Sunday, January 28, 2007

Joe Pachinko: Stumpfucker Cavalcade

By: Christopher Robin

Christopher and Joe are both poets, and are also both members of the ULA. I assume they know each other. Me, I’ve corresponded with both, but unfortunately have not met either.

$10. Available through:,, and

Stumpfucker Cavalcade details the freak show horror of everyday urban life when combined with mind numbing jobs, crushing poverty, and a belly full of booze. It is a cacophony of verbal bile from the lowest depths of the human mind, “dog shit and agony,” at the end of the planet.

In “The Garden of Diarrhea,’ he pokes fun at Billy Collins: “Billy Collins/poet laureate of the U.S., has drunk enough herbal tea in his poems to have the shits for the rest of his life.” In ‘Fear Was Always an Unseen Crewman,’ he goes to the local wino mart to buy some Ramen noodles, a story that ends with a gun shot and blood on the counter. In ‘Listen Up DumbFuck’ he challenges anyone who says: “oh, everything’s been done.”

But Pachinko is no cynic, and writes: “saying that everything’s been done is like saying that everybody has already been born, newness comes with every sunrise and every new person, and every dream, every hope and every orgasm…”

These titles will rivet and surprise you: ‘The Caffeinated Falafel Regatta of Wheelchairs,’ ‘Humor is an Orgasm of the Mind,’ ‘The Four Fuckholes of My Inflatable Sheep Love Doll Are Nothing Like A Dead Goats Anus’, ‘The Ballad of Harry the Half Head,’ and ‘Requiem for A Corpse Rape’.

He is the red-faced man on the Midway with a cigar in his mouth, beckoning you in to the real live 21st century carnival of the damned that is dead-end work and a dead radiator in East Oakland, if you dare.

And much like his predecessor Bukowski, he finds the diamonds in the shit, the glory in the muck: “cat vomit is one of the building blocks of existence,” and also throws in some humorous-hard-won-wisdom, as well as the profundity in simple things like a human touch: “a six foot three TGirl once crouched down next to me as I was/barfing between some parked cars/outside Baggy’s by the Lake, and she rubbed my back…she rubbed my back, and asked me if I was O.K. /it was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done to me,” (‘Puke for Peace’).

I highly recommend a dose of some of Pachinko’s undiluted reality that may make you laugh, wince and maybe even enjoy poetry again.

The blogperson adds:
It took me a while to read this book, possibly because the title gave me unshakeable images of splinters in the worst place possible.

However, when I did read it--and I agree with Christopher's review--this is one book of poetry it is impossible to breeze through. You can't flip through the poems. You won't go from a description of a sunny blue sky to a field of lovely yellow daisies--that ain't what Joe writes about, nor are the poems that light so you can read one, say to yourself "Oh yeah, okay" and then move to the next.

This is a book where you REALLY should read just one poem and then stop reading for a day. Not just stop reading the book, but pretty much stop reading anything. Maybe you should even stop watching tv (if you can). Instead, just think about the poem and what it is all about.

Then, when you're ready, read another one.

Repeat until you have finished the book.

Don't worry about it taking a while. Life takes a while.

No comments:

The World Is Ours--and Yours!

eXTReMe Tracker