Saturday, August 29, 2009
Required Reading #1
I’ve been accused of writing poetry on occasion, but I wouldn’t classify myself as a poet. David Blaine may also suffer from this hasty branding by friends, critics, and contemporaries. But after reading his chapbook Antisocial (OWC Press, 2009), I suspect the “poet” moniker might not fit.
David Blaine is simply a writer. And a damn good one.
While reading Antisocial, time slowed for a stretch, which is somewhat ironic seeing as the pieces are nothing if not concise. No words are wasted, thus leaving the reader with a bare bones, yet never skinny, rendition of truth.
As I moved through this collection of poetry, verse fiction, prose poems, and story poem things (thanks, R. Gay), I caught myself smiling, laughing, sighing, and nodding. I also caught a black eye. This work hits hard and fast. Little time to duck.
David Blaine paints a world in which we are all victorious, defeated, lonely, excessive, shallow, pensive, and indelibly human. Heroes are dead because we killed them, Beats are broken because we forgot to move forward, and the drinks are stronger than we'll ever be. Above all, and perhaps most importantly, David Blaine paints a world in which we are all culpable. He holds the mirror to our collective face and challenges us, and himself, to become who we are.
Whether sifting through trash for treasures, or painfully marveling at our nature to succumb, David never fails to entertain and provoke. My true enjoyment of Antisocial comes from knowing that this work was produced by a man alive, and therein lies the optimism and hope. We’re all going to be okay. Somehow.
“let’s piss on the rules
blow the door off this shit house
and open a window
on our own potential.”
Big ups to David Blaine for keeping it real, and to OWC for supporting those who keep it real...really. For reals.
Posted by Mel Bosworth at 12:01 PM