Category Archives: Review

Sean Lovelace reviews Jason Bredle

THE COVER:

It was the cover made me want to buy the book, not those claptraps at HTML Giant who kept kicking the book around like a tennis ball, bop to bop, fleckled blows of ass, etc. Usually it is HTML. I $$ a lot of books because I read about them on HTML. It’s a fucking sickness. I like HTML, to read it. I do. Sometimes I write there, but it isn’t so good. Later tonight I will drink 8 beers.

But here, now today, I dug the cover, a kid vomiting. Look at that kid vomit. BLAAGGHHH. Ha, ha. And then one day, a while ago, maybe like that awful, awful February,  I “go to see a man about a dog” and this man tells me, “That kid ain’t vomiting. He’s bobbing apples.”

Well, shit. People, pay attention. This is a lesson. Things are not what they seem.

A man walked in and ate 48 tacos

What was he talking about?

What do I talk about?

A kid bobbing apples. In Ireland they call it “snap apples,” which sounds sort of sexual, to me.

A medium apple is about 80 calories.

A medium car is a funny thought.

World’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.

When an apple is sliced in half the seeds form a pentagram, motherfuckers! AHHHHHHHHHHH

It’s all satanic. And Pagan. And maybe Roman.

Rome invades up in your land and always brings an apple tree. These Romans, they surround things or like your soul, etc. and they say, “Hey, eat this apple or I’m going to eat you.” And so you eat the apple, but that’s not humiliating enough. I mean it gets bored watching people eat apples. I think. So they toss the apples in a pig trough or cesspool or whatnot and say, “Git them apples out that, with your teeth!”

Oh, the hilarity. And, you know, you’re in that position there, kneeling, very easy for a Roman to lop your dern head right off.

So, yeh, you bob the apple. So these people look ‘vintage’ to me and possibly you could buy a poem at a Salvation Army.

Eons pass like gas.

The popularity of bobbing apples has waned because we are a bunch of sissy people, squeamish people, sad, sad people who can’t even change our own oil and think bugs are “gross” without any real examination of the thought and we hate snakes (Sweet DH Lawrence poem here) and don’t like spit/saliva near buckets of water with someone’s head and hair all in that–In a word, it’s NASTY to bob apples.

That is obvious.

Bob them apples, then an orgy!

An orgy will never save a relationship,
it can only enhance an already meaningful relationship
is a sentence I hope to use someday, either to console a friend
who considers taking his wife to an orgy
a way of saving his failing marriage
or to convince the person I love
that our relationship
is so meaningful that to participate in an orgy
would only enhance what we already have.
It would! It so really would!
Justin’s situation is completely different!
They’re unhappy and doomed to divorce but us,
us! Look at us!

Let’s talk theme: kid don’t even want to bob the apple. You make him bob the apple, he has no idea why. Now he’s all wet-faced and wet-clothed and newspaper dye on his hands and for what? A fucking apple. Dad shaves his head and Mom makes him wear the CANDY CANE SHIRT. It’s one of those things adults lead kids into, those shirts, this apple bobbing like a damn DRINKING BIRD, and that is why Jason Bredle approves this cover. It represents Bredle’s epigrammatic observations of our daily plunge. We adults are kids and kids as adults some and we are bobbing for something real in this watery existence, floaty existence, don’t know what we are doing on our knees with our heads down in the water with our heads bobbing for some goal we can’t grasp, can’t understand, can’t know what we are doing or why, and what if we do get this thing–what? It’s a fucking existential apple? Oh, I am talking theme now. I am slobbering water and shaking my wet head like a dog. Let’s move on to the THE PRESS.

THE PRESS:

You know I glow Magic Helicopter. Hell, they put out Daniel Bailey’s DRUNK SONNETS.

[My interview with Daniel where I ask this pertinent question: Several students at BSU (where you were recently a student, and I am now a prof) told me you worshiped Satan. It seems to be an English dept rumor among the undergrads. Is that true? If so, how does your Satanism affect your writing, if at all?]

Aren’t helicopters already magical?

THE TITLE AND THE NAME:

The title of SMILES OF THE UNSTOPPABLE is too large. It fucks with the vomit apple kid. That makes me sad. Next edition, move that title out of there, folks. The greater glory is the vomit boy.

