WELCOME TO GYROSCOPE REVIEW’S FALL ISSUE!

We are so pleased to release our fall 2016 issue of Gyroscope Review: The Honor Issue. In this issue, we’ve created a special section of 11 poems dedicated to the idea of honor. And we’ve nestled it in among 33 modern poems that explore a wide variety of topics that affect us all. We’ve included work from inside and outside the United States, including work from Canada, England, Scotland, and New Zealand.

As always, the Joomag edition will give you an on-screen magazine experience if you are reading from your desktop or laptop. That edition is available here:

Gyroscope Review Issue 16-4 front cover

For reading on your mobile device, please use the pdf file, available here: ISSUE 16-4

For sharing with friends, this page will offer you both reading options: http://www.gyroscopereview.com/home/issues/

Thank you to all the wonderful poets who sent us work for this issue. We are delighted to give your work a home.

 

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THE SUMMER ISSUE IS HERE

Version 2We are so proud of our summer 2016 issue of Gyroscope Review. It includes work from 29 poets who reside in six different countries, touches on summery topics as well as current events, dystopian futures, and the relationships that define us all.

Visit our “Issues” page for your choice of versions: the “magazine” version if you are on a desktop or laptop computer, or the PDF file for reading on a tablet or phone.

Happy Summer!

Book Review – Billy Collins “Ballistics”

Book Review – Billy Collins “Ballistics”

Ballistics

 

 

Ballistics

by Billy Collins

Random House 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6491-5

 

An interesting book of poetry from former poet laureate Billy Collins (2001-2003) is titled “Ballistics”, perhaps as a warning to the reader that a careful analysis is in order. Wikipedia defines ballistics as “the science of mechanics that deals with the motion, behavior, and effects of projectiles”. Collins throws a lot at the reader in terms of history, poetics, and profound ideas disguised under subtle word play, continuing the precedent he set in a previous volume, The Trouble With Poetry. The poems in Ballistics are deeper, more introspective, and in need of repeat readings to grab all the nuances not obvious at a first read through.

The sly humor of previous volumes is still present, just not as ‘in your face’. It’s a testament to Collins’ growth as a poet that he feels free to engage the reader with a more intellectual style of humor, one that counts on background and experience to carry the twists. Collins’ work, is as always, readily accessible -which makes those that believe good poetry should be pretentious – uncomfortable, to say the least. How dare this guy recount experiences that we all can understand and share in? Isn’t good poetry supposed to be as dense as Aunt Mary’s Christmas fruitcake?

An interesting undertone permeates the poems in Ballistics. Although many run over 40 lines, there is a very ‘haiku’ like quality to the work. After carefully setting the scene and leading the reader in one direction, Collins takes pleasure in offering up an ‘aha’ moment that is startling in its clarity.

In ‘Aubade’, the reader wonders along with Collins why he is up at 5:00am, sitting on the edge of the bed. The reason, in the last stanza, is profound in its simplicity, and makes perfect sense in the grand scheme of things.

In the poem ‘Ballistics’, the underlying tone of dark humor is helped along by Collins’ self-deprecating style. When he twists the knife into the hapless hero of the poem, you can’t help but feel a guilty rush of glee.

In ‘New Year’s Day’, it’s Collins’ wonderful touch with description that carries the day.

“as I lowered a tin diving bell of tea leaves into a little body of roiling water’

and

‘an X in a square on some kitchen calendar of the future’.

In ‘On The Death Of A Next-Door Neighbor’, we get yet another take on Collins’ personification of death. Just like all Collins’ poems where Death is a character, we find out Death is not someone to be feared, but a regular Joe with a job to do. It might not be the type of employment Death wanted, but if he’s going to do a job, he’s going to do it well.

It’s no big secret – I’m a fan of Billy Collins, even more so now that I watch how his poetry evolves. It’s a risk to move beyond what you know people like and will buy, to something that embraces growth, not only for yourself, but for your readers as well. Ballistics is recommended, not just for fans of Billy Collins, but for those who want to carry a poem around in their head for days after and wonder, “Why have I never seen things this way before?”.

This is what we are looking for in submissions to Gyroscope Review. We want to see poems that go beyond the ordinary, that dig deep and serve up an offering that’s different, unique, or just plain out there. Surprise us, delight us, disgust us, but move us somehow. Study Collins, study other poets you admire and see how they deftly handle language, imagery, and imagination. Be subtle, be outrageous, but above all, be you. We want to hear your voice, shouting down a thunderstorm.