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Nicky Tiso wants to trick you into thinking this is a zine about love. Her Breathing Next to Me is a long poem full of allusions and metaphors and misplaced syllables; but Tiso isn’t really writing a poem here. Granted, sometimes the words collide and something clever and catchy–a theme or a scheme–will emerge. Sometimes the fevered incoherence could be seen as the voice of love, and the sequence comparing the way sex and words make connections was a pleasant surprise. But as the poem progresses, Tiso’s meditation on the free spirit of the title’s “her” veers quickly off topic and becomes a judgment on the world at large. It may feel like you’ve been had: what starts off as reflective poetry becomes a bitter rant with no resolution. (J. Blackmore)

Poetry Zine, Nicky Tiso, $2, 2204 Olympia Avenue, Olympia, WA, 98506, USA,

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