Strange Arts & Visual Delights
Brillig, self-described as “a micro lit mag,” is edited by Deborah Doolittle. But apart from the work of soliciting and choosing poems to publish, the term “edited” here means handcrafting, illustrating, and assembling the poems into a star book—“a book-art edition [that] opens into a star when the front and back covers are pressed together” (from the introduction). The book is beautiful in design and execution. Publishing it must be time-consuming and painstaking, but the result is a satisfying micro-gallery of graphic and written art that I highly recommend to the reader and writer.
The 2023 winter/spring issue contains poems by five poets whose poems “share an underlying sense of humor regarding our human condition.” Doolittle solicits poems that “by definition are both ‘brilliant and big’ but packed into a tiny space,” no more than twenty lines in length.
It is difficult to single out a representative poem, but this poem by Davonna Thomas captures the tone of the issue.
Yes (and) Cam
Driving home on a hot August day, the lingering
singe of a long summer. I hear a shift in the silence,
like I always could just before he spoke. “Acting
is hard,” he observes in response to some unspoken
prompt. “I have to say the lines exactly right; I don’t
wanna get them wrong.” Red light. Another loud
pause, the firing of neurons. “Improv. Improv is so
much easier.” I push back gently, like I always
do. Do you not enjoy acting? Black eyelashes
blink over blue as ideas crystallize. “Acting--
fun and stressful. Improv—fun and FUN.” Would
you believe, weight on each word, that many people
find it terrifying to make up lines on the spot?
Puppy dog head tilt. “But why though? You literally
have to do it all day, every day.” Hmmm. Green light.
Quiet and closed mouth as I lift my foot from the brake,
not quite ready to accelerate. You’re right, buddy.
Lines on the spot. Every waking moment.
One of the great pleasures of Brillig is the art that accompanies each section of the issue. Below are two pages and the art that accompanies them. One page provides information on how to subscribe, the other is a bio of a contributor, Joseph D. Milosch. In addition to Davonna Thomas, whose poem is shown above, the other contributors are David Lavar Coy, Tom Plante, and George J. Searles.
If you have comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will pass them on to Deborah.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.