Book Review: Kendra Tanacea’s “A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees”

BY: Catherine M. Darby

A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees by Kendra Tanacea is a haunting first collection of poems released this year by Lost Horse Press. Tanacea is a master of the moment—not straight-on moments, but rather, ones full of visuals and emotions that transport the reader into Tanacea’s world. In this world, the reader becomes a lover, beloved, betrayed, friend, child, and want-to-be-mother, all while ruminating about life and the fullness it can offer.

Her poems intelligently meander on corners of braided rugs and peep through keyholes to see what life is beyond that usual existence of life, her words intoning the mysteries and science of the universe.

In “Keyhole,” the narrator looks through the keyhole of a locked door, straining to see “what is out of sight.” The words deliver full sensory experiences of an ever-widening life:

There is the scent of man, of woman, of cedar.
The eye shifts, straining in its socket.
French doors open onto a veranda
overlooking an ivy-walled garden.
The round moon is rising, giant and yellow.
Star jasmine, star jasmine!
An eye can see far beyond
its scope: solar systems, galaxies,
the Milky Way’s skid of stars.
All atoms, revolving around one another.

Two Poems by Alexander Radison

I Cannot Dwell in Possibility There is a theory that states there are an infinite number of parallel universes, each a mirror of our own, but slightly different. Each choice made creates another universe: In this one, I went back to college, in another, I stayed in the army. Here, my mother picked up her first cigarette at 14 in the bitter cold, December 1975. In another, she politely declined. There is a world where she never worried that she may have to bury her first son. The version of me that she deserved lives in that one. There’s one…

Two Poems by Breeann Kyte

Translation in the close dark causes tongues to catch on knobbed spines. Unzippering mouthfuls along the length of secret sentences. One language to another opens in a grin, a stutter to a tentative translation of this alphabet of four. Now see, her jaw lit. Why sew ivy cut for the sun? Let barrel-folded fingers wring the kinks straight: Staircased helices, the hidden yes.   Phages in Love  Infection Separates fuse in this commitment to kill unless a mad moron. No dead end here: pressure, coiled tight, crushed in corners, quiet until now. When God says to count stars, he has…

Two Poems by Natalie Crick

BY Natalie Crick


The moon hangs in utter darkness,
A smoldering black,

A crack of light
Disappearing almost,
The world paused outside.

The Crossroads

By Danell Jones


Find yourself at crossroads
Stamp your feet
Shake the dust off your metaphor
Give thanks you are not Oedipus
Release your nightmares back to sleep