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NO B.S. REVIEWS: Maddox, Alleman, CÈline, Bukowski, Kerouac & Burroughs

I hope it's not over, and good-by, by Everette Maddox
University of New Orleans Press, 166 pp., paperback

These selected poems by tragic Alabama poet transplanted to New Orleans (dead from esophogas 1989), exude the swampy citified Chukkery South. From the narrative launch of a semi-drunken stolen boatpoem (immediately aligning Maddox with Rimbaud) exhorting "Huck's terrible integrity," the float is on. From the subtle traditional rhyme-scheme that's hardly even catchable, to a cache of characters whose profiles form a familiar human topography, a personal poetics evolves from the elegance of the street, exploding later into "the memory trace of an older idea of form" (according to foreword by Adamo). Suicide rings throughout, as does a love for the ladies, "in the accidental harmony of the world." A metaphor for publication is submitted:

It's not what you
expected. Little
black ants of print
climb up onto
the stiff page
of the literary mag
and form a man.

Horrible! Ants
arranged in the shape
of a bent old man
with a bottle of Tequila
between his knees

    . . .

Nothing on the page is true,
only the failure."

Poem "Republican Toast" also deserves a shout-out, especially for these five lines: "Here's to the goddam/Motherfuckin' shit-eatin/Ball-bitin'/Crawdad-cornholin'/Republicans." But wait! Another toast is in order . . . to one of the most colorful intriguing poets America ever lost too soon . . . thank you Everette, for yr lovely gut.

Babyfucker, by Urs Allemann
Peter Smith, trans.
Les Figues Press, 133 pp., paperback

This extremely controversial, bilingual, good-looking, pocket-size work of transgressive lit first freaked readers out in '91 when it won second place in the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition as a German text alone. As the intro explains, "Der Spiegel magazine includes the 'Allemann affair' as one of only three cultural events on its list of the top forty-five scandals between 1949 and 1999.'" And no wonder: It's all about baby fuckingóin a very Story of the Eye kind of way. It's witty as shit, but you never really like the author personally. You do, however, enjoy his whimsy. It's like Gertrude Stein meets Jean Genet. Or Sam Beckett crossed with CÈline, but strung out on oxycot all the way to the knee-slapping end. Where there's a whacked out popcult click-in-synapse that brings it all together, prompting reader to beslap forehead with Satori. But is this revelation worth it? Noóbut the highly literary super-surreal side-splitting sojourn is . . . through creels of trippy infant-fucking fun.

Normance, by Louis-Ferdinand CÈline
Marlon Jones, trans.
Dalkey Archives Press, 370 pp., paperback

CÈline's last novel has finally erupted into English . . . a monumental manifesto of hilarious prose just published by Dalkey Archives . . . who deserve no credit for this masterpiece! Vile Swine! Scumbags! Backstabbing crooks! CÈline translator MSpitzer originally swung the deal for this book, even did all the preliminary permissions research back in 2005 . . . contacted Gallimard, contacted the Estate, the whole shitarito . . . and Dalkey Archives said "You bet" . . . but when it came time to talk standard royalties, they tried to screw him over, offering a flat fee, those bastard weasels. That's when they shared their true colors . . . said the board had "reconsidered," when they'd given the job to somebody else. Someone they could rape more, fuck over, bugger with butter while reaching around! Which was a good thing for MSpitzer, who (I have it on good authority) feared the nightmare of all that argot, and being a prisoner of the process . . . lost language & obscure medical lingo . . . historically specific, technically political! What a mess!

But ol' Marlon Jones was up to the task  . . . striving for a Manheimian interpretation (unlike Fable for Another Time, that last crock of heavily footnoted corn-infused log put out by U of Nebraska Press), he hit the ground running and succeeded. The narrative flows organically, humorously, piss-your-pants hysterically! Only seven damn notes in the whole damn book, KAPHLAMMING with momentum, an explosive steroid-fueled phantasmagoria of strippers and dancing amputees, annoying whores, and that trademark paranoid RAT-A-TAT-TAT of Mad Doctor Revery! Bombs exploding, walls VRRR-SMASHING, Fireworks, Shrapnel, Bloody Mobs! But unlike the other "war novels," in which CÈline and wife and cat scramble and scratch through bomblasts and hellfire (i.e., North, Castle to Castle, et cetera), this barrage is character- and dialogue-driven . . . thereby joining the ranks of Death on the Installment Plan, London Bridges, and The Church . . . the most rollicking human and beautiful novels kicked out by CÈline.

