Nick Demske by Nick Demske
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fantastic exploration of the profane, abject, and vulgar via forced sonnets that feel rather like a corpse being stuffed back into a live body. One of the best displays of the excising of language, based on language cliches, ephemera (advertising, phone messages, etc), and their frenetic reworking–language as excrement, the sloughed off. Not to mention a study of onanism, a more physical-feeling solipsism. Julia Kristeva eat your heart out. Paired finely with moments of startling imagery and sound: “Cup full of athlete, / Spilling. Huffing mouth-to-mouth at a carrion / Heap, petting these bunnies to pieces” (“Whether My Head Or This Wall Will Be first To Surrender”)
On the negative slope, either the poet or the reader gets a little well baked in this. Not sure the commitment to the form and mood and even the theory sustains the entirety of the collection. Or maybe I’m just TV-A.D.D., but I found myself getting eager to finish as I approached the end. Subtle issue–collection is still worth every penny you pay.