Polly Trope? A Berliner. Studied Literature in the U.S. and in England, recently published her first novel, *Cured Meat* , a memoir of vague years between mental hospital, urban drug scenes and hotel sex. Also at Oneiros Books.
Dirty Windows of Hollywood : Do Not Censor by Craig Podmore
The ink is wet.
Hot off the press.
Craig Podmore’s Do Not Censor is a collection of poems that reads like a camera roll of flash photography in down and dirty Hollywood.
Conjuring up in a moment the images of hotel room orgies gone wrong, porn star romance, the mares and nightmares of drink and drugs, this collection focuses on a few key personal experiences, such as sex in the car and hotel room drug taking, and zooms in on different people having those same experiences in different ways.
Thus Podmore offers his readers a panoramic view of how the famous and infamous in Hollywood get sucked into an social vortex leading to an emotional vacuum – all the way to their death, and murder.
The the elusive, unidentified poetic voice who tells us these small vignettes through dozens of short poems, seems strangely bored and distressed at times, sensitive and angry at others, or sarcastic and ridiculing at other moments, thus taking “us” through a full circle of angles and vantage points.
The poems themselves are written in free verse with a rhythmical flow, and elegantly manage the crossover between the so-called high culture style of poetry with copious references to the western canon, and the pop culture style of many recent pop song lyrics.
The collection is divided into two halves, “Fiction” and “Reality”. Arching over the entire volume as a theme is the observation and chronicling of transformations in the female body in the Hollywood style: with overdone make-up or extreme diets, through hardcore fashion, through cosmetic surgery and constant dressing and undressing, and re-arrangement of the woman’s appearances. The emotional pain and disconcerting confusion associated with these transformations is taken up throughout the volume in various incarnations: ‘Sappho, Dido, Monroe’.
Craig Podmore’s style has distinctive tendencies towards the shock pop style, and does not shy back from swearing copiously and liberally, and also in shooting – with his verbal camera – pictures of squalid death, bleeding flesh, undignified disasters and degradations.
Multiple references to man-made disasters such as Chernobyl and Zyklon B at first succeed in shocking the reader, but soon become absorbed in the overall rhetoric of destruction and de-humanization that streams through the entire volume and especially focuses on chemical assaults on human life, becoming amalgamated with pharmaceutical drugs, addiction and money making schemes, and it becomes a pendant to the constant presentation and re-presentation of living, dead, half-dead and half-living people that stream by us in Do Not Censor.
Do Not Censor can be purchased here: