March 21, 2021 by The Citron Review
Spring means baseball. I believe it’s a poetic game. The green expanse, the dust clouds, the quiet waiting for the unknown. There’s a lot of yelling and spitting too. These actions yield their own sublimity among the nervous tension of competition. Plus, there is a desperate hope for victory, which in these pandemic times is a reminder that in the world, someday, you too might spit and yell, if we could all just wear masks for a little longer.
In this Spring issue, our micros zero in on moments that Longinus might term sublime, if he wasn’t being so single-minded in his tingling detection of celestial transcendence. I’d like to take Longinus out to the ballgame courtesy of a time machine and a universal translator. Also, I’d have to find a game that I can afford. Probably a minor league one. Maybe then I’d show him the latest issue of The Citron Review on his brand new rather sublime iPhone.
“Lament” tackles baseball’s hopeful frustrations. Jason Gebhardt laces up his Puma cleats and waits for a future that may not include the past. Patrick Wang makes us run beyond the fences and deeper into nature in “Exodus,” all the way to Appalachia, lit only by night glass magnolias. In “Careful What You Wish For,” Heather Bourbeau offers us new insight into “Popeye’s Pain” and shows us a modern reinvention of his copious spinach intake. The seven lines of “Nightwalk” by Vasantha Sambamurti may help clear our mind of all the day’s pain if we can just enjoy those moments that glow in the dark. In Kate Neuman’s comical “Carolling,” we’ll watch one group of well-meaning people attempt to reappropriate a wedding celebration song for their own holiday in the name of inclusion. Does a misunderstanding like this glow in our memories? It’s not exactly nostalgia, it’s something else.
Each of our micros this issue seems to have a longing that sidesteps nostalgia in favor of reinterpreting the creativity of memory. Poet Kay Ryan is resituated via a slender poem by Zebulon Huset in “Median Memorial for Homeless Man Hit by Car.” The slight nature of this work requires us to move faster and slower than we might be comfortable. Perhaps we’ve gotten too far from nature. Finally, Dana Chiueh brings us back with an invocation. The natural world and constructed world combine and crumble in, “I saw us in a Vermeer painting with no people in it.”
Saying that these micros knock it out of the park would undersell the specificity of each unique pieces’ language. They say that baseball is a game of inches. In micros, it’s even smaller. Each sliver of minutiae just might be that sublime moment.
So, now it’s back to the time machine, Longinus is now a baseball fan and he tells me he wants to see a game with Lou Gehrig. His iPhone gets ESPN Classic, but he’s buying the next round at mid-1930s prices. I don’t know where we’ll find time-appropriate duds.
I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth to be able to work with these writers, the whole time travel is all gravy.
The Citron Review