We are extremely saddened to learn that issue 4 poetry contributor P.J. Horoszko passed away suddenly last night, March 2nd. He was a fantastic writer and editor, and our correspondence throughout the years was nothing short of sincere and earnest. I worked with P.J. for many years when I was employed by Macmillan Publishing, and I admired the graceful way he could switch hats between Picador editor and poet. He was a magnificent human being as well as burgeoning and ambitious writer, and this news is such a blow to our community.
In honor of his life and in honor of his lyric probings and curiosities, here are the two poems of his we published in issue 4. Each poem has a very clear and definite relationship to metaphor, without needing to launch into pyrotechnics. The poems are wonderfully wrought, and wonderfully complicated as they navigated this duplex of worlds within one town, within one tree. Their singularity sharpened clarity, and their neat frameworks gave nothing away to P.J.’s dark and twisting effort. Neither resolution is grand, because what precedes the resolution is so much more pronounced: “…words // From deckhands and secret service men / who had learned what they learned from / lives circumscribed like all necessarily are / by the finite number of streets… .” Just exquisite. “Poplars” is rife with epiphany and provenance, and what once might have read as whim beats with a more ominous urgency. The fabulist has met its captain, its shipwreck, its poplars. “The sun is a nuisance, / It kills the leaves. / I don’t think that my heart is healthy. // I wait for it to happen. / This wind carries that life. / The eye is a student of nothing at all.” Thank you, P.J., for this and so much more.
Natalie Eilbert, Publisher