Monday, April 27, 2009

the cruelest month review series #11

over the weekend i had a number of ideas of what book or poem to review. today, however, being a monday, a day i took off work to try to get my bearings and restore a sense of equilibrium, my ideas all fluttered out the window and onto the heavy breeze now blowing thru the valley. ostensibly, my reviews were to be about my daily reading. and they are for the most part. but if i were to write about everything i read in a day then that would be quite a long and scattered list. for example, i did find a couple novels by richard laymon and read one yesterday. genre fiction is addictive as hell.

which brings me to my subject. as usual i clicked thru and read a number of blogs today. i noticed a few days ago jim mccrary put up a link to his review of an ed wood jr pulp novel. i re-read that review today and one of the many pleasures mccrary gives me is not only a roaring prose style but his love of trash culture. let's call it trash culture for lack of a better phrase. really, i don't distinguish between hi and lo cultures but if one were to call the films and novels of ed wood jr something, the word trash will do just fine.

now, mccrary writes about wood's novel, death of a transvestite [four wall eight windows press, 1999] like it was a poem. or to paraphrase the conclusion of one of mccrary's self-published chapbooks: he lovingly mangles the english language. like the sound generated from mccrary's minimalist poetics his ear is keen in his prose too. mccrary's technique is similar to the way jimi hendrix used feedback and distortion. i'd go further and compare mccrary to iggy pop for his effrontery and self-deprecation and it would not surprise me a bit if i discovered the poet had hummed 'i wanna be your dog' as he penned his review.

what i dig most about mccrary's review is not just his taste in books but that the review is, at least to my eyes and ears, an extension of his own poetics. if i hadn't known mccrary is a poet by reading the review i'd suspect as much by the time i finished it. there is something within the way the review is arranged on the screen that is like a poem. also, how mccrary triggers one idea into another as his mind sifts thru wood's story of a hitman transvestite has a kind of hyper logic that all of his poems do.

it might seem a bit strange to review a review but what i think i'm doing is writing about a poem that functions like a review. for me, mccrary is all poet and whatever he writes is part of his poetics. dig it. and read mccrary's review here.


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