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Bad Review

Amy Gerstler

Here we have a song sung while drunk.
Published in Europe as Believe Every Moment
Holy, and in Asia, where they like longer
titles, as Golden Lotus Takes a Wild Bronco
Ride Astride a Paradise of Errors
the prose reads as though proclaimed
by headless angels on horseback
brandishing tuning forks and socket
wrenches while howling in thousand
year old slang, or as if hissed into
existence by hippo hipped washer-
women who insist on illustrating
the narrative by flapping their wet,
red hula dancer hands. Willfully
stripped of interesting elements,
what remains is gamey as goat’s milk
at rutting time: a lot of boo-hooing,
confessions of bedwetting, a mania
for overexplanation, and yet a sense
that the writer is a muzzled drudge
who was whipped with a belt as a child.
The disclaimer appended at the end
of this wicked testimonal resembles
a round of forced applause wrung
from an audience threatened by heavily
armed gunmen. One pictures the author,
a stricken, would-be Romeo quietly sucking
his thumb. Having acquitted himself
rather miserably here he just wants to lie
back in the scratchy weeds in the vacant
lot behind his house, counting his misdeeds
and the insects in his whirling halo of fleas,
plotting arson and awaiting his next erection.

Amy Gerstler

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