Friday, November 11, 2005

Out of context, the less-overtly flarfy lines in Drew Gardner's new Petroleum Hat sound to me like the synopses of as yet unwritten pop sociology bestsellers; In my dream universe Drew writes the op eds for a major daily. Take these lines from "Chicks Dig War":
Believe that male behavior is the result
of a breeding experiment run by females?
In case you missed it,
the basic implication is that by following
their natural proclivity to breed with
John Ashcroft
women are an anti-civilizing force,
actively creating more male aggressiveness.
The movement Drew brought to life when he smushed together the words rogaine bunny has labored under the burden of its antic hilarity for Jesus is it going on six or seven years now? but what one carries away from Petroleum Hat, even after rereading the table of contents as the fine poem it is ("I Am A Beluga Whale / Check Out My Petroleum Hat / Burning Third-Eye Scrotum Memories / What My Pet Goat Is Going To Have To Understand / Fuck You For Being a Fucking Fraud / Let People Name Themselves...") is the sublime poise and finish, I want to say quiet with which the consistent speaker gussies up these accounts of the natural world's inventions, such as light-emitting squid, million-bee swarms, or the band Gwar.

If you're only going to buy copies of one book to give all your relatives and coworkers this Christmas, make it Petroleum Hat. If you've got the budget for three or four books, Ange Mlinko's Starred Wire and Jeni Olin's Blue Collar Holiday are just as likely to bolster your standing as the charming cousin, aunt or uncle, or grandchild. Remember, next year these poets will all have been on Jon Stewart and your "I knew them when" won't have the same crinkly sheen. Do it now.

UPDATE: You should see me at parties handselling Brandon Downing's Dark Brandon and David Larsen's The Thorn. And then there's the collecteds Berrigan and Koch. And then and then and then: Compton, Knox, Young, Queyras, Bruno, Lyons, Manuel de Luna, Schilpp, Sala, Spahr, Mead, Miller, Chang... point being: when better than gift-season to engage in a little low-key evangelizing.

Jordan - #




I'm Jordan Davis.
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I mention it here.

Say hi: jordan [at] jordandavis [dot] com.

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