(Reviewed by Christina)
I’ve been focusing on tying up literary loose-ends in my life, and I awakened at 2 a.m. with the thought of the book Insane in the Quatrain in my head. Strange, considering that I haven’t read it in a few years, but it was mailed to me as a review copy. I was overwhelmed by it and didn’t know what to say, because it’s as though the whole concept of the book is a joke.
The author uses the name Bradley Lastname. He is unidentifiable by the cartoon photo, and what I gather from the “About the Author” page at the end of the book is that he’s also known as B-Dog Lastizzle by his peeps in the hood. (?) I don’t know many “peeps” who get into subjects such as 33rd degree Masonry and cultural devolution, but okay… (?) He does seem to be prolific. Insane in the Quatrain is 188 pages, and he also lists five other books by title “and several other books of poetry and fiction.”
Insane in the Quatrain is really quite sophisticated in content in a city-slick sort of way; it’s word-play gone rampant, often with a catchy rhythm and infused throughout with a potpourri of prosaic thoughts (in quick scanning, I only see one actual poem written in quatrains). The content IS funny – not just entertaining but Laughing-Out-Loud-Funny, but at times it’s crudity and obscenity on the hard offense, which is probably why I haven’t picked it up in a few years. Today I have it in my lap.
Even the layout of the book brings to mind a giant middle-finger as the page numbers are much larger than the text and they’re deliberately placed all over the page. The font size varies throughout, but this is all part of the jibe against the modern world and modern poetry in general.
Here I’ll quote his poem “the seven deadly SINaesthesiaS”:
at first I was amBIValent about Roy G. Biv,
but I have since gone from curious to furious.
- O is BLUE, not orange, Roy.
- U is green, not G, Roy.
- O is BLUE, not B, Roy.
- I is RED, not indigo, Roy.
- Red is I, nor R, Roy.
I’m beginning to feel like young Vladimir Nabokov pointing out the errors on his wooden blocks.
And don’t go telling me that Rimbaud didn’t really have synaesthesia.
If he didn’t have it, he sure knew where to get it !!
Too bad he never shared it with you.
…and another poem: “SEVEN DAY WEEKEND”:
Saturday – Went bowling with the Bolsheviks
Sunday – Honorably mentioned by the Mensheviks
Monday – Beat eggs with the beatniks
Tuesday – Shaved legs with the neatniks
Wednesday – Picnicked with the sickniks
Thursday – Mutinied with the nogoodniks
Friday – Procrastinated with the woulda*coulda*shoulda-niks
So, on that note, Insane in the Quatrain (a product of The Press of the Third Mind, Chicago) is available at Amazon.com for people who need some intelligent amusement in their life and don’t mind occasionally being mentally assaulted.
Oh, and THANKS, B-Dog, for the copy. Peace-Out.