur.


He lived among the berry pickers. He had a secret, sacred among the winds. And when it was time for winter to move out of his seasonal lodge to hunt elsewhere with his snowflake arrows, Goose Boy began his changing-back music. It is said he was my ancestor. I do not believe that story. It is too faraway. However, every spring when geese return filling the sky like newborn clouds, I molt. I hear: remember. 3 Geese enter the farm’s pond, a congregation wearing baptismal robes of harsh light, dipping their heads for full immersion. When they take off, all together, like harmony, emptying the pews, they are the snow rising back into clouds. 4 Goose feathers are white as grandmother’s hair. A goose egg is grandfather’s bald head. Geese depart into the sky like hair ribbons. They are writing my name.


5 The geese sound their car horns in traffic. Goose Boy welcomes them, his heart drumming. The wings repeat the same message. In mist, like pipe smoke, magic songs ricochet off mountains, light as feathers through clouds, as arrows of remembrance. Dreams have unlimited magic. If this is my ancestry, then I will flock to the wilderness, like a heart following the curve of the earth from season to season, following the path of light like a deer trail; like tribes remembering the way the center of the world used to be and how you could sing it forth with magic songs.

Stock Art: “Goose Biots�


“The general idea came to write a poem about the geese I see all of the time at a local goose crossing, and I also remembered how my grandfather talked about having Native American blood. While the geese crossed in front of my car, impatient people were honking their horns and the geese were answering back. Which poem hatched first: the goose or the goose egg? I do not know. I think they were flying in my head simultaneously. “Since ‘Goose Boy’ was longer, it felt right to be free verse since it was waddling around in my head. The villanelle (i.e., ‘Geese in Patterns’) is a tricky form that I use from time to time to show that I can write in rhyme, and the long line of geese crossing in front of my car was very structured. “A lot of times, I start writing to see where the poem is going to go. I edit as I write. Eventually I see a pattern emerging for line length, stanza breaks, rhyme or no rhyme, or punctuation versus no punctuation. I tend towards 2- or 3- or 4- or 5line stanzas. If I see the stanza breaks developing, the rest of the poem heads in those directions. Otherwise, a poem then becomes an unstructured poem. “I do not write a lot of formal poems; I am more of a free-verse poet. I write in form whenever I want to challenge myself, or to show that I could write in form. I write haiku, villanelles, sonnets, sestinas, and other forms, occasionally. I think too many rhyming poets [get] clunky with their rhymes, forcing them to fit, and I feel I fall into the pattern, too, sometimes. Anyone who is a good formal poet should get credit for performing such difficult poetry. “I think that a lot of poets revisit the same image in different angles, especially if the image is interesting enough; I do. However, I do not consciously say to myself, ‘now that I wrote free verse about this subject matter, let’s see if I can write a sonnet about the same subject.’” ~Martin Willitts, Jr.

Martin Willitts, Jr., has been in Turtle Island Quarterly, Stone Canoe, Nine Mile, Comstock Review, Blue Fifth Review, Red Poppy Review, Kentucky Review, and many more publications. He was also the winner of the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Poetry Award. His recent fulllength poetry collections include How to Be Silent (FutureCycle Press) and God Is Not Amused With What You Are Doing In Her Name (Aldrich Press). Martin is a longtime contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. 26


Stock Art: “Geese”

Her voice on the phone An unseasonable wind Turns blossoms to snow.


Ambiance In the middle of the garden at Chapin Station, I stand chest-deep in white azaleas. It’s February, And spring has come to Central Florida. My ninety-three-year-old mother, Who refuses to move south, calls to tell me that — against all standing orders — she’s shoveled three inches of snow from her Pennsylvania sidewalks. Her neighbor, who usually does it, Was late, having slipped on the ice the day before, Wrenching his knee; And she couldn’t wait to go to the hairdresser For her weekly appointment to refrizz her hair. Not that she has anywhere special to go, Anyplace worthy of a broken hip or heart attack, Both of which would leave her lying helpless On ten-degree snow. She just wants me to know That it’s still important for her to look her best, Even if no one is around to see her. As she hangs up her rotary phone, I see the blossoms have turned to snow.


