Issue 5 Launch Party and Poetry Madness

On Wednesday, October 28, Cheat River Review anticipated and celebrated the launch of Issue 5 (which came out on October 30–read it now!) with a community event at 123 Pleasant Street in downtown Morgantown. Staff and fans of the journal (including all of the first year MFAs!) came out for snacks, drinks, and found poetry activities such as erasure poems and an Exquisite Corpse activity.

What’s an Exquisite Corpse, you ask? It’s a collaborative poem favored by the French Surrealists. A different person adds each new line to the poem and can only see one line above it. (Read more about it at Poets.org.) CRR poetry editor Elizabeth Leo got us started with a quote from English Department Chair Jim Harms, and here’s the result:

That’s the nice thing about poems–
they’re magic carpets.
But the weft and weave is ragged,
threadbare. A great hazard.
All falls
around the mass of people like air.
Birds meow. And sing.
Cats like birds.
Their beaks are needle-teeth.
Their feathers are whiskers.
When I sniff them, I think of the Christmas when I
showed up at parents’ hungover and vomited into a
gift box.
It had my name scrawled on it.
I was a sweater or a scarf, something
non-descript.
My name was written in all caps.
I staked my claim in red,
hammering in my waving flag,
all of this now mine.
I am an astronaut. But not yet
an astronaut as they require too
much homosocial bonding through
economical hardships.
Watership Down is about
bunnies
who want to go home.
Hopping. Hoping.

Elizabeth Leo
Poetry Editor

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