Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Spam Poetry

Re: My Slav
by Stacie Gorder

He had talked about mother and the key under her pillow to these
licking the last drops of yummy from our fingers when the shadowlike
radio. We can hit anywhere on the planet in a maximum of eleven
It is going to be such a lovely day, the voice said.
on the other side.
toenails or they were naturally rusty. I let it pass since there were
That thing was going to kill me and my friend, but he got it first. So
My last words were shouted in the direction of the tail that was
since they havent enough brains to entertain themselves. Very big on
The way Steengo asked-credit where credit is due. Would you be so


Man, is this one tight package. "Re: My Slav" reads like a compact tour de force, trading on mystery and imagery. Why is the key under the pillow? What makes the radio shadowlike? And just what was that thing that was going to kill the speaker and his friend? The interrupted ending, a motif so often used in this format, is a perfect fit for this subject matter.

The images are evocative of the epic and the sensual. Imagine hitting anywhere on the planet! Hear the last words as they are shouted! "Drops of yummy" is sure to go down as a new popular expression for tasty morsels.

Gorder, as always, eschews traditional punctuation and syntax with her strings of quasi-sentences that start and stop with their own peculiar logic. This enables the reader to look at each line as a self-contained snippet of narrative, almost as if Gorder pulled it straight from some random page on the web and placed it haphazardly into a new context. But on another level, the words flow together like a stream of schizophrenic consciousness—rather than a reason, they have the shadow of a reason.

Still, "My Slav" implies controversy without ever directly confronting provocative issues. The finger licking could be a sexual act shared between lovers, but it could also be a middle-aged bachelor finishing a bag of Cheetos. We do have the brief mention of last words, but most of the wind was taken out of the death sails two lines before: we already know that the friend (perhaps the Slav of the title himself?) got the thing that was trying to kill them. In the end, is there really anything at stake?

Of course, that's what Gorder wants us to wonder, while at the same time appreciating the rhythm and imagery for what it is. She is always one step ahead of us, and each of her words, her pauses, and her beats are exactly what they should be. "Would you be so"? I would.

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