“The free verse was written first, since that is the form I find most comfortable. And though I’ve tried my hand at haiku many times before, I created this one as a direct response to this issue’s theme. “After reading the original, free-verse version of my poem, I thought it echoed a style reminiscent of Basho in his ‘Narrow Road to the Interior.’ In that travel diary, the occasion for the haiku is described before the poem itself is presented. “I almost always write in free verse. The only time this alters is when after working a poem to its basic components, I surprise myself with naturally occurring rhymes or stanza forms. This doesn’t happen often. And quite frankly, I don’t trust it when it does, because it doesn’t feel like my work. At best, it seems a clumsy aping of Frost.” ~Ron Yazinski

After dividing the last four years between his native Pennsylvania and Florida, Ron Yazinski and his wife Jeanne have recently become permanent residents of Winter Garden, FL. A retired high school English teacher, Ron is inspired by the personalities and energies of his new hometown. Initially enticed by the climate of central Florida, he finds the hospitality and openness of the people who live in this marvelous little town refreshing and rejuvenating. Ron’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Strong Verse, Edison Literary Review, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and Pulsar Poetry. He is also the author of the chapbook, Houses: An American Zodiac, and two volumes of poetry, South of Scranton and Karamazov Poems. Ron is a longtime contributor to The Centrifugal Eye.


“White Azaleas in a Pot” by Claude Monet, 1885


Art Attack Here he is. Up all night. Eyes still open. Black coffee and pills at his side. If he paints in a field, he's all trees and grasses. On the sidewalk, he's buildings and hustle and strangers' faces and legs. But if he paints in his attic, having no model, then he's painting the contents of his head. So the image is unknowing, on the canvas, despite itself. It takes shape. More coffee. More pills. No masterpiece. Surely not peace. But a piece at least. Splash and swirl, spray and spackle — the fire outdoes his thoughts. The richest red. The darkest black. Like the eyes that won't conform to the hours.


Like the body that goes along with them. More coffee. More pills. This studio, this attic, could not be the place it is without coffee, without pills, without the stain on his smock, the yellow of his teeth. Hair flung back. Tongue sloshing his chin. Veins popping loose from his brow. More of him than you could believe on that rugged easel, those palette cups, the saturated bristles, the soaked ferule and crimp. The flesh and the bone is up there. So is the coffee. So are the pills. It may take years to finish — maybe being unfinished is its virtue, like the unfinished man. His reward to be still at it . . . the coffee, the pills, the life . . . his best work needs the worst of him.


The Chopin and Liszt I don't remember the name of the soloist Though it possibly could have been the Latin word For glowing hands, radiant fingers, as we heard A performance by a maestro, not to be missed Nocturnes, mazurkas, impossible to resist Even the dour but poignant Funeral March, the third Movement of Sonata Number two. Awe deferred To this choice interpreter of Chopin and Liszt. The entire auditorium was bathed in light When he was done, and sheer exhilaration swept Every last one of us out into the warm night. Floating as much as strolling, we gleefully kept Reliving the performance, faces blissful, bright Enough to match the headlamps, neon, till we slept.


“The free verse [was written first]. This was intentional and natural, as my [comments] below will testify. “I don’t write a lot of formal poetry, but when I do, it’s the sonnet that’s always the default. It makes no sense on the surface, but the rhyme scheme and meter of a sonnet create the perfect balance and boundaries for whatever subject matter I choose. “Almost all my poetry is free verse. I typically only write in form at someone’s request or to submit to a magazine that I like that only accepts formal poetry. “I don’t know if ‘comfortable’ is the right word [to describe how I feel about writing in forms versus free verse]. I do appreciate the freedom that free verse allows and it certainly flows off the fingers more easily. Formal poetry requires a more studied, analytical approach to the writing. I’m not opposed to the process, but, as a percentage of my output, formal would be in the 1% range. “My poem for TCE was, in fact, the first time I had ever tried to create a form poem from free verse.” ~John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, and US resident. He’s recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions, and the anthology, No Achilles, with work upcoming in Big Muddy, Gargoyle, Coal City Review, and Nebo. John is a longtime contributor to The Centrifugal Eye.


“Undiluted Beauty” by kerry rawlinson, 2016

Formed / Unformed Pairs


By Poetic Duos 37

Surviving the Cold When the weeping was over and plate shards swept up, she worked hard to make a new place. Painted walls yellow, built bookcases for bric-a-brac, put fresh roses in vases near each door to the house. Alstroemeria in the dining room, a bowl of phlox in the hall, begonias each end of the bath. Bee balm by the bedroom window, geraniums near the garage, and a lilac bush where the driveway met the street. Last she set a narrow planter in the south kitchen window, where sun spread new succulents the following year.


Stock Art: “Empty Rocker�

Turning Heatless I sense her presence strongest in the drab, shit-brown, windowless cell of the first-floor powder room. She cried there several times, and, once, toward the end, after the last log in the pile was gone, she wept over baseboards she’d ripped off, then snapped for scanty firewood. She let the two older boys destroy the built-in wine rack she’d emptied and several hollow-core closet doors, the flimsiest of tinder. All flared in the woodstove, quickly extinguished, and, unlike RGE’s silent shut-off, hissed into the desperate ashes of abandoned wives.


“I think Karla wrote her poem first, but I'm not sure. I don't recall seeing it before writing mine. I know I decided to use a list of flowers during the writing process, and early on I knew the persona/character needed to survive living in that house and move on with her life. “I almost always write free verse. I'm usually very attuned to rhythms in my lines and often find myself working in what I've heard described as a "sound cage" of vowels (and sometimes consonants) that occur more or less spontaneously as I begin writing. “I'm very comfortable writing in free verse. My main early influences were Whitman and Rich, both of whom wrote beautiful free verse poems. As I've matured as a poet, I've found I emphasize narratives from people's lives, particularly people who are disenfranchised from society in one way or another. It feels very necessary to use free verse when dealing with them.” ~Colleen Powderly

Colleen Powderly’s early poems reflect her childhood in the deep South and a decade spent in the Midwest. Those poems eventually formed the basis for her book, Split (FootHills Publishing, 2009). More recent work has focused on narrative and ekphrastic poems. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Ekphrasis, Steel Toe Review, Third Wednesday, and The Centrifugal Eye, and has been anthologized in Malala: Poems for Malala Yousefzai and Mo’ Joe: The Anthology. Colleen belongs to Just Poets of Greater Rochester (NY) and has served on the editorial board for the organization’s anthology, Le Mot Juste. She is currently Just Poet’s vice president. Colleen is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye.


“When we first talked about trying your [Unformed] experiment, we knew we wanted our paired poems to meld, not jar or grate. Pairing the poems thematically was the first step. By coincidence, we’d both been working on feminist poems about the indignities we are made to endure. In bringing ‘Surviving the Cold’ and ‘Turning Heatless’ together as a free-verse poem and a form poem, I knew I wanted to soften the rigidity of a Shakespearian sonnet or villanelle. At first glance, ‘Turning Heatless’ looks rather formal with its tidy quartet of quatrains . . . readers may be expecting lines to rhyme traditionally, have that iambic beat. Instead, the pleasure to the ear is through assonance, as well as internal pure rhymes. I like to think of it as a formal poem that's loosened its corset. “About 80% of the time, I let the poem find out what it wants to be, let it surprise me: ‘OMG, it wants to be a tritina! OMG, it’s a ghazal! Holy mackerel, I’m writing this in heroic couplets!’ I study forms, I practice them, striving to have them embodied within me, ready to rise to the occasion. Often I will kickstart my in-tent poetry safaris by doing a Fibonacci, for example. Warms up my sense of syllables. Forms make good prompts. They’re fab fun to play with. They keep you nimbler. They enrich the palette you offer the reader. “For someone who finds forms a frolic — albeit an eye-opening, mind-opening one — I write just as many poems in free verse. The poem takes the lead; I follow. I can’t force it to be a tanka if it wants to go on a Ginsburgian binge. “My earliest books are almost fully free verse, but in the last 10 years as I’ve spent more time in Form Land, I hope readers will find a pleasing balance. I do, however, have one chapbook under consideration that is entirely in form poems — each poem is in a different form in a mosaic that tells the story of a four-masted, tall ship, its complex rigging a metaphor for my multiform poems. “Free verse? Or poems in forms? Both require craft.” ~Karla Linn Merrifield

A National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 12 books to her credit, the newest of is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing), a sequel to. Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. Assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye), a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society and TallGrass Writers Guild. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at


To a Bathrobe Bathrobe, you’re a mink coat over silk pyjamas worthy of traversing the space between doorway and waiting limousine. Never mind I’ve thrown you on to fetch the morning paper. You’re my costume of choice for the daily audience with petitioners— their missives crowding my inbox. You’re the greatcoat I trail like a boyar whisking across the tundra on a sleigh-link from my dacha to the ice palace of Catherine the Great. Though you crave glamour, Bathrobe, you cherish that streak of independence. While I cook breakfast, your sleeves flirt with pancakes crisping in the skillet, trifle with cracked eggs. Cuffs and lapel lure airborne bacon grease, that insidious ultraviolet that confers its drab, uneven tan. Tossed into the washer, you’re aggressive, freeing your belt from its loops to tangle with t-shirts, silk blouses, bras and panties— an errant sash surrounding, tightening like a cobra strangling its prey. One day I’ll pull you all from the tub— hideously knotted, twisted corpses. 42

Hegemony You are my mink, you are no peasant frock. You lend me a pedigree — Aristocrat. I'm Catherine the Great, I am a terry queen in a sparkle of sleigh en route to my château. I'm Marilyn Monroe, I'm a stretch limousine. Oh robe — you are glamorous, you are de trop as I drag through the grassroots of a day. Oh never mind your dangling cuffs that chat with egg and bacon grease, your pockets stashed with tissue. Thrown into the washer, your sash obeys its noble sway, escapes its yoke to overpower bra straps & culottes. An errant tsar, a lavender snake, it chokes the hoi polloi — amorphous, spinning prey.


