cover image DeathStar/rico-chet


Judith Goldman, . . O Books, $14 (120pp) ISBN 978-1-882022-61-8

Experimental poets against the war

DeathStar/rico-chet Judith Goldman . O Books (SPD, dist.), $14 paper (120p) ISBN 1-882022-61-0

From the opening salvo of "OSI RIP(?) c.2/19/02-c.2/26/06"—compiling shards of news related to the ill-fated U.S. Office of Strategic Influence (designed to influence public opinion in the Arab world)—the second book from Goldman (Vocoder ) appropriates, parodies and transforms the writing and speech that surround the war on terror. Verbatim transcriptions (including Enron phone deals: "Could I sell it to you and buy it back from you at Palo Verde?"), resonantly random Web detritus ("Welcome to the Combat fishing homepage") and pulverized exchanges (" '5t0mped'? Then d0uble-up 5h0t5") are mixed and synthesized with sophistication and rhythmic sense, yielding seven weirdly beautiful minidramas. There are perfectly scaled representations of the actual battlefield (" 'BLAM/BLAM/BLAM/etc.' "), the distortion of history ("thexNazi'sxplanxandxpolicies") and the use of quasi-religious symbols("a bird EmErgEs from his mouth, rEprEsEnting thE tonguE of his word"). Pitched to an era of shock and awe, this book rarely misses its target. (Dec. )