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, said the shotgun to the head.

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  2,419 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
The greatest Americans

Have not been born yet

They are waiting quietly

For their past to die

please give blood

Here is the account of a man so ravished by a kiss that it distorts his highest and lowest frequencies of understanding into an Incongruent mean of babble and brilliance...

Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by MTV Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Whitney Atkinson
Dec 16, 2016 Whitney Atkinson rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. I'm crying just typing this review even though I finished the book like 10 minutes ago. This is the book that reignited my love for poetry. Although only half this book made sense to me, and typically that would infuriate me, this was just absolutely GORGEOUS. Williams had me from page one, and in this book he criticized the patriarchy, war, religion, and this was generally just a roller coaster ride that brought me to tears. It was so raw and it was centered on a love story, but grew ...more
Rowena
Last night I was trying to decide which books to take with me to my parent's house for Christmas, picked up this book meaning to read a few lines, ended up reading the entire poetry collection in roughly an hour. I don't think I've ever read poetry quite like this before.

The introduction says that these poems are basically the nonsensical ramblings of a man after a kiss. There is a lot of passion in these poems, some sexual, but the poems are more than just about love. There's a lot of social c
...more
Katie
May 04, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing
Said the shotgun to the head is genius. Just pure genius. I don't know where that man got his talent, but I'd so love to just pick his brain. He's so good he makes me want to be better at everything i do!I want to be as good at anything as he is at writing poetry!I will never stop looking for that thing, and when I find it my life will be worthwhile even if I never make a dime. I cant love him or this book more, it will never leave me.
Robert Beveridge
Saul Williams, , said the shotgun to the head (Pocket/MTV, 2003)

I have had people comment that they sometimes can't tell the difference between what I consider good poetry and what I don't. To me, it's as simple as can be 99.9% of the time: good poetry deals with the “person, place, or thing” section of the category of nouns. Bad poetry, almost invariable, deals with the “idea” section. T. S. Eliot started out Book 5 of his long poem Paterson with the injunction “No ideas but in things.” It is a
...more
Carla
Nov 21, 2007 Carla rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poets, fans of ee cummings
This blew my mind.
I was at a local bookshop, with a friend, on a blustery day, in December. We both grabbed the book at the same time, and sat there on the floor, flipping page to page, reading it together.
It is Lovely. It is shockingly laid out, at times hard to see, for it overwhelms you. Other times, you feel like you can't seem to get enough, so that you wish to climb into the words themselves.
Dereck
Aug 06, 2007 Dereck rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I've read it a couple of times, and it seems different every time.
It's a bit Allen Ginsberg, a bit E.E. Cummings, a bit Hollywood, a bit blues, and bit hatred, a bit love, and a bit paprika. It's artsy and lively. The type is unique, anbd you really get the true feeling of the words. You can hear the voice of the poem as if you were at a concert and stereo hi-fi. It's amazing. Read it OUT LOUD.
Maxi (slothreads)
Feb 26, 2017 Maxi (slothreads) added it
Recommended to Maxi by: Booktube
Shelves: i-own-it, to-unhaul, 2017
Not even half of this made sense to me so I'm not going to rate it.
All I can say is that I saw a lot of potential and interesting topics (not only love but also social commentary and political stuff), but the format just didn't work for me.
I already knew either I was going to love this or don't get it but I wanted to try it anyway.
I marked some interesting pages and parts, but everything else... nope.
kubby
Aug 21, 2008 kubby added it
i have mixed feelings, mostly that a lot of what is said in this poem is a message that has existed forever and is still a message unaware in the mass consciousness. and so now a dude says it and i hope it will be taken more seriously by reaching an audience that may not typically veer toward this thinking--as this book was also helped put out by mtv, which is also a strange concept to me, but whatever works to get something out to get the folk thinking is a good move.
the poem is pro goddess-ear
...more
Matt
Oct 24, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
A truly epic poem both in content and in quality. Saul Williams really delivers the goods in this nigh novel length poem that centers around a world changing kiss. This poem is a mind melding and explosive look at the world we live in, and a call to change the world for the better. Ultimately it delivers on all counts that a great poem should, vivid imagery, captivating juxtapositions, amazing metrics, and an amazing rhythm- it truly does not miss a beat! Once you pick it up ",said the Shotgun t ...more
Whitney
May 27, 2010 Whitney rated it it was amazing
Williams is a master wordsmith. His imagery is amazing and I find his poetry extremely poignant. You can feel the emotional grunt work he put into crafting this book. This is one of my favorite books of poetry.
Pete
Feb 11, 2009 Pete rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2003, usa
Saul Williams is by far the greatest performing-poet I have ever seen.
Brandi (Brandi Janee's Bookshelf)
I'm not really sure why I kept putting this off. I already know that I will constantly be rereading this over the years. I don't think I can properly give it a rating but I decided to give it 5 stars on Goodreads so more people are encouraged to pick it up.
Zach
Apr 08, 2012 Zach rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Saul Williams’ poem , said the shotgun to the head. is a visceral love letter, a furious condemnation of inequality, and an impassioned appeal to morality. I can’t help but admire Williams’ enthusiasm and message, but that message is all but drowned out in the noise created by this frantic and uncontrolled howl of a poem.

