Sunday, September 16, 2018



declivities by Irene Koronas
(BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, N.Y., 2018)

For such a deliberate (or so it seems to me) approach to choosing then placing words on paper —almost a collagist versus writing approach—Irene Koronas nonetheless manages to create lushly resonant work. Here’s an example from her newest book, declivities:

I think the resonance is partly facilitated by its music, befitting the care in its diction. Well done.

I find (generally and this is a generalization but I’m moved to make it anyway) that in poems like these, surprise is a prerequisite to enjoyment. I’m pleased to share these poems provide delight through surprise, i.e. the unexpected combinations of words. For example—and note again the music, particularly impressive in such a short poem here—


arch a baroque sulk

his holofernes curls

the gore cut

Logically therefore, koronas ‘ approach ends up begetting aphoristic lines like

the extreme

(from “turnsole)


strolling gossip

(from “madame x”)

or, for a dog-lover like myself, the very funny and visual and (pun intended) spot-on

dogs edify masturbation

(from “diptych”)

To these poems, the readers becomes intrigued, amused, appreciative—which is to say again, pleasured.

declivities is Vol III in Koronas’ The Grammaton Series (along with the previously-published ninth iota and Codify). To this reader’s gratitude, declivities is, to quote the last line of the last poem in the book aptly entitled “talent”:

an ideal op


Eileen Tabios is the editor of Galatea Resurrects (GR)She loves books and has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her 2018 poetry collections include HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last Archipelago, MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION: A Poetry Generator, TANKA: Vol. 1and ONE TWO THREE: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems which is a bilingual English-Spanish edition with translator Rebeka Lembo. She invented the poetry form “hay(na)ku” whose 15-year anniversary in 2018 is celebrated at the San Francisco and Saint Helena Public Libraries. While she doesn't usually let her books be reviewed by GR since she's its editor, exceptions are made for projects that involve other poets; in this issue, her edited HAY(NA)KU 15 is reviewed HERE. She also is pleased to direct you elsewhere to reviews of her books: TANKA, Vol. I was reviewed in The FilAmMore information about her works is available at