Books

Idylls of Complicity by Carl Watson — review by Jim Feast

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Idylls of Complicity

by Carl Watson

 

review by Jim Feast

 
 
Carl Watson Idylls of ComplicityIdylls of Complicity
by Carl Watson (Author)
Spuyten Duyvil (December 10, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1941550754
ISBN-13: 978-1941550755
$16.00 US pbk | $21.62 CDN pbk | £10.60 UK pbk
242 pages, 5.1″ x 7.8″, Fiction

 
 

Carl Watson’s brilliant new novel, Idylls of Complicity, the second volume in a trilogy, has a lot to say about role playing. People play them: “Kathe was a neo-Marxist working in advertising – direct mail, actually, but she pretended it was mid-level retail and that it was a ‘creative’ position.” And people try to escape them. “That’s what drives the tourist industry … to get away from that kind of second-order experience, to get back to a one-on-one relationship where everything is new and now.” Being a tourist, it’s suggested, one would shed one’s role like a discarded snake skin. Read more

STUDY (& Other Poems on Art) by Yuko Otomo — review by Mark McCawley

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STUDY (& Other Poems on Art)

by Yuko Otomo

 

review by Mark McCawley

 
 
STUDY by Yuko OtomoSTUDY (& Other Poems on Art)
by Yuko Otomo (Author)
Ugly Duckling Presse (15 Nov 2013)
ISBN-10: 193702718X
ISBN-13: 978-1937027186
$18.00 US pbk | $18.00 CAN pbk | £15.72 UK pbk
288 pages, 5″ x 8″, Poetry

 
 
“tight-roping on memory & myth
I am an acrobat
who never learns how to make a balance
 
“Apollinaire!”
 
this will be my first scream
if I ever fall
 
“Apollinaire!”
 
this will be my last scream
if I ever fly away”

 
~Yuko Otomo, “Cornell Box #1 Untitled (Hotel Des Voyageurs), p.71 Read more

Anarchy for a Rainy Day by Valery Oisteanu — review by Ilka Scobie

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Anarchy for a Rainy Day

by Valery Oisteanu

 

review by Ilka Scobie

 
 
Anarchy for a Rainy DayAnarchy for a Rainy Day
by Valery Oisteanu (Author)
Spuyten Duyvil (29 Jul 2015)
ISBN-10: 194155055X
ISBN-13: 978-1941550557
$15.00 US pbk | $20.27 CDN pbk | £9.65 UK pbk
104 pages, 5″ x 8″, Poetry

 
 
Avant-gardist, art critic, hedonist, World traveler, Valery Oisteanu’s Anarchy for a Rainy Day is a poetic celebration of bohemian life. The reader joins the poet as he journeys through Europe, Nepal, South America, consorts with sex workers, activists, memorializes artists, and enjoys a long, loving and lustful marriage to his muse.
Some of these poems seduce with their sly wit and wordplay.
 
“So please advise before it’s too late/How can I gauge my mental state? Also imperative that I can self medicate/” from “Letter to My Shrink”. Addressed to Sigmund Freud, who Oisteanu beautifully played in an off Broadway play, the poem resounds with a charming and urbane urgency. Read more

Straight Jacket Elegies by Alan Kaufman — review by Ron Kolm

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Taking a Sledge Hammer to American Culture:

Straight Jacket Elegies

poems by Alan Kaufman

 

review by Ron Kolm

 
 
Straight Jacket ElegiesStraight Jacket Elegies
poems by Alan Kaufman (Author)
Last Word Books & Press (1 Nov 2015)
ISBN-10: 1944234004
ISBN-13: 978-1-944234-00-3
$14.00 USD pbk
Poetry

 
 

We live in tepid times — a kind of faux-fifties. There is a hysteria afoot; a fear of being different in any meaningful way. If you stopped to take a photo on Fifth Avenue and then compared the result with one from 1957, you’d be hard-pressed to notice a difference: the hairstyles are mostly similar; short hair for the males and long, straight hair for the women; the suits and dresses are reminiscent of that era, too.
This overlay holds true in the literary realm as well; the sun-bleached style of the Franzens amd Safran Foers is a throwback; it’s non-life-supportive. Flimsy plots and tons of description do not a meal make. Same for the music. Pop, with its generic lyrics and manifold falsettos, is nothing more than rehashed Beach Boys and Four Seasons. Some of the brothers I know are even dissing the taming of rap; that particular revolution has become predictable and meaningless.

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Triple Crown, Sonnets by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright — review by Ilka Scobie

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The Last Word In Modern Sonnets:

Triple Crown, Sonnets

by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

 

review by Ilka Scobie

 
 
coverTriple Crown, Sonnets
by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright (Author)
Rene Ricard and JCW (Illustrator)
Spuyten Duyvil (March 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1881471233
ISBN-13: 978-1881471233
$15.00 US pbk | $18.68 CDN pbk | £9.29 UK pbk
112 pages, 6″ x 9″, Poetry

 
 
Jeff Wright’s lyrical liberties propel the traditional sonnet on a worldwide dash. Every poem is “Made in…” somewhere —beginning with China. In the second poem, “Made in Hong Kong,” the initial entreaty beckons with musical sophistication: anagrammatic words coupled in a double-beat rhyme scheme.
 

“Come to me now, unkind whirlwind
Come to me now and unwind, wunderkind.”

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