The name JASON BREDLE is OK, because (though clearly too large, not occluding the vomit apple boy child).

Odd sentence I just wrote there. Odd, odd. The punctuation is offensive.

Did I ask you to ask me what I thought the title meant? Why don’t you ask me what other things mean? For example, a decaying laugh or an invisible touch or a dappled odor of cheese or a growling sky or a red soda bottle rolling on granite or a wet footprint or a sexual tension in an elevator or an old, old, crippled rainfall of jelly beans or swimming from Paraguay to Mexico or a Velveeta sunrise or a river, just a river rolling by, the way it suffers and rejoices, the extreme ellipticisms of water or many brandies, many, many alcoholic forgettings, stitched together in light and ripples and Smiles of the Unstoppable or thoughts and potato pebbles and kisses and cackles at our Boston Harbors, our antiseptic lives we don’t understand why clean or dirty or in-between slobbering bobbing apples so much we vomit.

In other words: shut the fuck up.

DOES BREDLE HAVE POEMS ONLINE I COULD SAMPLE BEFORE I MAKE THE BIG DECISION, THE OH MY GOD DECISION TO BUY THIS BOOK IN THIS TIME OF DEPRESSION AND STRIFE AND ALSO I WONDER WHY WE WERE EVER PLACED ON THIS EARTH?


What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

What are you, stupid?

and so on.

THE FIRST POEM:

We will now examine the first poem of the collection! Attention, lovers of first poems, those that love poems, those that love, physically love, grasp and choke and thrust, physically make love to, love the idea or ideas shall we say of first poems, of the long vowels and nasal coughs of first poems, the doubts and ambivalences, the dips and uprisings and bathtubs, the evoked idioms and slaughtered idiots, the implied desideratum of these first, very first poems, their firstly way, the happy accidents of impeccably varied or possibly even nonexistent meters, meter maids, chicken thighs, or shall we say heart beats or even:

…something you once wrote on a piece of paper

and tore into smaller pieces

and threw from the observation deck of a tall building…

And Excuse me. Let’s move on. Tidy? No. Titty? No. Title. Title? Yes:

RED SODA

Sticky, frothy, bubbly, fizzy, fucked–we dive right in. Ah, RED SODA, the thing, the taste, the opening poem.

Red Soda tends to stain.

Calories 100, carbs 25.

Communications, missed communications, attempts at love, shredded. Flailing or litter. In many ways, Bredle’s book as centrifuged Chekhov, a close examination of our inabilities to truly communicate, to be together and be alone, to nod our heads while we misunderstand. Bredle opening his book and stating here, here are shreds of torn paper I am tossing into the windly ways and I hope you find one, I hope you find one and glow that shred, that little code or puff of smoke or word, and I hope it says something, but if it doesn’t say something I tried. The people here try. They are not sure why. But they try. Woke up, got out of bed…

and I want to run away run away run away
but I didn’t know why I was feeling this way

For this reader–me, the man with the ponytail and need for vast stretches of moving cheese–the appeal of these lines lies less in their perceptions than in their aural felicities–the artful deployment of gurgling consonants, the quasi-rhyme of want and why and way, the subtle thumping of run and run and run, each step at a time. Also I like carbonation.

STANDOUT POEMS:


We will now address the poems that did glow. The poems that removed themselves from the pages, that levitated from their brethren, that smelled of linseed oil and tortilla:

BREADFRUIT

Why are you reviewing the second poem? You just did the first poem. What? Excuse me, this is my review, not yours. Fuck off. I am talking about BREADFRUIT because it makes a move, it makes a move I see in this book. The norm is quickly fracked open and split like a Chevy. It drives away rattling and I like the sound. It is representative in its way, like when you see a bird and think, “Well, I’ll never be a bird and that makes me sad.”

To mix metaphors is holy.

BTW, I generally hate any literature titled BREADFRUIT. It seems affected. This is an exception.

The poem opens like this:

Sometimes I write my name on my underpants

to remember who I am and sometimes I write

someone else’s name on my underpants to forget who I am.

The opening line, the “writing on my underwear” is a bit expected, a bit done before, a tad alloyed, but Bredle immediately accepts that, eats that, and vomits it out all red-gluey and anew as he follows with writing on someone else’s underwear. It is these twists and transfigurations that electric me in this book. It’s a spring mind, a wired brush, buzzing fence of feeling, often with cocktail cherries affixed on each individual barbed wire.

