“Forcemeat” by Henry Goldkamp was selected for publication by Mid-American Review poetry staff for issue 42.1.

“Forcemeat” brings you into a unique moment between two people as they play a game of deciding if something is more like a muskmelon or muskrat. “The felled log we set on this noon. // That would be muskmelon.” But, more than a game, these images take you as a reader through an emotional journey that is set by the speaker but up to the reader to interpret. The form and spacing works to guide you through the piece, to pause at the right times, to experience the new.

“Forcemeat” is uniquely itself, and unlike many poems we receive in our submissions manager. It was something as poetry editor I’m always keeping my eye out for, something that surprises me, changes me, and lingers. “Forcemeat” was a poem I couldn’t shake. The distinct voice Goldkamp works into this piece helps ground it and give these unnamed characters life. There are many things our editors found to love in this piece, and images that felt distinct to something Mid-American Review gravitates toward. As a reader you walk away with part of this poem following in your shadow, hiding in your mind. It leaves you looking at everything and asking, “Is it closer to a muskmelon, or a muskrat?”

––Megan Borocki, Poetry Editor