Stock Art: “Mink”

“I always think about form when I begin to write, but often in a looser sense than the traditional, received forms that evolved from the Romance languages: sonnet, villanelle, sestina, terza rima, etc. ‘Ode to a Bathrobe’ is a free-verse poem that draws upon the open form used by Pablo Neruda in his odes. This version is actually a revision of an earlier poem, ‘Bathrobe,’ whose form was less generic (form can be a matter of subject matter as well as of style). I’d say that most of my poems are either free verse or nonce forms that are relatively open. I use music and a sense of line to incorporate assonance, alliteration, repetition, and elements of surprise. These and imagery are my most reliable poetic devices. “I write both free verse and forms and enjoy both. But when I succeed with a formal poem, there is usually a sense of exhilaration that exceeds that which comes from writing free verse. I like sonnets and villanelles, but the constraints they impose I find suitable for only a limited number of the feelings and ideas I want to express. Still, if the subject allows, there’s nothing as satisfying as producing a good villanelle!” ~Lucia Galloway


“Makeshift Clothesline” by Larry Tremblay, 2016

Lucia Galloway’s poetry collections are Venus and Other Losses (Plain View Press), Playing Outside (Finishing Line), and The Garlic Peelers, winner of the Quill’s Edge Press 2014 inaugural chapbook competition. Recent work appears in Tar River Poetry, The Comstock Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Inlandia: A Literary Journal, Mason’s Road, and Poemeleon, as well as the anthologies Thirty Days (Tupelo Press), Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque), and Element(ary) My Dear (Kind of a Hurricane Press). Among her distinctions is a top-prize in Rhyme Zone’s 2014-15 Poetry Contest for her poem “Open to the Elements.” Galloway received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She lives with her husband, a retired physicist, in Claremont, California, where she hosts “Fourth Sundays,” a poetry reading series. Judith Terzi's most recent chapbook, If You Spot Your Brother Floating By, is a collection of memoir poems from Kattywompus Press. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Atlanta Review (International Publication Award, 2015), Caesura, Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo Press), The Raintown Review, Unsplendid, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series). She lives and writes in Southern California. 45

a cobalt blue sky claws a callous moon: missing Venus your wedding ring sits on the nightstand


“False City Trees” by Larry Tremblay, 2016

Round Midnight Chasms widen, again. No point rising, nothing has changed so I bulldoze my side of the bed, loop de loop list each void that haunts: Our once full sink bearing a vacancy sign; The laundry line widowed of jaunty, plaid shirts; sport section crumpled upon the recliner; flirtatious mornings, two cups, brimming; the dilly-dally from evening walks; the chuckles that lingered on the phone; showers with unfathomable squawks; intimacy elongating lunch hours; and your husky finger filling in a wide rim of gold, now a nest for dust, a reminder of the dry crusts of toast always left on your plate, and a mimicry of the perfect hole my mouth must have made venting anguish into your grave.


a red sunset darkens the cornfield: harvest time

Roadkill Like party crashers, we shoulder farmland, tear down trailing streamers of mustard and maroon leaves. Passing closed stands still pregnant with pumpkins, our sedan dodges raccoon, squirrel, and groundhog carcasses. When we grind a bend, approach the unexpected collision, we think it another fender bender, just one more snag for our late Sunday cruise, until we see the broken body — head covered — and a teen girl on bloodied knees beside the corpse. Training drives us to pull over and join other stumped travelers who are unable to aid a crazed man.


Stock Art: “Crows”

I’vekilledmywifeI’vekilledmywife he screams to a long-deafened hill, to his capsized minivan, to the casualty of nightfall. Only nightmares reach the perdition where he has disappeared, and his swiftly aging daughter buries herself in a new, motherless life. A farmer has left his calm, warm house, says help is coming, so we backtrack, try to rewind the tragic scene. I walk past glass and metal, past howls of grief, notice what I think is fresh roadkill, but as I draw nearer, I see thick, chestnut hair, scalp attached, a lavender barrette. How static a heart can become, how gruesomely quiet. Our car crawls by a murder of crows in a stripped maple; caw-caws break like waves though my closed window, each cry a condemnation against the first slap of frost.


