Monday, 25 August 2008

Review (of sorts): there’s a little hobo in my heart who forever gives the finger to humanity – rob plath

there’s a little hobo in my heart who forever gives the finger to humanity – rob plath – blackbook madness, vol. 1 (d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t press)

This, appropriately enough, is the first volume in the blackbook madness series – and a fucking-damned fine collection it is too.

Poems that burn with intensity and leave the scars indelibly branded in yr brain. Poems that attack the madness of the (m)asses, and most of the ‘underground’ pretenders, with the force of a clenched fist – not just in intent, but in the unrivalled style in which they are written. Poems that decimate the watered down talents and lives and ambitions of most of the written wastage that others outpour in the delusion that the recycling of pastiche has any kind of relevance to anyone. Poems that show if you punch those keys with enough anger that they can hit harder than any fist. Poems that question the futility, and the misguided clinging to hypocrisy and busyness, of the lives that many live, all the while unaware of the cadaver waking up inside them. Poems that show a genuine and unflinching bravery, but also can surprise with tenderness and real beauty, and sometimes open the trapdoors with the unbearably harrowing. Poems that can make you think. Poems that could make you change the way you look at life through the traditional lenses that distorts culturally accepted madness into accepted normality. Poems that you can read again and again and again.

But what poems are about, or what they represent to the different people who read them, amounts to nothing unless the actual poems themselves are good. And all of the poems in this collection are scorchingly brilliant. I have said elsewhere, in comment on one of Rob’s poems, that if he had decided to forge a career in advertising he would have been a millionaire – the sheer number of new, twisted, and exciting images and ideas that he comes up with in just one poem, would be more than enough for most other poets to fill an entire volume with. Thank fuck he writes poems, rather than adverts – although I suspect they would be the most disturbed adverts ever made.

The titles alone fuck all over the inarticulacy and unimagination of the many pretenders who can wear the clothes, and even walk the walk – but not, unfortunately, talk the talk. Titles like (and this is random): ‘a metaphor to get you through straight razor days’, 'flip your zippo, bitch & shut up’, ‘poetry is scars bathing in milk’, ‘hulk hogan & dry humping’, 'norman rockwell can go fuck himself’, or ‘ignoring sunsets & not admiring stars’

I would quote some examples. But I’m not going to. Enough fuckers read Rob’s stuff for free, on his own sites, and in the many journals he has been published in – you should just fucking buy the book. There is a link on the right to d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t press.

For anyone unaware of Rob’s work there are examples in the two linked sites in the Highly Recommended Writer’s section.

No comments: