Identity Poetry has presented an issue of prose, and it leads one to wish the magazine would veer from verse more often. Although the issue is short, it contains two pieces of high quality and only one that might better have been left out.
Clive T. Miller's Ally-Ally-In-Free is a story upon which part of a chapter in his unpublished novel This Passing Night is based. The story's two characters come alive, and Miller gives the death of a cheap hoodlum dignity and poignance that might easily have seemed unwarranted, but do not. At the beginning of the story his diction and sentence structure set a tone with which occasional word choices clash, but after the first two paragraphs his control does not slip. I look forward to reading the novel, which will counterpoint stories of the gangs with others about a group of New York children who go to college and Europe, have money and women.
Eddie and Barbara and Me by Chris Kazan has a mildewed and cloudy atmosphere that fits the surrealistic story. I read it several times with ever increasing enjoyment and admiration. In contrast with this is the effort necessary to force myself to wade a second time through the turgid prose of Mary Wild Tillich's The Thrill of a Lifetime. Mrs. Tillich's story is flat, dead, and full of inexact and unevocative words and phrases.
Nine of the eleven pages of this issue are excellent. One is grateful to the two editors and twenty-one patrons of Identity Poetry for bringing it to Square newsstands.