And FYI . . . Normance is a big fat murderous fatman; no doubt a metaphor for Industrial Western Expansionist Stupidity! All the action takes place in one day, in one apartment building, during a massive bombardament . . . and Normance is huge pain in the ass! He attacks CÈline, loses his mind, gets in the way, bleeds from the head. And while all this is going on, a legless cripple dances in the sky, tracers flashing all around him, while Paris buckles, bends, bursts and seizures: BABOOOM! There are tensions between CÈline and spouse, brainwashed zombies screeching for a pound of flesh, secret horders of booze, the works! A real fiasco, no tragedy at all! With some of the most outrageous CÈlinian self-analysis on record. For example: "I'm telling you just how it happened . . . think I'm not very modest? . . . so what? . . . modesty doesn't pay! only mindless, phony garbage does! . . . the truth is obsolete . . . it takes a big gust of wind, stuffed with fine phrases, to set the world on fire, to drive your boat to the golden fleece . . . . and those are the facts exactly . . ."

The Continual Condition, by Charles Bukowski
Ecco, 127 pp., hardback

This thin stew is definitely the bottom of the barrel. Not one resonating line. Twenty-six bucks shat away. What a flaccid disappointment. Go for The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 (2007) instead. That one's memorable, and damn well worth the effort & time. Very dark and existential, humans being described thusly: "that warm bucket of/ intestine,/bladder,/kidneys,/
lungs,/salt,/sulphur,/carbon dioxide/and/phlegm" and "we are all little forgotten pieces of shit/only we walk and talk/laugh/make jokes." Plus lots of reflection on the Void, i.e.: "death enters my mouth/and snakes along my teeth/and I wonder if I am frightened of/this voiceless, unsorrowful dying that is/like the drying of a rose." But, of course, there are lots of miniskirts, bare assess, fingerfucks, puking, crappy cars, and meat-and-potatoes meditations on what he has always termed "The Word"ósuch as: "as the/spirit/wanes/the/form/appears" & "(but Hem was correct in maintaining that F./Scott couldn't write)." Meanwhile my copy is all dog-eared. Mucho to revisit here.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs
Grove Press, 215 pp., paperback

A lost collaboration 1945
Kerouac and Burroughs messing around with prose
this hard-boiled thriller-nov is full of bohemian NY nights
crafted preVoice, preBeats, preMeatWheelTurningInTheSky
so therefore intriguing in a preKinda way
but also avec its own magneto
of Realism, see
a surprisingly easy read
but worth it? The verdict is still
out on that

by Christian Prozak

Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook
by Charles Bukowski
David Stephen Calonne, ed.
City Lights, San Francisco, paperback

Most quixotic Chinaski yet
kicks off w/ academic offturning intro
regarding lost & obscure chunks
painful at first in search of voix
but then full-throttle
blunt drunk we luv:

    "I walked into the other room and there was Constance, naked, stretched on a leather couch, her eyes closed.  All the lights were on, which only made it better.  She was milk-white and all there, only the hairs of her pussy had a rather golden-red tint instead of the blonde like the hair on her head.  I began to work on her breast and the nipples became hard immediately.  I put my hand between her legs and worked a finger in.  I kissed her all about the throat and ears and as I slipped it in, I found her mouth.  I knew I was going to make it at last.  It was good and she was responding, she was wiggling like a snake.  At last, I had my manhood back.  I was going to score.  All those misses . . . so many of them . . . at the age of 50 . . . it could make a man doubt.  And, after all, what was a man if he couldn't?  What did poems mean?  The ability to screw a lovely woman was Man's greatest Art.  Everything else was tinfoil.  Immortality was the ability to screw until you died . . . Then I looked up as I was stroking.  There on the wall opposite . . . hung a life-sized silver Christ . . . He was watching me . . . . I missed a stroke."

[i] read it three times (engrossed enrapt)
the beauty of this plumer vulgaris
flowering in Fantemoir
but plenty flammable
litcrit as well:

"Back in the '20s and '30s there was not an abundance of littles.  A little magazine was an event, not a calamity.  One could trace the names from the littles and up through literary history; I mean, they began there and they went up, they became.  They became books, novels, things.  Now most little magazine people begin little and remain little . . .  Every jackass in America pumps out countless and ineffectual poems.  And a large number of them are published in the littles.  Tra la la, another edition.  Give us a grant, see what we are doing! . . .  Arid vast nothingness . . . the miracle of our times is that so many people can write down so many words that mean absolutely nothing."