Suck a battery, is what I am saying, I think.

Traffic lights break progress.

Don’t you want a poem?

INFORMATION DESK

Hole fucking image:

I no longer drink milk

because it reminds me of clouds, blossoming

like blood in a glass of water.

So like an image like that, if you heard it drifting out a bar, you were walking past the bar feeling all deadly or dead, then you would stop and listen and walk inside and buy Jason Bredle a good beer and buy his book, too, and go outside and vomit into an apple vat.

CLOUDS

I will now discuss the epigraph. He is going to discuss the epigraph! Sean is going to…Holy shit I just saw a raccoon walk by my window and in its maw a yellow sleeve of French fries. Wild.

Ok, epigraph, a certainly anti-redemptive recollection of the void between life and dreams:

This is not the scene I dreamed of. Like much else nowadays I leave it feeling stupid, like a man who lost his way long ago but presses on along a road that may lead nowhere.

J.M. Coetzee

I am discussing CLOUDS.

With me, I’d been heightening my love of mashed potatoes
to a level of parody
to illustrate a point I’ve since forgotten.

And here you have your epigraph. Here you have graceful precision of authentic emotion, the fabric of a thing floating.

Hey, listen:

LOOKING AT CLOUDS=POETIC

BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY=PRACTICAL

I’ve been staring out the window at clouds,
remembering that day we were driving to Burlington Coat Factory,
how the sun was setting
and you said something about clouds

None of this is easy.

INVISIBLE TOUCH

Part of what make the Phil Collins
the portrait of the brilliant mellifluous God is that he radiates
the perfection like the entire universe shot through the cannon
of unbelievableness
toward another entity of unbelievableness
as like another Phil Collins being shot out of a cannon toward a third
Phil Collins singing his smash hit
Don’t Lose the Number
to a crowd of hugely glowing Phil Collinses
all a million feet high
and singing their smash hit
the Sussudio
in the Phil Collins Del Monte Stadium
of dreamland amazingtown—
Rock!

The asses at HTML have been discussing the idea of clever. Shouldn’t we take this Jason Bredle poem into the conversation? Is he being clever? Is he making fun? I mean this is Phil Collins, a depressed man, a man so cracked-up by a long-ago divorce as to often think of throwing himself into a river.

But Jason Bredle doesn’t make fun of Phil Collins.

But Jason Bredle doesn’t make fun of Phil Collins.

But Jason Bredle doesn’t make fun of Phil Collins.

Here, Phil Collins is the poet’s darker resonance of our daily grounded days. Here, Bredle goes all joy and loops, goes all dramatic context suggested, all labyrinthinian (sentence level) and true juxtaposition, Sussudio off In the Air Tonight, etc.

Drums Machines (the Roland CR-78 Disco-2 pattern, plus some programming)!!

Ah, shit, Phil Collins takes two years off music because he’s heartbroken, man, and he goes all, “If you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand.”

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

love enveloped in the chandelier nothing of wherever

Why am I talking about Phil Collins? Because Beckett once said, “If you really get down to the disaster, the slightest eloquence becomes unbearable.”

As Jason Bredle knows.

A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds.

Conclusion! Don’t you hate it when people announce their intent to conclude? You do? Me too! Fuck off.

As I have noted, Jason Bredle has a lot of work pinned online, but not his most perfect poem, CITY OF GHOSTS. This seems wrong to me, so I will now type the poem and place it online right now. This might be illegal? Fuck it. You get your lawyers, Magic Helicopter, and I’ll get mine. And I will win, win, win, because my brother is a lawyer and he “fixes” problems I get into, more than once. What was that, a siren or a howling dog? Also this poem deserves to be online. It is serious and playful. It smacks of uncanny. It breathes vision and re-vision. It is a grid of cadence. It deeply defines itself as itself. It is exhilarating to read and was exhilarating to type.

CITY OF GHOSTS

I visited the place and did the thing.

It’s something you have to do.

Later I went to Jane’s.

There was a guinea pig.

I took a hot shower and almost fainted.

I lay on the shower floor.

It was my birthday.

A sailboat of grenades drifted ashore.

