River Six by Chris Murray was just published in xStream. Congrats, Chris! I was enamored of this poem when she first read it in our poetry group, and it has only improved since then.

As to the magazine itself, I have two criticisms. The first is that an ostensibly literary magazine should not misspell “which” as “wich” and let it stand for as long as that one obviously has. Such errors proliferate throughout the front page, at least. The second is a more serious criticism that comes from a technical perspective.
The site uses frames without offering a frameless alternative. WAKEUP CALL! FRAMES ARE BAD!!!! For instance, I can’t link directly to Chris’s poem without losing the side menu. More importantly, I can’t see in the address bar where in the site I am at any given time for whatever reason. I can’t save a particular issue as a favorite; I can’t send a link to a back issue to a friend. (Well, actually I can do all those things, but someone with a little less technical savvy couldn’t.) This failure is even less excusable since the zine is strictly an online one. If you are going to publish electronically, you should know your medium. You should especially know the conventions, standards, and general preferences of users of the medium. The message of xStream‘s medium is “We want to be as inaccessible as possible within the framework of our chosen venue.” Perhaps this is intentional. After all, they are an “ezine focused to[on] experimental poetry.”


However, despite these technical concerns, the magazine is well worth the read, and not just for Chris’s poetry. I recommend it for its content, despite the container.

(P.S., I forwarded this rant to the editor (including the ameliorating recommendation), so hopefully these deficiencies will soon be fixed. On the other hand, I may just make an enemy of the editor (not my desire)… Oh well, such is life.)

UPDATE: ‘Wich’ is now ‘which.’ Nothing else is fixed, including the missing impersonal pronouns before the various predicate nominatives, the ‘to’ to ‘on’ that was in my original rant, the sentences fragments such as ‘Published 4-8 times in a year.’ the missing punctuation such as the comma before the second ‘which,’ and the missing possessive pronoun in the final sentence. Wow! That is one heck-of-a-lot-of-errors.

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