In journals like Poetry there are frequent essays discussing who reads poetry, who should read poetry, why more people don’t, and what the real role of poetry in society and culture is or should be.  It’s a never ending quandary.  People for whom poetry is important bewail its lack of influence in wider spheres.

Now and then, instead of arguing, somebody does something about making poetry more accessible.  Like providing it for free, in small doses.

One such effort is The Rag, put out by Karin Bradberry and Elaine Schwartz and made available free at bookshores and other sites in Albuquerque.  The Rag is a monthly publication on one 8 ½ by 14 inch page, folded in quarters.  One panel has all the background and contact info.  The other seven-eighths of the sheet are crammed full of poetry.  There are thirteen poems in the March issue, one of which is mine:

Bilateral

We have two hands,
dexterous and sinister.

Not ambidextrous, are we
meant to be ambivalent?

Turning this way, that,
picking up and letting go,

the two-fisted body
divides the mind

which waffles, wavers
though the tug

between x and y
is never equivalent.

There is great variety in the poems selected.  I congratulate the editors: March 2013 is their 177th issue.  For any poetry journal, that’s a good long run.  May it continue and thrive.

Subscriptions, for those who live beyond reach of stores where it is offered for free, are $15.00 per year, available from Karin Bradberry, 11322 Campo del Sol NE, Albuquerque, NM 87123.  Use the same address for submissions of 3-5 poems.

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