You Just Wouldn't Believe What That Kangaroo Did to This Courtyard: Prizefighting Death in CA Conrad's "A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon"

True to the reverence, often expressed in his work, for nearly everything as sentient life, Conrad kills nothing, and all the pretty chickens and their dam run free and pecking at our ankles through the streets of his poems like a brood of unruly children whose parents believe—with Monty Python’s stern Jehovah—that every sperm is sacred.

Corsets and Formal Wear Defaulting to Corsets and Burial Wear: Simone Muench's 'Orange Crush'

Take the landscape evoked in Randy Newman’s In Germany Before the War, the strangling scene in Strangers on a Train, a seaside scattering of rinds and corsages, and corsets and formal wear defaulting to corsets and burial wear and you come close to approaching the general soul of Simone Muench’s Orange Crush, a book where 17th century English prostitutes, murder ballads, and early Springsteenish characters fall into slasher films like cherry blossoms shaken from a vengeful o'erhanging firmament.
Tarpaulin Sky Press

The Impossibility of Evidence in the Present Tense: 'E! Entertainment'

“We are modeled from trash”, says protagonist Ruth in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.  This quote could have worked brilliantly as an epigraph for Kate Durbin’s E Entertainment, which has been called “the first book in history to be blurbed by both [The Hills’] Heidi Montag and [New York Magazine senior art critic] Jerry Saltz”. A fully realized version of its predecessor, E is  a” transcription” of shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Mob Wives. 

Blondness Like Mortality Splashed into Light: Henry Darger and Jim Elledge’s 'H'

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life,” wrote George Eliot. So it is with Jim Elledge’s H, a poetry-diary-chronicle of the life of posthumously acclaimed outsider artist Henry Darger. This is not the Darger of fantastical childhood and slaughter and eviscerated girl-saints, but the man who spent most of his life alone, who went to

Deathbed Vigils as Hallucinogenic Radiance: Bobbi Lurie's 'Grief Suite'

In "Strange Light", the dying subject has either found a validation for meaninglessness he has been seeking his whole life—and in doing so become a kind of holy monster of self-absorption—and/or attained a kind of macabre, transcendental "peace that surpasseth all understanding". There is an almost oriental feel to this poem, a sense of noiseless geisha steps that recall the bell-like calm before an act of seppuku: delicate, serene, disturbing.
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