 "Poets, of course, aren't the only ones to suffer in our world, they just talk more about it.  And the critics, my friend, the critics, what a rotten lobsterflesh they are.  Forgive me this, it's all that I know in my pitiable way.  Basically, all I have to say is:  Ezra, yes . . . . Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes."

plus "moments of total flaming hell"
(shoulda been the title)
injected with hilarious
Célinian hate:

"The Dolly Sisters sit in that large window all day talking and drinking tea and eating tiny cookies.  They are heavily rouged with stupid, hard faces and their grey hair is dyed red and they wear four-inch false fingernails; their lips are very heavily caked with magenta lipstick.  They look at me as I walk by and I nod like a country gentleman.  They think I am a retired circus barker . . . All three of them view me and one of them gives me a big smile, it's like a leper's kiss of death.  The moment the sun goes down, a huge purple curtain is pulled across the glass window.  The Dolly Sisters are afraid of being raped."

"Right now there's this huge glob approaching New York City and there's nothing that can be done about it.  When I read this article I wasn't exactly too unhappy because if any city deserved to be drowned in mountains of shit, that city is New York."

for this is some really guerrilla stuff
high in polemics & graphic scat
what might've changed our attitude
two degrees but so what?
stock standard lesbo smackdowns and
barfights galore permeate
avec spontaneous
absurdist fic

bottomline:  there are three strange
bks by Buk
no pensive collection shld be
Pulp, Pleasures of the Damned
and this mofo
right here.

Rimbaud:  The Double Life of a Rebel
by Edmund White
Atlas & Co., New York, hardback

très readable and condensed
chrono from élitist pompous texts
like G. Robb and autre Rimbaudallaires
         yet critical of Starkiescheiss and
investigative betwixt
analysis of life thru verse

am mucho pleased with this history
context & narrative
but EWhite's traductions suck
ie, "In order to touch one of my dad's bits—big, black
    and hard—" is not only
 inaccurate & slovenly
(see MSpitz From Absinthe,
"that fat hard dark dick/of my dad")
but just as misleading as plethora
of guesswork preceding Fowlie,

Still, this study is thick w/ sticky nugs such as

"One night when [Verlaine] was blind with drink and wanted money from his mother so that he could continue his rout into the dawn hours, he became so angry with her for holding out on him that he attacked with his cane the jars containing Madame Verlaine's miscarriages, smashing the glass and dismembering the tiny rubbery fetuses and scattering them across the floor—and remarking soddenly that they, like him, had been macerating in alcohol long enough."


"Most humiliating, Verlaine was visited by two doctors, who examined his body to 'see if he was a homosexual.'  The doctors remarked on the small penis and its particularly small, tapering head.  More significant for them was the anus."

        and w/ das "boat" under the microscope
        (following influence of  JVerne
        James FenCoop and EdAlPoe)
offerings of
insight acute:

ie, "Critics often claim that creative sparks fly when the themes and techniques of genre literature are elevated to the status of high art—and Rimbaud was one of the first poets of the modern era to understand this principle."

despite puny piddlies
this portrait is most comprehensive
flash of madpunk tragi-spiral
into his
           mythic Abyss.

Skip Fox
Delta Blues

Ahadada Books, Tokyo/Toronto, paperback

this is nitro-packin' Pomo plumin' to the POW degree
just can't get past "Lili, a Hurricane,"
Squealin' and Screechin' and Scrawwin' out
its surging oceanic cry
while shakin' with
the wrath of Gawd:

"a monstrosity, worlds within worlds of air and water and wind:  torrents of doubt, fugues of the sheer, winds rising thousands of feet in a few seconds then suicidally throwing themselves off their own cliffs to plunge thousands of feet below, psychotic dervishes, deep unbinding swells . . .  tumultuous towers, parapet in neural collapse (these result in blind spots), electric spasm in back currents, dark swirl, the black flatulence of eddies, abeyances of thought, little soda jerks running from table to table, cataracts of unholy pleasures . . . crescendo of blank racket, her brow at 30,000 feet as she slows, stretches and contracts, opens an eye at last, blinks, spies Cuba, and turns, bellowing, to wipe her ass."