“I wrote the short forms of tanka and haiku. I chose these forms because they were Eastern forms where the focus is objective and sensory. I felt the sharp bite, taste, or slap of eastern Zen paired well with the strong subjective nature of [Cyndi’s] free verse. “When I write I usually stream. I get the thought, the imagery, the descriptions, the emotions out as fast as I can. “However, I adore sonnets. They are so flexible and concise. Sometimes I simply take out my list of sonnets and begin with a sheet marked with lines and endrhyme pattern and fit my observation, reaction, and conclusion into the format. I find Verse Perfect (Softonic®’s free download) a big help in keeping the flow going without constantly changing from one web page to another for research. “As to how I fit tropes into free verse — to me it is not poetry without poetic devices. I am comfortable in most forms and produce an equal amount of work in each. “There is so much discussion about what free verse is or isn't. A decade or more ago when I first began daily writing I would have said it was being able to write what you want, any way you want. After in-depth study, I would say free verse may have those aspects, but it also may include a predetermined structure, either in line length, verse length, inclusion or exclusion of punctuation, and use of white space. Free verse can and should include metaphor and any other trope which feels right. It can even include a dash of rhyme for emphasis. In free verse, what is done is done with intention, every bit as much as any other form.” ~Deborah Guzzi

Deborah Guzzi is a healing facilitator, healing through touch and the written word. She has written three books: The Healing Heart, Heaven & Hell in a Nutshell, and The Hurricane, available now through Prolific Press, and Amazon. Her poetry appears in journals and literary reviews in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Greece, India, and dozens of others in the USA. Website:


“In writing Round Midnight, I wanted to highlight the loneliness which Debbie’s tanka emotes, to take the moment she’s captured and give it history. I usually avoid using present participles. However, I found the singsong “ing” effect suitably echoes the tanka’s lament. Debbie used hard C alliteration — cacophony. I also used alliteration, concentrating on the L’s and M’s — euphony. I felt the contrast intensified the conflicting emotions of grief. In writing Roadkill, Debbie’s haiku allowed me to pen a poem which has been churning inside of me for over twenty years. The poem is very real, deeply personal. The haiku is a soft sigh, while the free verse is a horrified scream. Again, contrast in play. “I write fiction as well as poetry. I enjoy writing sestinas, rondeaux, and the occasional villanelle. Poetrysoup, an online writing community, introduced me to hundreds of forms. I find that certain themes merit the repetition found in these century-old forms, and the repetition stresses mood or tone. I love (I mean, obsessively LOVE) writing contemporary sonnets. But recently, I attempted to ‘squash’ what was truly a short story into a sonnet, and after my third frustrating attempt at girdling my content, I realized the poem was meant to be prose. That particular short story is forthcoming in the Windsor Review. “Most of my poetry is free verse. I add devices through revision, though occasionally devices appear serendipitously in my work. I have a yen for connotation. It can take weeks to find exactly the right word. Language can turn a too bland line into a more meaningful, ambiguous line. Wordplay, to me, is essential in poetry, as are uncommon word pairings. “I am equally comfortable writing in form and free verse, but I prefer free verse. Free verse allows me to focus on line breaks. It takes me considerable time to ‘form’ my free verse. I like to grapple with lines until they tell me how they should be arranged. Dependent upon pacing, I will decide if my poem should be broken into form-like, two-to-eight-line stanzas, or if my poem’s stanza lengths should be irregular. Occasionally, a poem will dictate to me that it must absolutely be kept as a single stanza, regardless of the poem’s length. I find that forms prearrange the poem, can censor its growth. However, forms are lovely and can trim a poem . . . like a perfect bonsai or swan-shaped topiary.” ~Cyndi MacMillan

Cyndi MacMillan lives in New Hamburg, Ontario, home of North America’s largest working waterwheel. Her verse, short fiction, and novel-in-progress resentfully compete for her attention. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Ekphrastic: writing and art on art on writing, The Fieldstone Review, Grain, and The Windsor Review (forthcoming.) Her husband and young daughter support her writing endeavors. Current writing projects also include picture books and a book of tenaciously Canadian-themed sestinas. 51

Stones Limpets and mussels cluster in crevices of brine-soaked sea castles in tide pools at Moonstone Beach. A layer of black sand shifts under my feet to reveal an undertow of multi-hued pebbles. Breakers roll and crash in rhythmic white scrolls. Out past the horizon furrowed clouds appear and dissolve. A stark blue holds aberrant heat over the coast. I have walked too far this day with my pockets full of stones, tokens of the rugged mountains I have collected along the way. Each step increases the bone-ache I ignore in order to keep on. What I have come seeking at the shore becomes what I have brought with me.


The Edge An American Ghazal

Yellow lupine, pink sea thrift tumble down bluff, nearly collide with wet sand, chilly ocean. Ground squirrels, dun bunnies hide from hawks within coast chaparral, dense greasewood thickets. I hike the fractious edge, take inspiration from slap of surf, hint of fox, meandering boardwalk. Before my eyes, a giant heron gawkily descends, orange stick legs, golden eyes, sleek blue-gray feathers. Metaphor germinates among tidepools and gullies. Along sere ridgeline, poetry pulses beneath volcanic soil.


