Answer Song

David Trinidad, Author Serpent's Tail $10.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85242-329-2
Trinidad's (Pavane) newest volume of poetry (and a few prose pieces) is unadulterated camp-meditations on gay life, sex and love intermixed with cloying, nostalgic chronicles of American pop culture (cereals of the late '70s and early '80s are displayed prominently). Trinidad explores these subjects in a plain, shoot-from-the-hip style, never lapsing into artifice or bombast. Unfortunately, he rarely lapses into poetry, either; lines like ``My lover who vomits on me in the middle of sex and passes out'' and ``So how did you know I was having bad dreams?/ Because you woke up and told me-/ just like in that poem'' abound. By juxtaposing the emotionality of human relationships with the infectious dissonance of pop culture, the writer succeeds in his ambition to illustrate the essential meaninglessness of both. But Trinidad's success seems accomplished almost by default: his excavations of advertising jingles and TV theme music are the only works that come close to approaching the charged quality of poetry. Answer Song may leave readers feeling like they have just eaten an entire box of Trix-satisfied and sugared, yet nervous. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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