talk about "generative writing"
this bitch makes you wanna scrawl, squall
rip the throat from a fashion god

"Death amid the petulance of nations.  Death in disregard.  Death for its own sake.  Stupid motherfucking death!" howling all bellicose, "tearing at her hair, clawing her face, ripping at nipple rings . . she spots the anus of the nation" goes charging in like a pack of jackals, lashing at the "the stupid chewing hysteria of the populace . . . [and] fat fucks fighting at five o'clock."

no other hurricane prose
can match the gnash of the storm Skip
Fox has unleashed
this super-hyper-organic-destructo-twister of pure

dissolving like battery acid
the flesh of all
we think know.

Killmeyer, Dana
Pendulums of Euphoria
Six Gallery Press, Pittsburgh, paperback
Pendulum "smudges the seams between the abstract"
in a world where "science is nascent" and newborns know
"existence before form"
     broken down:

"s ing ing s
ing ing s s
ing s s ing
ing s s ing
s s ing ing"

unto Mobius silent whys,
"tips of pubis" & "the
hot white beyond."

so put that in your pipe
and smoke.


Poems for New Orleans
Ed Sanders
North Antlantic Books

Not yr typical investigoetry by our Fugsly bard:
mucho mas lyrical in span of three centuries
from ye olde French & Choctaw trade to
murky surge of "kill-swill
        down over 80% of the Polis....

And the bodies!  Oh my God!
like an image from a suicide bomb"

with plenty of that semi-Gonzo omni-bias, ie:
"Low life of course defines high life
and the perfect and imperfect alike
are shat into the crypt
by the partisans of Sky Slime!"

while shipping "these rotten Democrats
to the morgue
        or disperse them like twisted seeds
        across the Red Beyond"

Oh yeah, this is epic bloody song
of tragedy, history, desperation &
all thy shameful weasle-tools, Amerigo
sponging off the Mississippi's
most dismissible

The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993
Charles Bukowski (John Martin, ed.)
Ecco Press

Simply best Bukowski poetry collection ever
good shit! end of

For To
Skip Fox
BlazeVOX [books]

SFox adds a sense of humor
to suicides at Christmas
along with uber
contemplative vision-meter

like "Rockets' red glare burning its way... [to] visual cortex"
mental derelicts converge with pond scum
green herons, monkeys and meat
to imprint upon the senses
a quasi fuckyou
on the dying process

très existential for ol' Skip
noiry, chunky, songy
& reflective

his most human(e)
alchemy yet

and "if the tale be mad

                                            does that concern the tongue ? "

The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder
Bill Morgan, ed.

these indices are always best
fer wordbytes on myriad
flashes of flesh

& that's

Elva Maxine Beach
New Belleville Press

Holy Testerotica, Batwoman!
What do you get when you cross Bukowski
Anais Nin, Diane Di Prima
and America?

the answer = Neurotica
an unapologetic
bonefest for feminists
and albatross
(the whole dang

this is Gen-X bitchslap balling
this is a true euphorimoir
burning from the breast of anyone
ever been burned
but going for
another Skronk

Memorials to Future Catastrophes
CD by Davis Schneiderman and Don Meyer
Jaded Ibis Productions Inc.

crazee crazee cacophony
of broken spoken K-zanging
techo-sympho-politico riffs
strange with perpetual jesus epidemics
synergizing sex w/ brando
tom cruise pynchon blitzer
one bold callabo mozaic
of muse gone wild in studio
and media on roids
Man—this is
digital Dope!


Hunter S., Ed Sanders, Bukowski & Missy Suicide

Kingdom of Fear:
Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the
Final Days of the American Century

by Hunter S. Thompson
Simon & Schuster, NY

though vainglorious and
nascent of old gonzód hat
Kingdom is most smoking nug
of nitrobiased journalcy
cured w/ crystal fiction
to aggravate the Hogs of War
in sad shadow of
yr Michael Moore

——but impotent in fury? ie:

"Let's face it — the yo-yo president of the U.S.A. knows nothing. He is a dunce. He does what he is told to do — says what he is told to say — poses the way he is told to pose. He is a Fool.... This is not the time to have a bogus rich kid in charge of the White House.... he wantonly and stupidly endorses mass murder of a logical plan to make sure we are still Number One — he is a Jackass by definition — a loud and meaningless animal with no functional intelligence and no balls.... Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush?
They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us — they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis.
And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them."

