Today I have made a fantastic discovery: if you stay sober, it is possible to read and enjoy poetry after ten o’clock at night! Who’d have thought it??? AND, I happened to pick an excellent volume to take on my faltering pm poetry journey, the very recent Alien vs. Predator by rock-fan Michael Robbins. He’s wearing a Slayer T-shirt in his “poet profile” photo. That says a lot.
This is a funny, witty, sparkling collection of poems riddled with constant unexpected (pop) culture references. Descartes and the Rolling Stones referred to in the same poem, jokes about airline bomb threats, anger, rage, aggression, occasional moments of pure brilliance… I may go so far as to say this is the best collection of poetry I have EVER read.
His verse has a rhythmic quality to it that is engaging and enrapturing… The beat of his, often coupleted, lines crush and press and push on a reader… There is a musicality evident in the structure of his words, and this is emphasised by the frequent allusions and quotations to/from various musicians and songs… It is jam-packed with images from outside. Star Wars, the Wu-Tang Clan, Maybelline, Al Jazeera, American Apparel, just an arbitrary selection. Every poem breathes and exudes a pounding understanding of contemporary culture, and showcases a charming, funny and clever poetic voice.
The back of the book sold it to me – Hip-hop-ed John Berryman with a politicised, witty, aggressive tone. That was exactly what I got. Fucking excellent. Give it a read.