Review #6: ‘Liner Notes’ by Andy Mister
Read Timothy Liu’s preamble to his ‘100 Reviews in 100 Days.’
Sometimes–no, ofttimes–I feel like too many poetry books are being published at the moment, too many presses publishing too much dreck to accommodate the glut of useless Ponzi-scammed MFAs flooding the post-grad marketplace, all of it to crash like the tech bubble or the housing market, the usual doomsday doldrums of global capitalist consumption come home to roost, a heavy hopeless lethargy akin to thinking about elephant poaching in Cameroon while the ivory orders keep pouring in from a new class of Chinese bourgeoise driving our noble giants to fast extinction. It is in times like these that I am shocked to read a book of poems that renews my faith in Poesy, and what’s here is an obsessive collection of suicidal facts mostly associated with rock and roll, facts that sound the notes of a composition that might’ve been composed while trapped underwater in a transbay tube owned by BART, acid-induced claustrophobias clawing their way to the surface of a nightmare from which one’s not sure if it’s possible to actually awake, which is to say, what it might feel like to survive a father’s attempted suicide and to live to write about it in the only possible way hardest truths get told, which reminds me of Williams who reminded us how, without Poesy, “each day people die a lot harder for the lack of what is found there.”
Disclosures: I first met Andy in a hot tub a stone’s throw from Copper Lake in the Catskills on a snowy winter night at the home of Sam Truitt. Couldn’t wait to get my hands on Andy’s . . . book! . . . when I got out. Mr. Mister is also an accomplished visual artist, and I have since enjoyed attending various openings in the NYC area.
Favorites: The book is one long poem, a string of prose poems. You can dive in anywhere, though I would recommend reading the whole thing from start to finish in one sitting; the cumulative effect is heart rending.
*You can read Steven Karl’s interview with Mr. Mister here.