Mini-Zine Review: Does This Count?

Does This Count? Poetry From a Non Poet
Don Leach
12 pages

‘Does This Count? Poetry From a Non Poet’ is a ~10cm x 14cm black and white zine of short poems written by a self-identified non-poet. (Does that make them non-poems?)

If you have followed me for a while, you will know the long and wary history I have with poetry. I know what I like, though I can’t often articulate why. I love a metaphor, but that doesn’t mean they are my forte. If you speak to my of meter, then my face may just go blank while I float off to my happy place. With that in mind, this zine had me smiling from the get go and completely into the idea of poetry from a non-poet. I feel like I could do the same.

We open up with a brief introduction from Don, in which he writes about not caring for poetry growing up but getting into writing lyrics as a teenager. These lyrics were never put to music, but then Don discovered spoken word, and things made sense… From there we delve into haiku – or rather, sort of haiku. I don’t know much about haiku, but I’m pretty sure there are rules about syllables. But it only fits that poems from a non-poet would be, well, not-haikus.

Each poem is given its own page an is accompanied by simple line art. Each poem is in its own font, which makes the part of me that took graphic communications wake up and feel both curious as well as confused. The poems range in subject matter, though many of them touch on relationships and interactions between people. As will pretty much every poetry zine I’ve read, some went over my head. Yet others struck me, making me ponder the words and their implications in my own life.

I’d state a favourite poem, but I think that might be giving away more than I care to about my current mindset.

All up, I quite like this zine. Something about ‘poems from a non poet’ helps me to relax and not feel like I have to understand everything that is going on in each piece. I also like the humour that goes with writing something like this. A sort of ‘I’m not sure if I’m doing this right’ feeling that I think we can all identify with. It made me smile and made me feel like trying my hand at writing poetry – or not-exactly-poetry – again, which makes it a win for me.

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