Tuesday Poem: The Moth Magazine - review

There are so many little poetry magazines, it's impossible to subscribe to them all.  I tend to pick and choose - buying one issue to see if I like it before I order a year's worth. Then next year I subscribe to another.  I've tried Magma, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Domestic Cherry, The Interpreter's House,  Rialto, and currently I'm trying out The Moth.

The Moth has beautiful covers
The Moth originates in Ireland, edited by Rebecca O'Connor and Will Govan, and it looks beautiful as well as containing a wide range of writing from all over the world.  The current issue contains an interview with Billy Collins, fiction by Sharon Boyle and some interesting poetry.  'The fish I would like to meet' by Catherine Ayres, vied for best title with 'The War Reporter Paul Watson's Obsession with Combat Sex' by Dan O'Brien and 'Ghazal of the Tonsured-in-Denial' by Killian O'Donnell.  The Moth website is showcasing one poem from the magazine - 'After Eavesdropping at the Temple' by Mike Casetta - (though not one of my favourites from this issue)

I pressed my ear against the wall
I heard a candle flame

sing a torch song to the sun
Burning in love

I beseech you
to let this burning

be how I reach you.
A gung ho moth yelled,

before flying headlong

into the fire.
I cringed when I heard it sizzle.

I flinched when another moth shouted,

& ran amuck in the belfry.
Cherubic laughter rang out

& kneaded manna
out of apparently nothing

as apparently nothing
needed kneading.

I started to speak in tongues
but so far I am able to bite each one.

The poetry is never boring, or middle of the road, or pompous, or precious, but it is clever and full of surprises. The quality of both the poetry and fiction is very high.  The magazine looks as good as it reads - whoever illustrates it is doing a fabulous job.  I also liked the fact that there's no long roll call of contributors showing off in the back.  Just their names.  The work speaks for itself.   It's a magazine I'd love to find mine in.  Submission criteria here. 

The Tuesday Poets are a group of 28 poets posting poetry from around the world every Tuesday. To find out what the rest of them are up to, please click on this link. 


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