“To tell the truth the only time I think much about form is when a poem seems to work easily in couplets or suggests a type of meter by sound. I find complicated forms challenging. My poem in the pair is free verse and was chosen to complement Jennifer's selection, and they were not written simultaneously. We go on ‘rambles’ together in nature to enjoy the outdoors and generate new work. Our mutual critique mode allows us to retain individual voice, but to also improve our work. We both also do photography and I am a collage artist as well.” ~Laura Bayless


Stock Art: “Reflective Tidepool”

Laura Bayless is the author of three collections of poetry, The Edge of the Nest, White Streams and Touchstones, and Persistent Dreams, her poems have appeared in many local and national publications, and anthologies, including Dancing on the Brink of the World: Selected Poems of Point Lobos, Porter Gulch Review, The Homestead Review, and Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems. She has participated in seven Women’s Voices readings at the Carl Cherry Center. She is the co-editor of an award-winning compilation of stories and poems about the Carmel River – Passion for Place. Jennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits The Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle Press). Jennifer is a longtime contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. Website:


Smudge The world is being drawn badly, the sun like the sun, the moon like the moon, stars likened unto other stars. Here’s a town that’s a smudge, a sea that’s smeared, hills painted with outlandish perspectives, a few stick-figures added as if an afterthought, giving us some idea of the scale, of a limited grandeur. The shape of this world is predetermined by those who would shape it. A signature signed by millions. Mere likeness. Like two birds flown west or empires slipping under the sail. Like a god with no fingers.


What fingerless god is this who mimics the smears of an idiot stick-figure as bleak icon— smudging out our mutant frogs?

Stock Art: “Shadow Puppets”


“Form and formlessness. My first book was titled The So-Called Sonnets, so-called because, although the poems were of 14 lines in length, they were not strictly sonnets, according to the standard definition. As with rhyme, form and various metrics, etc., have become rather old-fashioned concepts. Most publications consider rhyme passé and the strictures of poetic structure are a challenge to most writers used to the free-flowing construction of their writing. While haiku and tanka and the like have a role to play, I feel they lose something when not written in the ideograms of their original language. Saying all that, I enjoy attempting the puzzle that is blank verse and have had a go at writing villanelles and haiku and ghazals, etc. I also employed rhyme with humourous poetry for my performance poetry sets, and freely use half-rhymes and hymn-rhymes. To each their own . . .” ~Bruce McRae


“Blur in Flight” by Eamonn Stewart, 2016

Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician and poet, and has had over 900 poems published internationally, including in Rattle and North American Review. His first book, The So-Called Sonnets, is available via Silenced Press and Amazon. To experience more of his poems, go to “BruceMcRaePoetry” on A National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 12 books to her credit, the newest of is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing), a sequel to. Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. Assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye), a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society and TallGrass Writers Guild. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at


“Corrugated Versus Incorrigible” by Larry Tremblay, 2016


Tao of Poetry Reading By Karla Linn Merrifield


“It really is enough to have fun.” Dactyl, tribrach, anapest, molossus . . . Amphimacer, hemistich, sdrucciolo, hudibrastic. Ah, the lyrical terms of poetics, to me seductive words, pleasures of the text! Or, as semiotician Roland Barthes would have it: “Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.” I felt much of such trembling reading Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within. The celebrated English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist has written a book of poetics? What on earth? Why should I bother with it? Why should you? After all, we’re poets . . . poetry teachers . . . poetry critics . . . poetry reader-connoisseurs . . . poetry scholars. We know our poetics, right? Did I really need Fry’s refresher course? Yessirie. But — and it’s a big one: BUT — I discovered it didn’t hurt. Fry promises us that the practitioners among us, whether we are formalists or free-verse spirits, will each “be a much stronger and more confident poet for having read” even half of his book. Not too shabby. Just as Editor Eve Hanninen brought together two species of poems in each of the poem-pairs in The Centrifugal Eye’s freshest pages, Fry’s book unites us. And rewards us abundantly. Besides, Stephen Fry is hilarious. His handbook celebrates poetry in all its intricacies with passion and élan and tremendously vibrant wit. Oh, how he revels in meter and rhyme, and, yes, the nomenclature thereof. The lingo of our art is way more amusing than, say, legalese, and it’s dripping with its ancient Greek (most often) heritage. You can join in his dance of the pyrrhic foot, and the tum-ti-tum cretic foot. We can practice our heroic lines, our Adonic lines. We can learn to do the dactyl-trochee clausula, oh my. Stephen — this man, this farceur, also weaves in words like opsimath and apothegm. I am smitten.


