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Gordon Smedt © 2019

Gordon Smedt © 2019


   I Hear About Couples in America While Stuck on the Massachusetts Turnpike   Jennifer Martelli
Cento for Women Who Are Not Believed   Gail Thomas
Two Poems Ainsley Kelly
Timelines   Alex Thomas
Pitcairn   Adam Hughes
Remission   David Rock
The Past Martha Silano
Death Rattle Joe Vaughan
Peter Menzel’s Photo of the San Andreas Fault,
Carrizo Plain
  Kelly R. Samuels
A Pillar of Fire is a Foretaste   Eric Pankey
It’s an ambush   Babo Kamel
Pretend   Callista Buchen
Founding Cities   James Brasfield
Os Malditos, or the Damned, XV.   Carlo Matos
Sonnet with General Relativity Ronda Piszk Broatch

From the Archives   Ellen Bass
Fall 2008



Gordon Smedt

from the ether

On fire

If you’ve ever written a ghazal, the ancient Persian form of poetry composed of stand-alone couplets tied together by a repeating end word or phrase called a “radif,” you know how useful a good homophone can be, a word that has multiple meanings depending on usage. For example the word fire can be a verb and mean to discharge a gun or other weapon, to discharge an employee, or to ignite something, such as “let’s fire up the barbeque!” Fire is also a noun, the chemical reaction ablaze at the end of a match, and is used to indicate something dangerous: You’re playing with fire.

So too with the phrase “on fire.” It can refer to the consideration of fire as a topic, as well as indicate that something is actually in flames, and, by metaphorical extension, that something is figuratively “hot,” with all of the connotations that word implies.

As often happens with a particular issue of DMQ Review, a common tension begins to emerge from the gathered work, one that seems to grow effortlessly from the poems accepted. In this issue you’ll find that Erik Pankey’s prose poem suggests “A pillar of fire is a foretaste,” while Babo Kamel notes the speaker’s “fire-damaged wings.” Jennifer Martelli’s poem tells of a couple who “shoot at doomed fireflies,” and Gail Thomas’s cento features Jane Kenyon’s quote that “fire changes everything it touches.” Fire effortlessly spreads through this issue in its renewal and destruction, sometimes purposeful, sometimes uncontrollable, a reminder of our own elemental natures of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Fire: the sun’s stored energy released.

And fire means heat, and heat is what we as editors are looking for as we read through hundreds of poems to bring a new issue together. We hope you’ll discover the heat conjured in all the poems included in DMQ Review’s Fall 2019 issue by this talented gathering of poets. Please also revel in the heat emanating from the richly painted images of featured artist GORDON SMEDT, whose large-scale canvases focus intimately on inanimate objects, bringing attention to common things that are “often forgotten, overlooked, or discarded,” much in the way a poem does.

Plus I think it’s pretty “on fire” to be able to introduce you to our two newest editorial team members, Rachel Escamilla and Erin Redfern, both former contributors to these ethereal pages. Check out their bios and websites found on the “About” page.

Lastly, fireworks is how I feel about our newest feature, The DMQ Reviews: Micro Reviews of New Books of Poetry. We welcome back former editor Annie Kim to head up this enterprise that in the future will appear as Winter and Summer releases. As Annie says, “We’re excited to start this new feature. There aren’t enough journals to review new indie poetry and that’s a shame. We’d love to introduce readers to more work that’s being produced across the aesthetic spectrum. In each themed Micro Review issue we’ll showcase three or four diverse, beautifully crafted new books that we hope you'll enjoy as much as we do.” You can read our inaugural Micro Reviews offering here. Find guidelines on our Submissions page.

On. Fire. We the editorial team at DMQ Review are proud to package all this heat up for you, our readers, in the Fall 2019 issue. Poems, too, are a type of fire. Draw near. If you dare.

from the Ether,

Sally Ashton
Editor in Chief