Featuring: Cider Press Review

I’m enjoying reading an online/print literary journal I recently discovered: Cider Press Review. The journal was founded in 1999 by Caron Andregg and Robert Wynne and currently publishes online issues quarterly and an annual “Best of” print edition. The Press also publishes at least two full-length manuscripts each year, so for those of you looking to submit either a few poems or a book of poetry, see their submission guidelines. I also want to point out two poems I love from their most recent issue, Protest by D M Gordon and How Mom Quit Saying Shit by Benjamin Cutler. Check it out!

The Amputee’s Guide to Sex

IMG_4913Rereleased after 10 years with a new preface, Jillian Weise’s poetry book The Amputee’s Guide to Sex is thrilling and intimate. What is making love like without two legs? How do ableistic hesitations get in the way of intimacy? A part of me feels voyeuristic for enjoying the book, yet, on the other hand, I suppose it is better to be interested for less than perfectly altruistic reasons than to ignore the book. One of my personal reasons for picking up the book involve my disabled sister (who has since passed away) who I wanted to understand more deeply.

In one poem, the speaker “dreams” of the Mona Lisa in a wheelchair, but the painted woman still has that same enigmatic smile. That is the charm of the personas in this book, dashing yet dangerously honest.

In her foreword, Weise shares about the experience of having panels on disability writing be rejected, and from what I’ve read of this book, the conference organizers should be kicking themselves. Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“Below water, I kick one and a half / legs, pretend to be a mermaid.”

“Perfection would be / knowing how to climb a staircase, without / the clank of metal.”

“Your favorite post-coital pastime / is nicknaming my scars. / The name for the railroad track / along my back – Engine.”