“poetry is a primal impulse” Still, I had to wonder, what’s a nice little free verser like me doing in pages like these where Fry is positively ebullient about rhyme schemes? My penchant is for internal rhyme with some assonance laced in. Fry set me straight; he answered my Why rhyme?; his arguments convinced. We humans seem to be genetically predisposed to the power of rhyme because we are “pattern-seeking, connection-hungry beings.” Fry persuades: “rhyme can reify meaning — it can embody in sounds and sight the connections that poets try to make with their wider images and ideas.” To prove the point in part, Fry gives us a snippet from Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free: We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea.

I certainly feel the sea beneath me. Do you? Guess it’s time to start working out my rhyme muscles again.

“Or what’s a poem for?” Fry asks us that question in the final line of his book. I can almost hear him whisper as an aside, “And what’s a poet for?” He helps readers understand what we’re for, why we do what we do if we are poets — by showing us what great poets have done. Fry gathers quite the coterie of great poets for our pleasure. We enjoy the company of Donne and Dickinson, Keats and Yeats, Pope and Pound, and so many more. Fry pays homage to Gerald Manley Hopkins as the most influential poet of Anglo-Saxon modalities on modern poetry, “who developed his own metrics.” He calls Hopkins’ alliteration “fierce.” Those several pages were worth the entire book. And, from Hopkins, Fry leads us to Whitman, who is our father of free verse as Fry


sees it. Poet-readers pause to honor our progenitors. Yet another pleasure of this text, the great company.

“…macabre, brutal, sinister, preachy, ghostly, doomladen, lurid…” That’s a partial list of adjectives Fry uses to describe the ballad. It struck me first as rather odd, then I started chortling, then it was LOL in giddiness. Scratch the impassioned poetry connoisseur and without fail, the comedian shines through. Again and again and again. Here’s one of my favorite shticks: You could say if you love odd words as much as most poets do, that a line of Anglo-Saxon poetry is in reality a syzygy of dipodic hemistichs. A pair of yoked two-foot half-lines, in other words. But I prefer syzygy. It really is a word, I promise you.

I’m convinced Fry can find humor in anything. Take the pantoum. What’s so funny about a pantoum? Or any poetic form for that matter? It’s like this: “If you are a nerdy, anagrammy, crossword puzzler sort of a person, as I tragically and irredeemably am, you will be especially drawn to the pantoum.” Sometimes his footnotes had me in stitches. Here’s the footnote you’ll find on page 135: Aphaeresis means the dropping of a first letter or letters of a word: in poetry it refers to ’neath, ’twas, ’mongst — that kind of thing. It’s also something to do with separating plasma from blood cells, but that needn’t worry us.

You gotta love it. What a great little reward for bothering to read the tiny print at the bottom of the page. The book is also wildly funny because, throughout, the not-a-poet Fry tries his hand at writing poetry. His own crafty poems illustrate most of the key terms


(followed by passages from the venerables noted in my opening). Thus he shows us the rich rhyme species that employs homonyms: Rich rhyme is legal tender and quite sound When words of different meaning share a sound When neatly done the technique’s fine When crassly done you’ll cop a fine.

With his own words, Fry demonstrates the limerick: There was a middle-aged writer called Fry Whose book on verse was a lie. For the Ode Less Travelled Soon unraveled To reveal some serious errors in its scansion and rhy . . .

You will laugh out loud. Many times.

“The villanelle is the reason I am writing this book.” Fry’s 8-page description of the villanelle may not be enough to entice you into the pages of The Ode, but maybe one or more of these pleasures in the text will motivate you. Why do I love this book? Let me count a few more ways: ⪤ The book is rich in pithy Epithets: “form and convention liberate the artist” . . . “true ease in writing comes from art, not chance” . . . “every word has its own properties.” ⪤ Fry is not shy about dispensing Advice. He reminds us “pure dactyls are rather predictable and uninteresting” . . . and “poets have to use their ears more than


anyone else and be alive to all these aural subtleties (or ‘anal subtitles’ as my computer’s auto-correct facility insisted upon when I mistyped both words).” ⪤ I simply adored his Irresistible Trivia. One example: Border ballads, like ‘Barbara Allen’ and those of Walter Scott became a popular genre in their own right, often broadsheet

ballads expressing political grievances, spreading news and celebrating the exploits of highway men and other popular rebels, rogues and heroes; subgenres like the murder ballad still exist, often told from the murderer’s point of view, full of grim detail and a sardonic acknowledgement of the inevitability of tragedy.

