Friday, August 13, 2010


RETRO SPEC ed. by Karen A. Romanko (2010, Los Angeles; Raven Electric Ink)  ISBN 978-0-9819643-1-7 ,$14.95

RETRO SPEC is an anthology of prose and poetry that comments on American social,cultural and political history from the 20's trough the 40's.  This is the third Spec collection that Romanko has edited and published.  The previous two were about sports and sf/f/h cinema.  I am only going to comment on the poems.

They are wonderful.  The poetry represent broad range ,from humor to sorrow, from politics to passing fads and everything between.

My two favorites couldn't be more different from each other. 'Invasion, 1955' by Robert Borski is a view of the hula hoop fad as if it was a 1950's Flying Saucer invasion film.

'From seemingly out of nowhere they came,
not saucers but their smaller ringworld brethern
until almost everywhere you look
across the land,people are gyrating
in ectasy caught up in invasion...'

The other is' Rain Goddess ; The Dust Bowl, 1930's' by K. M. Preschak is an unnamed rain goddess hearing the cries of American farmers suffering during the Dust Bowl.  Woody Guthrie could have written this.

... Inside the prison of their barns,farmers weep.

In my enforced sleep I heard curses from Texas
to Saskatchewan as the land began to fail
yielded only pain...

Thisis a terrific collection that is well worth the price.

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