Lo, our friendly neighborhood dopefiend
has spun another narco-coil
twined in clever curlitales
of sundry plots converged in theme
that as of yet no critics know
what to make of bombast but
more of ye olde same

This is a different specimen
sophisticated in suspense
paced with cops and guns and Depp
gelling to the namedrop end

avec a secret stitch
of aggressions in transgression
in face of dick and bush
and all their slimy

nevermind the mad doc's
bullshit self vindication re:
fatporn stargone wild

what's pisspants hilarious is
booze-fueled roadkill pig-limo visions
of Clarence Thomas humping whores
in Elko lustrush of
most quintessential knee-slap
Amlit overkill this
pseudonym has ever seen
blast ratbastards
in the ass

Ho ho! Bravo!
Encore Maestro!
War makes art
worth a shit.

America: A History in Verse
Vol. 3, 1962-1970

by Edward Sanders
Black Sparrow Books, NY

Aye the I
in the eye
of once Fugly troubabard
who après l'evidence
of JFK chiggerism

"Is it not proper to think that military leaders
who would propose
domestic terror
could also kill a president
or fashion a patsy?"

then all that ML Kingful marching
lynching bugging baiting beating
in red white & blue blood of

sacrificial Camelot lambs
(whom most luminous is Ted!)
blazing amazing scathing faces
thugslugging RatherDan
in Panthered past of

where "The Spirit of Napalm...
& his bone-pal
Scythe Man the Lurker"
spankingly contrasts
"the fluffy... condemnation
of a writer... famous for his breathy,
envious book on... Kesey"


"You could see Mr. Wolfe in 1827
snickering at the paint-stained clothing of William Blake
(and his egalitarian politics)
after... snickery visit"

till Four Dead in Ohio
and flowervisions in the gun

as Sanders goes and goes and goes
toward volume 4 of Nixon Ford
Carter Disco Iran-Contra
Reaganation Oblivion

making a new Maximus
what doesn't condescend.

Slouching Toward Nirvana: New Poems

by Charles Bukowski
HarperCollins, NY

Finally! A dead-Bukowski afterbook
that doesn't suck
posthumous butt

poetry inspired by
"my cats, my wife,/the shape of my coat
thrown over a chair, the weeping of the planet...
the flight of the hummingbird and"

the fact that it's
so easy to die
long before the fact
of it

so the bird has now
busted out the heavy stuff:

"how close we all are
to being nothing
most of the

for some of us
all of the

since "we are hardly ever
as strong/as that which we
create" and

"most poets are just big
accepting readings
taking university chairs
praying for tenure
writing books on poetic
technique and
giving lectures"


"those chattering bitching
who are so quick to insist...
that I am
not one of

plus plenty of advice
for those who can't:

"read this to your class in contemporary
literature and tell them how easy it

then send those children out to walk
the asphalt like the rest
of us"


"some are good at
cleaning the shit stains
out of the toilet;
others at
polishing the mirror
of their own vanity;
many are expert
at composing inoffensive
sucking dick.

but while the drippings from
their thin minds
spill from their tongue

I'll continue to

the unBukowski:

"mental charutos pimentel charutos
pimentel charuto entel charutos pimentel charutos

Say What? No wonder this voice
was wisely left for
surreal existential end of

"flowers floating on the lake.
New Jersey dogs in thrall...
do abandoned factories ever
scream at mid-
I am warming up now as
bottle caps explode in my
I am giving off smoke.
I am really smoking now.
I am an Easter egg.
I am a paper clip....

as the world reaches
its final foolish conclusion
I realize that
nothing has been learned"

and as the "powers-that-be
persist/in tolerating
Bukowski plays
the "shuck and jive"
like horses at the track
a "pure folly to get slick about"
cuz ultimately
(he he he)
"a lie."

Suicide Girls
by Missy Suicide
Feral House, L.A.

This is a glossy sexy photobook
of saucy naked nudie Goths and
Gen Y hotties but

also a statement
of a shaven
tattooed Betty Booply

not nipple porn for wanking wetly
(though you could)
but the stuff of coffee
table yakage

ahhhhh sweet sassy lasses
how we love your boobs and asses
your bad grrrrl grins
and vixen visions

but next time leave yr poetry
at home.
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