Here’s another tidbit that I savored. Fry is halfway through a short description of the rondel (which he’s made clear is not the same as a rondeau or the roundel), when he writes: Nicholas Grimald, the poet and scholar who just avoided burning under Mary Tudor and gave his name to Sirius Black’s family home in the Harry Potter books, wrote a ‘Rondel of Love’ . . .

Who knew? ⪤ Demanding Exercises: Writers block? Never again. Just riffle through The Ode Less Travelled and try any one of the many exercises Fry has devised for our betterment. At the end of each chapter, Fry invites us to try our hand at the type of poem he’s just discussed. So, following his description, history and examples of the sestina (a form he describes as one of “compelling mystery and rhythmic flow”), he offers us “Poetry Exercise 15”: Well, all you have to do now is write your own. It will take some time: do not expect it to be easy. If you get frustrated, walk away and come back later. Let ideas form in your mind, vanish, reform, change, adapt. . . .


His instructions are clear and straightforward throughout. Take “Poetry Exercise 18”: “Four haikus in the usual mongrel English form: one for each season, so do not forget your kigo word.” (Go back a few pages in the book for a definition of kigo, if you’ve forgotten.) These exercises, by the way, are the reason I bought the book in the first place. During a presentation at a poets’ retreat, a poet-friend recommended The Ode “if only for the challenging prompts.” Little did I know then that the book is a treasure chest of poetry and poetics. ⪤ You can look forward to some nifty Mnemonic Devices: “Trochees end their lines in weakness/ Iambic lines resolve with strength.” ⪤ One last reason to buy this book: the Glossary! It’s also a good reason to keep the book at hand. But take several minutes to read the definitions. He’s tucked some cagey entries therein. In beautiful page after beautiful page in this “Unformed” issue of The Centrifugal Eye, you’ve encountered the magical marriage of formal verse to free verse. What better way to top it off than with a copy of The Ode Less Travelled. Formal poems and free verses have joined hands. Go ahead, let Fry stir in the humor of writing poetry, of reading poetry. And, now ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for me to practice some heroic couplets. I kid you not. For more information about Stephen Fry, go to — his official web site — or to

A National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. Her poem “See: Love” was a finalist for the 2015 Pangaea Prize. She is a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, and the Florida State Poetry Society. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at 66

Stock Art: “Informally Formal”


Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books Books

Since we last heard from TCE Contributor Gary Beck, we’ve learned of three more of his latest poetry collections published through Winter Goose Publishing: Displays; Song of a Clerk; and Dawn in Cities. Get caught up with the prolific Beck!

Also out from Gary Beck, Resonance — his new collection published by Dreaming Big Publications. Learn more: Mathias B. Freese, whose essay collections have twice been reviewed in TCE, has a memoir out titled Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers (Wheatmark).

Longtime TCE Contributor Lynn Strongin has a poetry collection out from Headmistress Press, titled The Burn Poems (2015). You can find it here:

Martin Willitts, Jr., another longtime contributor to TCE, has a new book out from FutureCycle Press, titled How to Be Silent. Forthcoming in 2017, also from FutureCycle, is Martin’s Dylan Thomas and the Writer’s Shed.

Also forthcoming from FutureCycle Press, TCE Contributor Jeanine Stevens’ collection, Inheritor. Visit to check for an update on publication. A longtime contributor and one-time Featured Interview Poet for TCE, Jennifer Lagier, has another new book, Harbingers, forthcoming from Blue Light Press. Check back for updated information:


Back Issues Back Issues Back Issues Back Issues Back Issues Back Issues Back Issues

The Centrifugal Eye has been around for more than 10½ years. Much of the work published during that time is still available for view on, and a representative selection of the first 5 years has been collected into an anthology (see for details). During the past 7½ years, all but one of our issues have also been made available as print-on-demand editions through If you’d like to pick up print copies, please visit our TCE Storefront sponsored by Lulu Press:

NEW: In 2017, TCE will be putting together its 10th-Anniversary anthology to commemorate the past 5+ years of continued excellence in published poetry. And we thank you, our readers and contributors, both, for being part of TCE’s glorious history.

Also in 2017, The Centrifugal Eye’s editor-in-chief and volunteer staff will be taking a 2-year break from publication of the journal. During this time, staff members will pursue various personal projects of their own. It is possible that TCE will resume as a poetry journal sometime in 2019; however, it may evolve in some other artistic fashion, depending on developments during hiatus. But it’s not over yet — our final issue of The Centrifugal Eye is still yet to come. You can look forward to our 10th-Anniversary issue, A Toast to 10 Years of Poetry, celebrating poets, due out this autumn.


“Undiluted Beauty” Am’ker #7 - Color by kerry rawlinson, 2016