It's appropriate that the folks at Pinball Publishing used the phrase "eye-rhyme" as the title for their journal of experimental literature. "Eye" and "rhyme" almost actually rhyme, but don't. The words are half-rhymes, aligning just closely enough to force the mind to look for a connection between them, but remaining just far enough apart that the mind never quite gets there. It's a title that demonstrates the structure-bending element of experimental literature that is so frustrating, and yet so compelling. Like a half-rhyme; the mind yearns to make connections in experimental literature that it never quite will.
Each new issue of Eye-Rhyme is, naturally, loaded with works that contort traditional ideas of poetry and fiction. Issue four (the newest issue) has mind-twisting works ranging from the spare, tiny quips of Errol Miller to the sprawling self-conscious prose of the Australian, Fiona Hile. A poem by Shin Yu Pai, "De Stijl," studies the relationship between colors and abstraction, culminating in a bizarre grid of criss-crossing words and lines, like a word search without the frame. This range of styles and structures epitomizes experimental literature, where words are no longer limited to merely describing visual representation, but can actually become a kind of visual representation themselves.
Journals of experimental literature have been around forever, but few to none have existed in Portland. Like most journals of this kind, Eye-Rhyme fights an uphill battle with readers because of its nontraditional material, which is all the more reason to support it. The company behind it, Pinball Publishing, is doing a good thing for the community. They use the money made from commercial printing to publish works like Eye-Rhyme, that challenge and provoke, but might otherwise be overlooked. They are art philanthropists in a sense, using the proceeds from a steady source of income to elevate the artistic community.
So glance up at the top of this review one more time and take note of when and where Pinball's anniversary party is. Go to the event and celebrate Pinball's achievements. Listen to the readings and music and enjoy. Help good things flourish. JUSTIN SANDERS