MENUDO & HERB: $?, 5 ½” x 6”, photocopied, 44 pgs.

If I could hazard a guess as to why I never find good poetry zines, it’s probably because the two forms already lend themselves to over indulgent navel-gazing. When they blend together, the result is often unbearably self-involved, not to mention boring and hackneyed. Yet this short book of even shorter poems is a great exception to that. Myriam Gurba, the author, is sharp and clever without an ounce of pretense. Most of her poems concentrate on wordplay, with intentional disregard for the borders between the Spanish and English languages (one example is the poem Feminine The Feminine The Feminine The, the body of which consists only of “La la la,” or Speaking of Extinct Mexican Dishes, which is merely “where have all the menudodos gone?”). In some ways, this almost reads as a book of puns, which could sound like a dig, but I love puns and these actually achieve thought provocation with their simplicity. I wouldn’t be surprised if this lady had a hilarious Twitter account. –Dave Brainwreck (