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Those Newer Poems by Scott Metz

There has been an exciting new wave of poems by Scott Metz that are worth bringing to your attention. These appear in the newly released issue of NOON: journal of the short poem (issue 23) edited by Philip Rowland and in the forthcoming issue of Bones: journal for the short verse (anniversery issue 25) edited by Johannes S. H. Bjerg. While visually pleasing on the page, they consist of two or three verticle strings of one-word lines (cf. Robert Lax) and are aligned in staggered fashion side by side thus allowing for multiple complementary readings. Essentially, they read like poetry rather than enigmatic puzzles to be worked out. Below are two of the five poems by Metz included in the current NOON issue. The other nine I've seen in a proof/preview copy of Bones no. 25 (pp. 236-234) will be released in April; and they are nothing short of stellar.

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What comes at once to mind are the "parallel" poems of Johannes S. H. Bjerg and Stephen Bailey (a.k.a. Hansha Teki), who initially drew inspiration from those of Bjerg's. A good sample of Bailey's parallel poems can be found in the previous issue of Bones (No. 24, under the pen name Hansha Teki, pp. 57-67) as well as in his new collection, For the Time Being. (I am planning on reviewing Bailey's poems in the near future.)

Metz is co-editor (with Lee Gurga) of the popular Modern Haiku Press Haiku anthology series and was the editor of the micropoetry journals R'r and is/let. My first encounter with his micropoetry was via his memorable chapbook, A Sealed Jar of Mustard Seeds, an ant ant ant ant ant publication (no. 9, winter 2009, ed. Chris Gordon).


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