The grenades were filled with black moths.

It was the coast.

I couldn’t pronounce the name of the village.

I counted everything I’d ever done

and the answer was 36.

Making music makes me happy

but I’ve never known how to make music.

Yes, yes…

Ever felt like a guinea pig? Ever felt your NAME called, when you aren’t from guinea and you are NOT A PIG?!

Many apples after harvesting and cleaning have commercial grade wax applied.

Yes, yes…

Thank you, Jason Bredle. For these particular words.

S

Jennifer Lopez Foot Lasagna Greg

I wrote a story about an old man who likes to kick things. I then swept out my tool shed and I ate lasagna and fed my leftover lasagna to the creek today. I tossed it into one of the deeper pools. The creek runs through my property, along the woods, runs and gurgles and brains the air. The creek goes shattered jar in the sun, a beautiful thing. I love the creek. Water makes me glow. I have a chair next to the creek and I like to sit in the chair and read and drink beer and listen to the creek guffawing at how it was here before me and will laugh eons on after I am dead.

But how did the creek respond to my lasagna?

* Crawdads went after the large noodles. One of my favorite crawdads, a large blue one I have named Diane, bullied many of the younger ones, often approaching and ripping a lasagna noodle from their claws. I have noticed small crawdads will pursue a larger one to (I guess?) try to get the food back, but once they get close they never really try. They are just like, “I’m going to get my food back! I’m not scared.” Then they approach the reality of the situation and freeze.

* The smallmouth bass preferred the cheese (a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, sprinkling of Parmesan). They darted in on silver shadows and plucked the cheese away, then whisked back into mossy under-hangs.

* The small sunfish mostly went after the tofu sausage.

* All animals ignored the fennel seeds.

* I saw one small yellow crawdad pick at a leaf of basil, but it then moved on to a large noodle.

* An unknown minnow picked at both the onion and slivers of garlic. It was having trouble holding itself in the current. A smallmouth bass then darted out and swallowed the minnow. Bam. Knife flash. So I basically baited a minnow into deeper water with my Italian seasonings. There it died.

* Only the river rocks took the parsley.

* Ditto the crushed tomatoes.

* The salt returned to the earth.

****

This is how I drive a disc:

This is how Ander Monson drives a disc. He has a new book/site (he always has a new book/site!). Go read it and explode.

Damn. Pretty awesome follow-through, like he’s about to fly away. I would tell you more about my weekend playing disc golf in Wisconsin, but you would be bored liked corn and squash.

So.

This is how Mark Neely drives a disc!! You can find a new wicked Neely poem at Juked.

*

If you know much about my writing, you know I have a “Drug Series.”

Example, Cocaine.

So. Here is Psilocybin over at Metazen.

*

Rose Metal Press has an interview here, and they mention Eggs won a design award.

Holy shit. Very cool. If you want to buy Eggs, go click that link up top right and read some flash fiction or something, yo. Yo.

[I feel like a paper bag right now.]

*

New Word Riot, motherfuckers!! I myself enjoyed:

1. Desire Cafe Sutra by John Kuligowski because it was Beat as hell, and John says he is a boring guy.

2. The Beige Futon by Greg Gerke.

This flash fiction fucking rocks. Check out this little smidgen:

Sitting in the subway, he laughed aloud and a man with a picture of a taco on his shirt didn’t seem too happy and he thought, Why can’t I laugh on the fucking subway? The one time I do a massive soft shell of guilt envelops me? So he closed his eyes and went back to the first moments, but the moments had changed. He was alone with their futon and it was dark and rainy.

That’s how you’re supposed to do it. Scene to action to physical now to trigger to thought to flashback. Pay attention all you psychos who say you want to write. Here’s a technique for you. Read it ten times or stop trying/whining.

her saying she’d still love him forever though she was leaving him for someone less neurotic.

Oh man, situation and characterization. I’ll be teaching this one to the kiddies in the fall, and that means I like/like/like it, and it’s also lame for me to say so, because I am so academia, no? No. I liked it first because it moved me. I liked it 8 more times for the same reason. I liked it the 9th and 10th time because this flash fiction is technical as a green Cadillac and I will drive it all over my students’ desks and times and haircuts and lollygags of structural play/room/lives.

