Does This Count? is a US-sized half-fold, black and white zine of short poems written in one day from a non-poet.
If you’ve followed this blog and my reviews for a while, you know how I feel about poetry: slightly intimidated with a generous helping of fascinated. I think that’s why I got right into this zine as, on the inside front cover, Don ponders what it is to be a poet. Does simply writing poetry do it, or is there something else involved? Publishing? Acknowledged as good by peers?
Don doesn’t come to a conclusion – and I feel glad about that.
From there we go into the poems. Each page features two or three poems written in different fonts and accompanied by simple line art to make it very easy to tell them apart. They are written in a 5-7-5 syllable haiku style, which I quite like for its strong capacity for both depth of thought as well as depth of humour.
The poems were a mixed bag for me. Some felt absolutely complete and powerful, leaving me thinking about what the words meant to me personally and what they made me feel. Others felt incomplete like the barest moment in time. Yet other still lead me to turn them around in my head, gaining meanings that might not have been intended but worked for me. A mixed bag that I’ve come to expect and even enjoy in poetry.
The back features a little bit more about how this zine came to be: in an inspired session over the course of one day. I won’t go into all the details here, but I rather like the story of songwriter Robert Pollard ‘turning on the faucet’. It reminded me of a lot of writer advice that basically all boils down to ‘just get it down on the page’.
All up, I enjoyed this zine. The title definitely caught me, and the whole concept kept me reading. That someone even created this zine made me feel more comfortable with the occasional poem I write in my journal every now and then. I’d actually quite like to check out the first issue and am curious to know if there will be more to come after this. Check it out. No reason to be intimidated.
“Does any of this even matter? I’ve no idea. I just write what I write.”