lungfull-cover

Title: Lungfull! Magazine

fine writing + rough drafts

Issue 21

$11.95

Theme: The Ecstacy of Deceit. That’s what it says on the spine and is the title of an essay by the editor, Brendan Lorber.

Featured names on the (back)cover: Everyone listed in the book is listed on the backcover. There are like 50 names or more.

What: This is mostly a poetry magazine and it includes images of rough drafts. Usually these are scribbles and longhand writing. Actually, if they’re not longhand writing or scribbles then they’re kind of boring. The rough drafts that are printed out and then scribbled over are good, too.

Why (or Why Not To) Read It: 

Let’s start close to the beginning and talk about the letters to the editor. This has to be one of the best Letters To The Editor sections I’ve ever seen. Tales of madness. Video sushi places. Mind readers. A hypothetical Supreme Court decision on octopi. It’s all here with the obligatory notes of thanks. It seems like a backwards way to get something published, if the regular submission strategy doesn’t work.

Now about the lead essay, “The Ecstacy of Deceit” by Brendan Lorber. If you’re the editor/publisher of a poetry magazine, you obviously get to see whatever you want. This however was way too long and divided over 19 pages. I only read one section because it had an interesting title: “Bootleggers, Arsonists, and Grandpa Lorber.” It was a good anecdote about how the editor’s grandfather used firetrucks to bootleg liquor from Canada to Buffalo, NY.

This mag is over 200 pages so you’re getting your money. I’ll now rundown some of the poems that I bookmarked:

“How It Is” by Bianca Stone: Her rough draft was in nice handwriting on lined paper, with nice, neat scratches. I’m not counting out the beats to this rapture meets diner poem, with several interlocked single-spaced metaphors each taking up about two lines. Simple, neat, and memorable.

 “Letter to Sunflower in Ink-Blood and Chlorophyll” by Christine Tierney: I was intrigued by her amoeba-shaped rough draft and hooked by the title.

“Public Debt” by Dale Cottingham: Just a good old-fashioned poem about a collapse.

 Paintings of abandoned buildings by Roy Hofer: I’m not sure the official name of this series, but any time you  paint an empty parking lot with the word “Mervyn’s” barely visible on an abandoned storefront, I’m sold.

“10” by Jean McCullum: This was probably my favorite poem because her short-burst lines about police, funny line breaks, and bad relationship grit is what I like.

Excerpts from LALALA, by Sampson Starkweather: More of the same from above, similar to McCullum but even shorter and punchier lines about the deformed scene of consumerism and technology. Those are two of my vices (see “mervyn’s” above) so I’m hopelessly stuck.

Other Stuff: The black and white art, the overlapping fonts, and the two-color cover reminded me of zines. I like zines.

And I almost forgot: A very endearing part of this mag was the “World Reports” section. Basically, various contributors or wannabe contributors write in about their city. Most of them are from the U.S., but Amsterdam, Russia, Singapore, UK, and Serbia make appearances. These are very random tidbits about life or literary events in each place. It’s a pretty good idea, especially for people with a scene complex.

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