Portrait of Doom (Paperback)

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Man, 2015 seems to be churning out the really good stuff when it comes to poetry, and Marie Buck's Portrait of Doom is no exception. I am a sucker for manicured poetry, for militant poetry, for starkness ... and Buck delivers. Not to say that it is simple or easy. She builds these complex worlds full of anti-heroes with flecks of capitalist familiarity. It's like glimpsing into the minds of a gang of teenagers living in an abandoned shopping mall, Wet Seal name tags still pinned to their polos.

What I appreciate most about Portrait of Doom is the urgency of each poem. Yes, they're beautiful, little fine-tuned poems. Yes, Buck is witty -- like Dickinsonian witty -- but they're also doing a lot of work, and creating paradoxes, and expressing this intimacy of consumerism and capitalism. I saw a TV show once where this world-class Gastro chef pureed the inside of an olive, added some CO2 to the mix, and then injected it back into the olive skin with a syringe. Somehow these poems taste like that olive: tart but perhaps curiously refreshing? Though I know in my heart of hearts that Buck would smash that frivolous little olive, as she very well should. In fact, reading this book gave me the confidence to finally quit a dead-end job. Thanks, Marie Buck. Here's one of my favorites:

Kiss Me Back

Poking at my great home
and my unspeakable honesty
and I am hugging a broker
so hard
I am hugging a broker
as hard as I can
until his face falls
so gently into my own.

-- Katherine D.


— From September 2015


Poetry. In PORTRAIT OF DOOM, Marie Buck creates a cast of angsty heroes who speculate on their own bodies and the fucked-up, ever- shifting world around them. The characters suffer their fates and wait for an opening, a site for confronting the cops, spiders, parents, brokers, dragons, and ice- bombers who control their pleasures and threaten to keep them in cycles of misery and ecstatic hope forever. Buck's new book is as mobile as this cast of characters and antagonists is diverse and relentless militant, tender, outraged, witty, understated, and excessive. "With our bombs melting / what's the right thing to do? / The opening we want is behind its ear.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781928650362
ISBN-10: 1928650368
Publisher: Krupskaya
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2015
Pages: 114
Language: English