Notes on the Poetry Selections

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September 23, 2022 by The Citron Review

Sometimes, quick as a slip, memory deposits us in a place we have not visited in years. I like to think everywhere we go, every time we take a step or our hand traces a ledge or palms a tree trunk, we leave fingerprints or imprints of ourselves that remain. I think of exploring a forest in Pacific Palisades, California with a friend in 2010. In that forest there was a home that had burned down in 1982. All that remained was the charred structure, the chimney, a plaque with the name of the family, and broken glass that, like leaves, was spread across levels of concrete. My friend and I explored the area (he was a photographer) and then left. I was leaving California in a few days and was aware that I would not return—to that site or the state as a resident. I left a piece of myself in California, perhaps in that forest, and I am grateful for the experience. In this moment I’m thinking of the band Phish and its song “Leaves,” which spurs different, more recent memories in North Carolina or Tennessee, where my family now lives. In Asheville, my wife and I used to sit our back deck, listening to music through the screen, admiring the mature trees releasing leaves into our backyard. In Nashville, the leaves are fleeting; the feel is more suburban, but the city is alive, too.

The poetry picks of the fall issue leave pieces of themselves in their wake because they are wonderfully human, flawed, and exceptional. Flawed in the sense that humans are not perfect and poems, when they are done well, present these imperfections as a mosaic of sound, story, and sublime. I think now of Daisy Baisen’s fox kits in “An earth, a leash” as well as Julia Watson’s line “… brittle / ocean money for the missing” in “Sand Dollar.” The way D.S. Maolalai casts nothing and everything in “Currency” and R.B. Brown’s “B’reisheet,” the interconnectedness of the breeze, the bear, and the berries; sometimes a scene exists as a whole; sometimes it is deconstructed and the image of a face or a tree, rising, arrests our attention. The eye in Judith Fox’s poems “Ars Poetica” and “The Gift” is keen and able to look deep into the gallery to spot a beautiful tension while also able to look closely at her best friend.

I am taking a sabbatical with the publication of the fall issue. This issue marks the tenth anniversary of my tenure at Citron, and I have been blessed to work with such a talented, loving team. I have also been blessed to work with so many amazing writers and to watch Citron go from a fledgling journal to one that is known in the world of words—in this electronic age of 2022. Thank you to our founders Antonia Crane, Aaron D. Gansky, Trish Fallin, and Judy Sunderland as well as our emeritus editors and current leadership of Angela M. Brommel, Editor-in-Chief, and JR Walsh, our Online Editor. While I am not sure what my plans are, I plan to stay connected to the journal. Thank you, all of you—Citron team and network of writers around the globe. You have left your imprint on me, which somehow, in this moment, feels light and heavy at the same time.

Sincerely,

Eric Steineger
Senior Poetry Editor
Editor of Zest
The Citron Review

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