Demske’s cadences and rhymes often read like good rap, even when they’re not directly referencing it (as in “My Name Is” and “Pop Sonnet”). The constant third-person self-references, too, are hip-hop-esque (“Remind me what it’s like to be offended, Nick Demske”), but also ghazal-like—this book is never more ridiculous than it is serious, and for every knee-jerk sex joke there’s a flash of brilliance. The last poem, “Fully Dressed in an Empty Bathtub,” especially hints at the very real pain this art was born of: “I could’ve killed // Myself that night, but instead I plucked these shards from my flesh, licked / The lacerations. Fashioned this glowing mosaic.” Nick Demske is a fearless debut, razor-sharp and full of hooks.
Monday, January 24, 2011
My mini-review of Nick Demske by Nick Demske is up on Like Fire (one of the Open Letters blogs); thanks to Lisa Peet for posting it and Nick Demske for writing the book. Here's an excerpt: