As on might guess, Bradley Douglas Smith’s Four Seasons is a Restaurant in my Hometown is divided into four sections. It’s unclear precisely what is gained by this organization, but Smith does manage to convey a slightly different tone in each part without weighing down his writing with references to weather. As the zine progresses from fall to summer, prose begins to edge out poetry.
Like many literary zines, Four Seasons would be improved by a consistently clean layout: Smith’s intermittent collage is more humdrum than dada, coming across as sloppy instead of chaotic or homemade. Also somewhat distracting is the occasional decision to centre-justify text, particularly in the case of page-long prose passages.
In both prose and poetry, there is a tendency toward unstructured logorrhea: “I know this balding man who plays with his red heart, he told me it gives off heat, his red heart does, like a glowing orb, and one time when we got real high before work he told me something…” This is energetic and, at times, even compelling, but perhaps too unfocused. Smith works more effectively within limits, as in his numerous haiku. Here is “Keypad Transplant”:
dehydrate vowel. / blowing the lower case i / into a dot field.
A less familiar fixed form might yield even livelier results. (Daniel Marrone)
Litzine, Bradley Douglas Smith, email@example.com