The Moon’s Jaw

Rauan Klassnik. Black Ocean (SPD, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (76p) ISBN 978-0-9844752-7-8
The poems of Klassnik’s second collection are fragments, built from what Klassnik calls a series of erasures. Though his poetic shreds never exceed more than about six lines, they are far from flimsy. The erasure process that they have been through has left behind only the most skeletally vivid and provocative imagery. Reading this collection feels like walking through a post-apocalyptic world where the sounds of torture are mistaken for orgasm, and vise versa: “Everything’s An Orgasm–Growling Frozen–/Mauled & Writhing–Furious & Ecstatic As We–Sail On.” The collection is divided into five small sections titled, “In Shadows,” “A Man & A Woman,” “The Great Poet,” “Suicide: A Girl,” and “In The Sky.” Thought the sections blend into one another in form and often content, Klassnik’s dark lens takes a slightly different funhouse focus to each. One poem is written from the perspective of a woman, while another states, “I’m Two People–Me & A Woman–Abruptly–/Then Playfully.” In the final poem of the first section, an old man eviscerates his daughter: “floods of red surging smoke: Crows, falling, like bits of ice.” If one can navigate past the sexual puffery and sensationalism of this book, the reader will discover stunningly beautiful and inventive imagery. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/15/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
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