by Christopher Harter, Editor. P.O. Box 2392, Bloomington, IN. 47402.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Checked into Bathtub Gin for the first time, albeit I somehow knew of it. I read first Christopher Harter’s: Editor Sounds Off… another one of us against the Bush Way of War. How the living rubber band does Bush get away with it? Those people who are other than poets must be pretty stupid. Well, that is no insight on my part at all. So the first poem in BG was Kyle Miner’s To Be Your Throat Lozenge. And I said, OH! This is the poem that must open the magazine because it is a poem, a real poem! and it works, the language and music comes Banana Boat Sunblock Lotion squirting out of it. I read it twice. And I never heard of Kyle Miner before. Nice. Nice that Harter finds the real poets among us ’ us eating chicken at the fire hall or playing BINGO. And a few pages later Suzanne Walker’s poem: Masturbation. Another solid poem! I mean hard to write about jackin off without being stupid. But Walker isn’t stupid and her poem isn’t stupid. And she jacks. Transgression lives! Takes a lot to ’ never mind. She comes through. And delightful Harland Ristau arts! And Alan Catlin’s contribution: The Hands of Antonin Artuad. A different kinda Catlin poem ’ metaphysical and meditative. He showed me here the expanse of his literary horizon. And I wanna read more of it. Gotta hand it to Harter again, on a plate on a tray, on a ruler, in a bottle of Tylenol. Harter’s a damned good editor. Good work. And I like Dan Raphael’s poem: Grazing the Elements. I read it twice. I read a lot in this magazine twice. I don’t do that much. And as I sit here writing, I read again the last line of Raphael’s poem’ ‘standing naked in a windy gully til im to full to dress.’ The line is in me mind now. Ah. And there is a whole section on Mark Terrill. More on him later. So, wow, I was pretty damned impressed with this bottle of bathtub gin. Really surpassed me and moved I by the care that the editor obviously took and his concern for the poem and poetry. The hard work is there. I hope the next pumpkin he sees turns into a pair of slippers and a hundred-dollar bill. Or finding good wine on sale. P.S. Christopher Harter runs this entire grocery bag of candy and beer called PATHWISE PRESS. And he published this book called Living Room, Earth by Carmen Germain. 2002. $5.95. Do it.