Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Amanda Boschetto's Angels in Hell (Book Review) by pablo vision

Review: Angels in Hell, by Amanda Boschetto
by pablo vision

Probably the first poem by Amanda Boschetto that I read was ‘the sun and the night’, and that was enough to become hooked. Delighted, therefore, to find it included in this mightily fine collection. It starts

“the sun is gazing behind the trees,
licking their woody clits,
by day

by night the trees rape the roads
while the street shines black and dark,
oblivion is faith reversed
in god’s seedy eyes”

and it continues in genuinely astounding manner: naturally poetic, and, more importantly, free of the forced academic techniques and philosophical clichés that render most poetry as unexciting as a Sunday sermon. And like all good addictive stuff, it seems only right that you should get the first taste for free, and pay thereafter – $7.50 hardly being the sort of amount that necessitates the pawning (or porning) of one’s grandmother for this sort of fix.

36 poems in total, and all of them very worthy of inclusion – this is a collection not cut with crap, but instead, is the finest high-grade, with a rather nice tingly buzz.

‘twat-mothers’ and ‘fucked stars’, like many of the poems in this collection, manage to make many seemingly contradictory things coexist – the unbearably uncomfortable with the disrespectfully humorous, the vividly horrific with cold desolate beauty, and the intensely intimate with the kind of philosophy that is brutal, honest, and - above all else - real.

You get to be an old bastard like me, and a certain fatigue starts to set in – poetry, like music, suffering mostly - not from that which is truly awful - but that which is good, but not great; that which sounds or reads like so much before it. And this is why Angels in Hell is such a refreshing kick, with ‘tacky trees’, ‘god’s amnesia’, ‘fleshy bones’, ‘cynical ghosts who jump between tattered tea-bags and drink beer from rusty old cans’, ‘feckless unloving trees’, ‘smelly darkness’, and tramps fighting futilely ‘over god’s last blow job’, demonstrating that in order to write, one needs to see the world with clear and original vision - one needs to have something to actually say.

These poems are filled with cancer and anxiety, death and the void, and drunken love with pizza for breakfast; poems where nights, days, trees, and the moon are painted without romantically nostalgic deception; poems where the beauty is in seeing things as they are, not as they are not, and never were; poems that express and question, in equal measure, life – the living and the dying. But, of course, much more besides.

Sometimes they end like ‘mirrors and the evil that surrounds them’

“but mostly, i try not to
stare into that mirror for too long,
memory is enough
and memories i have,
too much”

and when they do they resonate very deeply.

Some say that the angels in hell were thrown there because they got bored shitless in heaven, and rather sensibly wanted to have sex with women on earth, others say they were cast out with that other fallen angel, but such debate is like adults talking rather seriously about the tooth-fairy. But I do suspect that those who do not buy this book will be forever tormented in a lake of fire.

Editor's note: Angels in Hell can be purchased at Lulu or, probably, at Deadbeat Press. More information about Amanda Boschetto can be found at Rain Over Stockholm.

Author bio:

pablo vision occasionally updates pablo vision with obscenity, blasphemy, links to recently published work, and information about stuff in print, audio, art, reviews, and films. He has remained faithful to the same woman for a number of years, but he is always eager to test his resolve in this matter with attractive gothic girls.

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