Action Kylie

Kevin Killian, Author . Ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni $15 (120p) ISBN 978-1-934639-00-9

Far more than a joke—and yet plenty of fun—this compilation of exciting poems (and some prose) from prolific Bay Area writer (and Jack Spicer executor) Killian trains most of its attention on the Australian diva Kylie Minogue, a cult icon for American gay men but a pop goddess for much of the rest of the world. Like Madonna, Kylie is known for her public self-reinvention. Killian's essay in the middle of this big book, explains the Minogue phenomenon; his array of energetic, romantic poems exploit it for purposes less ironic than ecstatic. “Discovery,” Killian says, “is a back/ formation of 'disco' plus the qualifier 'very' ”: his disco-fueled verse makes such declarations believable, even as his broad intellectual range takes him into the literary past. He pays special attention to gender rebels, sexual nonconformists and gay men, as in his fine 21st-century rewrite of Garcia Lorca's famous “Ode to Walt Whitman”: “With what little man are you dickering?/ He is not far, he is only on Craigslist.” Short sequences memorialize the slain transgender teen Gwen Araujo, and remember Killian's own gay youth. Aggressively contemporary and sexually explicit, disturbingly comic and seeking novelty, Killian's poems also take their place in the oldest of lyric traditions: “I want to have fallen,” he says. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 12/22/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
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