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Whim Man Mammon

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Poetry. "If Frank Stanford got up from the dead to slam (and slammed to win), what he would say might well resemble the poems in WHIM MAN MAMMON. That said, Abe Smith's got his own lizard thing going on here: No resurrection required. This is deft work--and hefty work (as in big and as in bag)--that squeezes gallon after gallon of the 21st century's natural and cultural de ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Action Books
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Jon Cone
First, I noticed the incredible title. The whim man, whose mammon is what? Poetry? Hoodoo? Madness? I have no idea what, exactly, the title means, nor am I sure how its components work together. It's mystery. These poems are sonic. On the page they seem merely complete, yet the sense one gets is they need real voice, they need actual lung. This book is a musical score, so read these poems aloud, read them to your friends. A rural, agrarian landscape is hinted at, but more rural than agrarian. Im ...more
Considering all the positive press this has received, I was a bit disappointed early on. Then I kept reading. After finishing this collection, I'm sure of a few things:

1. I'd like to meet Abraham Smith, or at least hear him read.
2. I prefer Abraham Smith working with longer lines in longer poems("I Am Famous in China," "Let's After Dark...," "My Dear Sweet Insane Rabbit," etc.)
3. Dude has a much better ear than I do, and I think I have a pretty good ear.
4. I'll have to read this again.
5. I'm psy
Jamie Grefe
I find myself just saying the title, "Whim Man Mammon" to myself, but my mouth wants to say otherwise. This title has baffled my mouth. The pieces inside win me over in being at once so close a heart and, yet a heart wrapped in some dew-dropped veil where the language itself sings (yodels, hums, bumps, rips, shreds) deep into night--night that feels the fresh of morning. Yes, this is a collection to savor.
Jul 05, 2008 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone in need of a kick in the face (that's a good thing BTW).
And the lyric is not
dead. It is on a gargle-
throated bender through Black
Hawk Island's shadow, getting
it's ass kicked by jesus
and some roadkill. If you can't
hear Smith warble these lines
with the intensity of a backwoods
only matched by Faulkner's tormented
demons, then by all means,
down this book like a bottle of Southern
Comfort and snort the diction
till your head spins clean off.
Abe's debut collection, which was nothing like hearing him read live, at least for me.

In my favorite poems, there are odd narrative turns buried under the propulsive language, and phrases sort of drift and then come together, like words in alphabet soup, in ways I haven't noticed before when hearing Abe read. Good stuff.
Carrie Lorig
I WEEP WITH JOY i weep more thorn porn i draw out the milk from the fridge and pour it all over my wrists alone my wrist is alone my wrist is tree climbing through my window my waste my waste is sometimes a glass blower in wisconsin who weeps joy with me while we listen to dead songs.
Rebecca Aaren
One of my favorites on my bookshelf. Has really inspired some of my writing. Also has been the choice of some impromptu poetry readings by friends when they find it in my purse, which is always amusing.
Susan Brennan
hot, sexy cover to cover -
reading Abe's words from the page gives you a whole new way into the miracles of his song...
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