Cupcake Royale

Poetry zine Sarah Mangold,  above/ground press, c/o Rob Mclennan,  RR#1 Maxville, Ontario, K0C 1T0, $4

A good poem often requires the reader  to invest time to unlock its meaning,  like worrying apart a finger puzzle.  Sometimes a poem seems deliberately  tricky, without aiming to articulate  anything.  I wanted to like these poems. I was  initially drawn in by the bold imagery  shivering behind the words, and was  charmed by some of the imaginative  phrasing. But this collection never  quite gels. At times it seems like fridge  magnet poetry or a collection of words  randomly strung-together. As a nod to  the title, some cake imagery is mixed  in, but it seems like a strained attempt  to have some unifying thread. Overall,  the poems feel more inchoate than  innovative. With  Cupcake Royale my patient  reading was rewarded by a creeping  feeling that I was superfluous in my  role as reader — the writer is throwing  a word party, but I didn’t get the  invitation. (Danielle Patrick)

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