Brian Kim Stefans
The Prize Budget For Boys
Model Homes is edited by Brad Flis and Marie Buck, who have just moved themselves from Northampton, MA to Detroit. It's not surprising, then, that this new journal is looking for a challenge. Though not officially stated, as far as I can tell, Model Homes seems to be a project about projects. The work of three of the fourteen contributors featured here comes from larger pieces, including samplings of work-in-progress/work-awaiting-publication from Johanna Drucker and Anne Tardos. Several others, such as Diana Magallón's 'Percentage Poems'(“80% Adult and a Paw”, “45% Pond”, “Centuries %”) are very obviously parts of larger series.
This holds true for Seth Parker's "Per Capita", portions of which you may have seen in Octopus magazine and elsewhere. The poems, all sharing the same title, feature a name followed by quotes of dubious origin. Here, the people 'quoted' (the CEO of Wal-Mart and the former CEO of Exxon) and what is being said create a surreal and building contrast:
H. LEE SCOTT 'In the Huddle House, a swamp
is almost snow' 'When a body disappears, rooms
light up the the house' 'Palace of trees' LEE
RAYMOND 'Portals are real' 'Doves, the sound
of chains' 'In the center of my chest' 'Wine, op-
ulence' 'I won't even call you Darkness'...
Yet the standout may very well be Ted Greenwald's “Airquote Fingerlings”, composed of 26 small, four line stanzas, understandably presented here over 5 pages. While the arrangement certainly doesn't have a negative affect, it would be nice to someday see the poem reissued in a roomier edition, allowing stanzas like “Both sides of / The mouth / A second face/ An about” the breathing room they deserve.
'behold the offering of tacos / if I offer a taco to you you should take it'
-Seth Parker “Gate of Hell”
Model Homes #1 (Summer 2007) 62pg. $5. Available Now.