Monday, October 29, 2007

Book review by David McLean

Review of Rob Plath's "Ashtrays and Bulls" (Liquid Paper Press 2003)
by David McLean

"and the jukebox
plays a song that you
will never own"

So says Rob in the poem "The Tavern." And I read a poem that I will never own, or write so good as. But it's the feeling he builds there that we can own, vicariously, as Rob bashes away at his imaginary typewriter making the words his own in an ass-rape that takes them at least until they next shower his many meanings away in some insipid poem about the usual, where the only "golden" line is just the shower, pouring pissy pretension direct from the dickhead's dick.

This is in many ways the ghosts of Kerouac and Bukowski fighting for the soul of a young American writer, and it's pleasing to say that Bukowski won by pointing out that the conflict didn't exist. What I react to as American in this is the whole childhood bit, the running and competition for life's golden apple that turns out to be a damp ashtray full of the fucked butts of the gutless angels who made us. And it's been done before but so has everything, it just hasn't been done so well for a fucking long time.

The nostalgia is Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole here but this is Tom Waits' poetry. it's better because of the reflexivity and the reflection. Plath probably knew his whole life that you can't go home again. And who the fuck wants to? The whole milieu is that in the poem "Poor" - the father's without anything, maybe not even love to give, just the heavy hand of the bastard
who produced us, presumably by rape, but who wants to know.

But we envy Americans like Rob. He makes something so beautiful of the restrictions, many of them do. We're all going to die, but some of these fuckers aren't dead yet. At least not Plath.

I can give this four thumbs up, my own and the thumbs of God the procreator that Rob just broke for us.

Ordering details can be found at Rob Plath's MySpace.

Author bio:

David McLean has been submitting for the past year and has had around 300 poems accepted by 125 magazines. A chapbook "a hunger for mourning" with 53 of his poems has just been released by Erbacce Press.

No comments: