Orgasms are Cries for Help, a review of Sesshu Foster’s City of the Future
The ticket of the cockroaches and the ticket of the rats
The avant-garde poets, those academic experimentalist poets, most of them white, would
Rather you not use the word motherfucker…
Sadly, this use of repetition shall not be construed as poetic by those well-fed motherfuckers
The reddened subjunctive is a ball-peen hammer on the tin of peppercorns unnoticed by the sheriff’s dept. SWAT team.
Accessorize your Buddha
1.beach umbrella & cooler
5.porcelain commode ashtray
6.Marlboros & pistol lighter
- Ray Bans
In the movie version, the cold beer was played by country music nasal twang, and Jeffrey Hunter was played by slight nausea and nostril flare. His headache was played by the 20th century.
Sesshu Foster’s new book of poetry, City of the Future, is dada returning in giant crab fitted out Humvee come to flatten you out, you and your vegetables and sauna, your socket wrenches and Terrain Hauteur, your indifference and your feigned difference, your acceptance and your diddler, your frank and your explank, and believe me, you don’t read this kind of book in a day—it’s the kind of book you put next to your bed and dip into like a chip into brains of guacamole. I should know, because I got mine around noon today and between this and that finished it around 7 tonight. Don’t do as I do, and definitely not what I say, which is doo doo. And thank Sesshu for dada.
Which is not to say the book is a mess of fernacular sintaxing jackanapes, bounding cross the deserts of L.A., for that is just a part of this montage, this aged man’s mount of his own bones—he kills himself many times in the book, at many different ages—arroyos fill with bones, of Mexicans, manifold arroyos and many festas, even two stark plain manifests, for dada does not shrink from the direct:
shoot Dick Cheney through the eye if I am tortured to death in a corner of bagram air force base, in abu ghraib, in a black site tonight
so says the ghost flickering off an on like a midnight street lamp over a Mexicali school yard
shoot Henry Kissinger through the right eye if I am to die with my children in a field, with my children in the desert, with my children in a ditch
so says the ghost flickering off and on like a parking lot light at a midnight sunset boulevard motel
shoot Donald Rumsfeld and donald trump through the teeth of i am to die in the worst possible way, bones dissolved in a barrel of acid, ashes swirling away at the dump
so says the ghost flickering off and on like the little lights in the heels of the toddler’s sneakers skipping down the sidewalk
Nor the fun of it all, like the fun of seeing folk, as he sees them in the hearty Another Portrait of Dad, in which he sees his dad and his brother (both now dead), Harry Gamboa, Mario Ybarra, Lawrence Felinghetti, Ernesto Cardenal, Karen Yamashita, Carlo Pedace, a blue whale, Willie Herron and:
I saw Rick Harsch sitting on my balcony, smoking and drinking a beer. He emitted anxious smoke like my brother. (He means Paul, the one who was around my age and died a couple years back.)
Foster’s poems don’t flinch from the intrusion of beauty, like the branch bending in the wind, nor does he fear to exclaim Whitmanly that he is happy like a little bird in a high wind you may find dead on the ground like the stone among the stones in the gravel wash—no, he does not shrink aback from the happiness emitted as a stench of carbon monoxide particulate fumes and engine coolant.
And he asks pertinent questions, as in Walking East Manifesto:
4.Brain damage hurt your feelings?
If so, burn ahead a few dozen pages and hair sheen taken in hand or ends flicked back, call it thudding of the earth or several short pencils, but that’s just my homeopathology of his book of wonders, post cards, book reviews of neverbeforeskinned precision: YOU’LL THINK YOU READ THE WHOLE BOOK!, more post cards, advice to the writer, and diagnostic after diagnostic:
…The city cooked the night. The ocean breathed. Little fish died like eyelids. They swam through your dreams, fishes and eyelids, desiccated, hanging in salty bags all the way from the South Pacific to Ranch 99 Market…
And the sausage factory security guard on his tricycle.
You’ll never read another book like this, but you ought to try, like Foster’s World Ball Notebook. And for you baseball fans out there, guess what? Dodger dogs are made from pigs! As Sesshu Foster would say: I’ve awoken in gentrified white hipster America and I can’t find my pants