Thursday, January 28, 2021

Shelley Feller, Dream Boat


the fugacity of life’s pleasures/infatuate, fatty cutlet!

heck yes yer ghost gets hosed au jus
smear of nude glucose & closer
garçon got fat gathered all good

hot on hormonal goo rune
he-man spit dip, lick ich hickey-sigil doh!

dewy-glee today o throne me! crush all
muscle-scruff, organic ultra facial toner, de-

oderant, gas-x, xanax, loose a rude
toot, fruit-of-the-loom hunk snooze

in ruddy bloom, lube up some silicone
props, pop-top & pivot dip anoint

oozing fffffth induce adieu
smock off blithe oil for men prepare

barbican barbasol barbarella, charméd waters burn

Decatur, Georgia poet Shelley Feller’s electrifying full-length poetry debut is Dream Boat (Cleveland OH: Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2020), a polyvocal explosion of fragments, overlapping high-speed accumulations and blurring text. There is an enormous amount of play here, blending visual elements of the text with a rollicking sound gymnastic, reminiscent of works by Canadian poets Adeena Karasick, Louis Cabri, Chris Turnbull and even Marcus McCann. “blotto-blotto        plunder yonder lubber        what err a body weathered seas-me other,” they write, as part of the poem “@melvillestomb.” Feller’s is a collage-lyric of incredible flexibility and maneuverability, moving at the speed of texting in an assemblage of poems that cohere into a uniquely singular, book-length poem. Feller’s Dream Boat utilizes the rhythm of white space and sexual being, a sing-song push to emerge from a restrictive self into an actualized self, writing to remove the self-loathing forced upon through external forces into a more open acceptance. Feller writes negotiating the politics and semantics of gender and transition from the human, guttural body in a musical, magical tenor, and I can’t imagine a better example of Toronto poet bpNichol’s sense of “serious play” than Feller’s Dream Boat. This is a remarkable, rich and powerful collection, debut or otherwise. As the second half of the poem “on our first date he says he’s poz & asks if i’m scared, if i still wanna” reads:

a wormhole opens
& then men who made me

mash—this beasty skin
we species in, stabled

& shorn, blinkered
to moral in ymage’s mold

the past—all plastered cast
cracked, & thru the slit comes

a fist of flowers, flaming sworde
deformed transformed—all muscle

sprung to labor love, the rough
factory of flesh invents itself

a representamen—fetish’d
& hung scum suckers dumb scruff’d

my rude forensics, pluck up
in the frightened zones

of my theater—meat-slung
selves carried off

in shards—all false heads
of beauty’s cooing orphic

a langue lost i

this is a song
& this is too—


No comments: