Saturday, October 21, 2006

Misti Rainwater-Lites: Ebullient Vomit

Reviewed by: Christopher Robin

Christopher, a ULA member, knows Misti. Misti knows Christopher. They have reviewed each other's books on this site. You got a problem with that? The review is honest.

Misti Rainwater-Lites' poems are deliciously entertaining with stark raving mad, no nonsense honesty that will chill you in your bones; explicit poems that will make you laugh out loud even while reading them on a public bus. They may even turn you on. She has had a fascinating life, struggled with remorse, poverty, depression, and yet still bears a spirited ambition (Ebullience!) to put her whole being, the good and the bad, into her poems.

One thing I look for in a poet is the ability to laugh at one’s self, no matter what the situation. Misti does this. She’s not afraid to be wrong, vulnerable, ugly or sexual, often all at once. Her humorous tirades are directed at skinny women, the rich and the vacant, to name just a few.

“America You Can” should be written on a billboard: The first line of this poem: “America you can lick my pretty pink none too placid pussy until she purrs” is original, sexy (obviously) and political. And it goes on: “tell me that my man doesn’t have to break his back to take me and our children on vacation once a year/tell me that I don’t have to be sweet and pretty and docile like Laura Bush/to have some peace/tell me that I don’t have to run stark raving mad through Wal-Mart showing my thick black bush to zombies/shopping for cheap clothes and bad produce/to prove a fucking point.”

I have never read a poem that mixes politics and fellatio so dramatically. Shane Allison and Joe Pachinko are two poets that come to mind. Her style is as fluid and trashy, and as righteous, as theirs. She is engaged and on fire. Misti seems to have no lack of material at her disposal: from growing up in a small town in Texas, to pop culture, old boyfriends, road trips and bad love.

She holds my attention in a longer poem: ‘I Have a Daughter, Yesterday She Turned Nine,” and her short poems are great as well: in ‘Groupie’ she is unapologetic, plays it easy and cheap, a poem about hanging out by a pool with a drummer in Austin and ends with: “unbelievably wet/and not at all in love.”

Honest and powerfully simple. I happen to be one of the few people I know that has got to hear her read these poems out loud, with a Texas accent and wearing a school girl uniform. That, my friends is how poetry should be served. This is punk, it’s rock and roll, and it’ll make you laugh. As far as I’m concerned, she’s right up there with Jennifer Blowdryer, Joie Cook, Patti Smith, Wendy O’Matik and Chrissy Hynde, so stand back and watch the spitwads fly!

(ULA Blogperson's note: Ebullient Vomit is available through Lulu. Check it out. Buy it. Support the underground!)

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