March 23, 2012
Zen Monster is a new-ish magazine (it first appeared in 2008 but only recently released its third issue) with the following manifesto: “We commit ourselves to art, poetry, fiction, and subversive political commentary by buddhist, non-buddhist and trans-buddhist writers, artists, and essayists. Zen Monster is committed to mature achievements, beginnings, half-steps, younger artists, older artists, and any ‘fumblings by the way.’” Then, tacked on at the end, a quasi-mission statement: “No inherent limits.” Zen Monster #3 is just as funky, passionate, and raw as the first two issues. Norman Fischer, a contributing editor to Zen Monster, is the subject of a killer interview about writing poetry, “For the Poem Itself: A Language View.” Brad Warner tackles the Genpo Roshi sex scandal in his essay “How to Make a Zen Monster.” Diane DiPrima provides a number of poems dedicated to the memory of Philip Whalen. Zen Monster is edited by Brian Unger, a Ph.D. candidate in English and American Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Copies are hard to find, so if you spot one, grab it, or order one at spdbooks.org.
This review can be found in the "Books in Brief" section of the Spring 2012 issue of Tricycle.