Zine Review: Swimming Alone in the Backyard



Chapbook, Jordaan Mason, thehorsemuseum.bandcamp.com, $8


Reading through these poems, I was first struck by the reoccurring references to time, aging and bodies. Poems reflected on root canals, antibiotics, and tetanus shots. This preoccupation with time is presented through the perspective of what I assume to be a 20-something urban-dwelling artist.

Later on in this collection there is an added intimacy as imagery turns to messy bodily stuff: fluids, intoxication, and punctuated with references to sex. There is a lot of personal detail being shared here which is interesting because the end of the collection features “Poem for Being Discrete,” which contains no words at all, followed by “Poem for Always Missing People,” a sliced up, eight-page narrative of sex, travel and longing. These moments of profound intimacy are where this chapbook really shines. The contrast between the brevity of a wordless poem followed by eight pages of earnest, blood-and-guts rumination suggests a certain self-consciousness about whether to share and when to hold back. (Chris Landry)