In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy

Daniel Borzutzky. Nightboat (UPNE, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-1-937658-33-5
Borzutzky (The Book of Interfering Bodies) turns an insomniac’s eye toward the forces and wastes of late capitalism, in a third collection that is corporeal, terrifying, discerning, and utterly—rapturously—insane. But unlike the familiar tropes of the sage fool or the tortured artist, the radical instability that charges Borzutzky’s poems is found in the maniacal outpouring of language sprung from a world of excess and decay. Pounding, rhythmic prose poems unleash images of violence, tenderness, migration, and mundanity in which everything leaks filth and data, bodies die and decompose, tongues are butchered and served, and attempts at sanitization fail. All of this is intimately and explicitly tied to the act of writing, as Borzutzky inverts Gertrude Stein’s essay “Composition as Explanation” to consider writing as entropy and rot: “This book owes its life to my mouth. Had it not been filled with mud, had the parasite not loved it, had the foam and the worms not caused my face to contort and my mouth to cave in, then I would not have had very much to say.” For all of its wild profusion, the book offers a carefully structured discourse. Borzutzky guides readers through a nightmarish terrain, one that offers a perspicacious and unsettling view of the current waking world. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/15/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
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