A THOUSAND DEVILS

K. Silem Mohammad, Author . Combo $12 (98p) ISBN 978-0-9728880-0-4

"Be equal to squirming out of a crisis and you will seep purulently through deafening goiters into wheatfields, kingdoms, caverns," Mohammad advises in his provocative, tumultuous, sometimes fascinating sophomore effort. A poetry-world blogger (limetree.ksilem.com) and critic of experimental writing, as a poet Mohammad (Deer Head Nation ) is a sometime exponent of Flarf, a poetic style emphasizing deliberately gauche, clumsy or distasteful language, sometimes with the aid of Internet searches. Though only a few years old, Flarf has already found its way into college courses, the Village Voice and even the BBC, which interviewed Mohammad about it. His new volume may or may not count as Flarf proper, but it certainly demonstrates the aggressive responses to all conventions, the hostility and frustration toward mainstream meanings and mainstream media, and the sometimes exhilarating parody, which Flarf (along with predecessors from William Burroughs to Bruce Andrews) manifests. "I like to stay in the dark shadows of the garage, where it's a felony to lactate," "Death the Comedian" says, while another poem portrays "the cross-section of the frontal lobe/ sautéed in battery acid." Such corrosive images, spliced together with dissonant, freer-than-free-jazz rhythms, let Mohammad deliver his striking "blast of/ antimatter" alongside a heap of literary-historical jokes—"Yet once more the frying tricycles/ And yet once more the new wave muttonchops." (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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