3. Peter Schwartz interview.

This collection took me a few years to write. During that time I spent most of my time in my room. I had no real (meaning not just online or voice) relationships and sunk into the loneliness that comes from being that alone. There’s also the fact that I’m a bit haunted (see: ‘ABCs of loss’) but the truth is that my astronaut training program is simply not complete. You were right, sometimes I am beaten, but I think ultimately I will overcome this shit.

*

I like to mow the yard. I like to see the grass fall in lines. To see a thing done. Sometime I feel black horses at my back, like alongside or gaining, but I have never heard their hooves while mowing the yard. So that’s something.

S

Belly Dancer Toussaint Horse Track Vagina

We went Egyptian. I like Egyptian. It makes my head go whoosh-whoosh. Sometimes I felt like a 45′ vertical jump. Sometimes I felt like oranges tumbling onto a wooden floor. Meaning: I like restaurants that will serve someone who does not want to eat cardboard or meat or industrial Bad Faith, but I repeat myself.

I went to The Nile.

[But not the actual Nile. The actual Nile is not the biggest river in the world. It is the longest. It is like Longplayer. Longest song in the universe (1000 years trying for), but not the biggest.]

The biggest song in the universe is most likely by The Smiths.

Last great crooner!

Would I sleep with Morrissey?

Does a bear leap in the hoods?

Helllooooooooooooooooooooooooo

{Mowed the yard drunk. Felt so productive…all those shimmering rows}

A belly dancer! OK. But personal boundaries, or like belly-too-close-to-my-food, or maybe the Bedleh (white) too flashy/flingy in my face while I try to eat Fool (lovely dish, fava beans and various herbs), while armband shimmer/castanet clapper-brains, and the dollar bills shoved in midriff, shoved in bra-like contraption/clothing don’t know but loud/close/OK now my beer is kicking in and I like you maybe but then she grabs a long dagger/whoa dagger and does things–not so nice to stare or possibly the opposite–I am expecting flames soon. Dagger, dagger, dagger, silvery blade.

{How to build a persimmon-whipper. Get skinny stick. Sharpen point. Put persimmon on end. Whip that persimmon into the sky!!}

All up in my table vapor!

Well, guess I’ll drink my first beer from Cypress.

Light yet succulent.

Cypress is a lovely island.

(Cucumber and tomato are used widely in salads.)

I would like to meet Lady Gaga on Cypress and play chess.

*

Over at Bookslut, Elizabeth Ellen is stalking Dave Eggers.

*

I write everything in threes now. If I write one thing, one idea, I then go and write two more. So I wrote a World Cup flash/poem thing. Then I wrote two more World Cup poem/flash things. I will kick them into the guarded goal of the world later.

Gggggggggooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

*

Just finished Camera by Jean-Philippe Toussaint.

I am so fucking smart I read French books! Ha, ha, my head is a fucking scrub pine all up in your landscape, all up in the banks of your mind-ponds, where you catch catfish and fry their tails into potato chips.

AND

I ripped the plastic splash-guard off my Subaru’s oil pan with my bare hands!

I’m fucking functional over here, Chief!

Then I read Some People by Chris Diken.

Whoa, chapbooks, eh? What’s next, you art-fart, an ironic T-shirt and brie?

crumbly, crumbly…I feel crumbly….

No.

But.

Both interest me as books of ideas, stories that ground themselves in place and objects (a urinal, a camera) but then use that concrete reality as a catalyst for introspection, as a T shirt launcher of thought. Diken’s book is a story (18pp) about a man standing in front of a urinal, but his character’s take/humorous situation/expansion of place into thought, etc. are exactly what Toussaint does in a larger form (Oddly, Touissaint even includes a long scene where the character is also using the bathroom), repeatedly, on a ferry, in a phone booth, in a bureau of driver’s license, and so on. Both books are playful, but both pick at real philosophy. Both are odd, odd in the way of ideas. Both take the story/book form and use it as a machine, to explore something else.

Both are worth a read, folks.

[Why does my brother beat me in iPhone chess? WTF!!!!! Am I getting slower, is that it?]

*

I won at the horse tracks. Who does that? Not me, very often.

Some lady stole my bar stool.

