Occasionally, we get the opportunity to share our thoughts on the outside work of our past contributors, as well as other projects that we think would interest readers of A cappella Zoo. To send something for possible review, especially new work relevant to magic realism and slipstream, email us at editorATacappellazoo.com.
A poetry collection by C.E. Chaffin. Diminuendo Press, 2009.
In the beginning, when his poem "Kentucky-Fried Christ" marked our pages, Chaffin was our haunting "Elephant Man" savior (a) - a creator of hybrid imagery. His latest collection, Unexpected Light, reaffirms how intriguing a carnival of chimaeras is his poetry: absorb his words and you'll run on "pseudopodia" (b), pressing your "lizard length" (c) through "plankton of air" (d) in "a whale's belly full of night" (e) - unless, of course, you're the immobile "glass giraffe" (f). Chaffin is obsessed with faith, the big top, and the precise dimensions of whatever lies in between; he maps out his/our world with fresh language and carefully selected details. This collection is a heartfelt diary by enjambment - enjambment not only of lines, but of motifs, images, organisms, and sometimes - at its best - senses and psyche, where memoir inter-bleeds with the imagined. In his poem "Company of Crows," we find a claim that "the thing closest to [the] heart / can't be spoken, only pawed at with / paint," and Chaffin has pawed away with vivid colors, leaving me eagerly hunting for the gems of surpising, concrete, modest, honest metaphors that give Unexpected Light its subtle strength.
- Colin Meldrum, Editor, A cappella Zoo
a."Kentucky-Fried Christ," originally published in issue 1 of A cappella Zoo; b."Anxeyeity" c."Notes from San Miguel" d."The Dust of Guanajuato" e."The Gloaming" f."Glass Giraffe"