ITERATURE by Eugene Ostashevsky

by Eugene Ostashevsky
Composed of selections from and expansions of four chapbooks. 

"a monster out of Oedipus or of Jaws" 

Listen: This review isn't going to make any sense. Nor would I want it to. 

Wordplay and rhyme. Play. You can read the poem "Autobiography" or "Autobiography (Hardcore Remix)." Somewhere in this book I know there's tits and ass. 

Jesting. Unrelenting rhymed couplets. (However the thought/image/joke is not complete until the end of the poem - "If only my hooves ended in fingers!" See? You don't get it.) Homophones. Hormones. Puns. Fiercely cartoonish. 

"This is the tube of our embrace,
televising in our ribcages an everyplace;" 

Culture. Pop culture. Marriage. Romania. Russian poets. America. Language. Death. Identity. Drugs and alcohol and sex. Imagery that takes itself literally. Silverstein if he were a half-breed with a hangover: Silliness that might slit your throat, or at least gesture rudely.

"The world is like TOMORROW: O-full,
It's less that more full" 

May as well be true. 

The poet dies many times, encounters many characters, puts his mouth on many tongues, and is not made material. 

It makes sense in not making sense - a parody, a projection, a rejection of reality. In the surrealism, the gender roles, the violence, Ostashevsky leans on the knee of Mother Goose. Just as ruthless. 

Beyond the first chapbook, his writing becomes more fluid with form and sound to explore song, story, slantwise philosophy. More repetition, balloons of concrete abstraction floating higher into the stratosphere, until they finally enter an ethereal realm of libretto and animal sound effects.

He had become
a random-sound generating machine. 

Nature looked upon him
in her own, natural way. 

Birds arrived.
They did not
arrive, they did.


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