Man, lizards all over the bar. It’s awesome. You think, “What would be a cliche type of people at a horse track bar”? Visualize, visualize–that’s exactly what the bar looked like, yep. Smoke and skin and smoke and jaundice and scrawny me yelling, “SIMMER DOWN 8, SIMMER DOWN!!!!!!”

[My brother taught me to scream SIMMER DOWN! so I thank him here, in this space and time.]

Here is my WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER BLUE PLATE THOUSAND ISLAND PORKCHOP system. You can have my system, free of charge.

Always play a 3 horse exacta box. Let the computer randomly pick the first two horses. Then add the # 1 horse. I always, always play #1. If the computer picks #1, then play #9 or #5 or #4.

Or just play an exacta with the # 1 in second.

Now you are a winner.

“The track takes 15 percent, but what’s 15 percent of a dream?”

Charles Bukowski

*

Uh, KGM claims her vagina is a book. This link will take you to a photo of her vagina, so if you are into vagina photos go right ahead freak-o

*

Did I Miss Anything?

Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been
gathered

but it was one place

And you weren’t here

*

Email yourself and then refuse to answer.

*

elimae with Sara Levine with Psychic and We Have Everything We Need to Make the Journey Already.

Both of these are badass.

Go read.

Go read like clearing throat

like soaking back

like double-feature tumbling, oh my.

*

Waaa, waaaaaaaaaaaa I found a metal hook in my nachos.

Shut-up, lady. Just thank God you are actually eating nachos.

eating nachos

eating nachos

eating nachos

*

Blar me

S

Sean Lovelace Reviews The Night Mare Filled You With Scary by Shane Jones

A green arrived yesterday. A sickly sort of green. It was square, bound in six strands of string, and clutching another square, tall, arthritic letters on a milky patch of bled skin. But then the longer I stared into this green, its vibrancy, the more my mind seemed to float. I thought of moments of flu, the cursing of birds within my eardrums, and often I will drink white wine during flu (the best thing to do when sick is to ignore the entire reality of the situation [maybe]) and then stumble out into the field  behind my house, to fall, to sprawl there and wait, for the vomiting, the slosh and wrack and upheaval, and then those long, hollow seconds afterward as I fold back against the prickly grass, as I feel a bit of earned self-pity (See? I told you I was fucking sick), the drool pooling off my lips, as I let go, down there with the soil now at head-level, and I will feel, well, yes, completely peaceful.

The Scary Mare Filled You With Night. No.

The You Filled With Mare Scary Night. No.

Bear with me. I lost six pounds in two days. Sometimes my knees slosh like honey and walnuts.

The Night Mare Filled You With Scary. Yes!

By Shane Jones.

Bear with me because I think this book is an illness. I read it four times and my stomach boils in its own wandering juices and I feel the fanning of heat across my forehead, pink tips of ears, and I know I am moved now, I know words move me (miraculous forces and rhythmic etchings), I know this book is a world and I dipped my eyes into this world and almost cried, almost cried but when I want to cry I do anything but cry, so I drank 7 beers, climbed a small elm, descended, went back inside, built a tiny house  from couch pillows, drank 5 beers more, went back outside and granted every single dandelion amnesty. I will no longer kill the dandelions! (I raised my arm to the sun in some sort of awkward, dramatic salute.) They are plants, too. They are alive. Who am I to choose?

Bear with me. Not two days ago I sat in a bed-cave and screamed out hallucinations and identification papers of sweat.

So bear…

I mean to say I am moved to empathy. All Shane Jones (I have read) moves me to empathy. Technique? Is it characterization? Oh, dialogue. Oh, visualization. Oh, write a list of things in the character’s glove compartment. Oh, a character sketch where we get an index card and we list every…

Shut the fuck up!

Sorry, sorry…Bear with me.

I have this fever. It’s like a huge child in my head. It is the huge child of Shane Jones’s imagination. It’s his world we get from accumulation, the way the borders of Shane Jones shape themselves, the “foxes on the red leash,” not in direct, descriptive lines, not in simple telling, but in stumbling upon cottages and candles and nursery rhymes and navy pea coats and potions and knives.

And always children (some as adults) inside the belly of the huge child.

The brilliance of Shane Jones and his characters are that he needs no more than brushstrokes, name (Avery, Anna), possibly gender, and then, the large thing, the large sympathetic thing, the reason we follow them—THEY ARE ACTED UPON.

That’s it.

Such as?

Such as the sheriff. He places a note on the front door. The note says if you fall asleep you will Night Mare. You will meet Avery. (You do not want to meet Avery, trust me.) So you must remain awake. But how?

How can I remain awake, in this odd and clattery world?

Kill yourself. Kill yourself. Kill yourself over and over.

“When I come back outside I tell Anna it’s happening again. She pulls a knife from her coat pocket and cuts my wrists open.”

“I take the knife from Anna and slit her throat.”

“Henry jumps into a bear’s mouth.”

“How’s the baby.”

“He’s good.”

“Has he slept today.”

“No.”

Bear with me now.

Like with tornadoes and tsunamis, even the animals know (in Shane Jones’s world, the animals always know, as it should be).

“A group of sleeping deer drowns in a puddle, turning blue, eyes bulging.”

“When I’m walking back home I see a cat impale itself on a sharp rock.”

Interesting the reversals in Shane Jones’s work. In this book. A boy playing a trumpet is not the hero. A motorcycle gang might be. Kill yourself to live. Sleep. Not restorative. Not restful or an escape.

Sleep as portal for Avery.

And what is Avery?

Avery is the one who wants all of us to kill the dandelions. An industry—pamphlets, prongs, products and pesticide pumps–to kill the dandelions. But why?

Because they are not of lawn.

Because they are intensely beautiful.

Because they gnarl in glow.

But now I speak in metaphor again. I cough in metaphor. And, no, I will not kill the dandelions. This is always the impact of reading Shane Jones. You are going to value sleep less, because sleep might just be obedience. You are going to do tilt to something else, a tumbling gesture toward something else.

It’s called awake.

Museum of Vandals by Amish Trivedi

The walls are steel. Cold I mean. I went out to my mailbox at dawn, when the light is blue and the air cracks in your teeth and everything makes you think of bones, or bones failing, or the inevitability of bones failing. Dog turds in the snow and a tree branch on my roof like a severed arm. There was a chapbook in my mailbox. WTF? WTF makes a curly-Q, a question mark of exhalation in the air, if you were wondering. Every word in the world condensates in its own fashion, that’s just physics. Some asshole was cranking on a snow-blower at six in the morning. My head felt like a box of stuck-together photographs because I drank beer while watching the Superbowl. I went 42 inch 1080 HD last week, but that’s a different post. So. When did I order this chapbook? Sometimes I order books late at night when all the walls are bleeding and lonely and orange and this is what happens.

It was Museum of Vandals by Amish Trivedi. A thing folded in a thing, and this green paper clip. It was a spring-fastened binder clip, not the usual steel loop. Green is my favorite color.

I read the chapbook two times.

Kinetic pop slither pop movement. Somebody chooses the right word. Joins another right word. It’s like pretending to sleep, or getting ready to kick some ass. I mean crouched. Say, tar, snakes, noisemakers. For example.

I have

an imagination

of tar: something is alive

under here. Snakes are


jumping through screams

and the trees. We saw

cranes of noisemakers

and long division streets. Teal

is a legitimate surface, an

operation by which


to read. This is a design of comprehensive

time–a vigil of something traumatic.

Poetry to capture all that is falling away. Role of. Poetry to freeze-frame the jagged thinking. A mind as stained as a skillet. Gleaming with word-grease. What do I think? Show you:

So much soy lining. A parrot screams, laughing

at the


gas masks or wolves. I


laughed (just a

little).

I read. A pain rolled from my head to my spinal cavity to the backs of my knees. I think poetry cuts to the stumble. I think poetry walks the strut. I think this poetry of Amish Trivedi is like a moon framed tightly in the window. The window has a crack through the moon. You are seeing a rupture here (touch it) and on the moon, There. It is very tight and strange and makes your hollow chest feel hollow. How so?

Something is ordinary and very wrong. Something is religious and obscene. Image as a type of gun. You fire the thing. We are all celebrities now. And sad and fucked up, like celebrities. Even a feather can kill someone, easy. Silence will not save you. Fingers, fingers, fingers–what to do with them now?

About

the rain? I was the


one that buried

it in a wall.

Wow. Word. And I mean word. Rain in the wall.

That is all you need to know.