Williams’ , said the shotgun to the head. is anything but subtle. Between the violent imagery of the title, the introduction that details the poet’s inspiration and intent, and
...more
Hannah
Sep 30, 2012 Hannah rated it it was ok
The more I read this, the more annoyed I became. I'm all for poets and writers and anyone to play with the accepted norms of writing and buck against them. I roll my eyes however, when those said artists do so just for the sake of doing so with no real meat for the reader. I feel like this was one of those times of someone writing something just to try to be as different as possible and to me, it just came off as desperate and trying too hard. Now, that being said, I feel like this may also be o ...more
Eric Phetteplace
Feb 18, 2008 Eric Phetteplace rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dominique
Jun 02, 2008 Dominique rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My world was turned upside-down with this book/poem. I have never been so moved by mastery of language. WHAT he says is as beautiful and haunting and true and astonishing as HOW he says it, and that's saying a lot. It sounds unlikely, and maybe I'm biased, but this is the absolute zenith of what poetry can accomplish. To be reread over and over. Not only is the content of this book of personal meaning to me, but it's written with a care and deliberateness that it makes all other poetry I've ever ...more
Josh
Sep 24, 2007 Josh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY!
Absolutely brilliant. I have seen him live and even without music he has enough charisma to fill a room with expectation and hold rapt their attention. What an amazing wordsmith for I refuse to believe that he is anything less than a master craftsman who creates these words with a deliberate passion. I will never be able to say enough good about this book. At my work I have shared a few quotes from this book and people always ask me where it came from. He has the same power of words as renowned ...more
Anastasia Alén
Jun 09, 2016 Anastasia Alén rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
"can he be heard over the gunfire
the whizz of passing missles
the crash of buildings
the cries of chilren
the crack of bones
the shriek of sirens?
or is that his mighty voice?"

Honestly I did not expect to like these ramblings as much as I did. They were odd but I found myself turning one page after another. & the use of different fonts was interesting.
Rushay Booysen
Apr 23, 2010 Rushay Booysen rated it liked it
I think I would always revert to his older material def worth checking out now if I could only get the fool that stole my copy
Samuel Brown
Aug 14, 2007 Samuel Brown rated it liked it
cool spoken word futurism -- particular sections are revelatory, but it seems uneven as a whole. of course, i haven't seen it performed aloud, so this is an incomplete review.
Noora
Jun 11, 2016 Noora rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Powerful, emotional and raw. I whizzed through this, but I think I'll need to revisit it later, because some of the pages were just too intense to be analysed right away.
Dkaufman
Sep 29, 2015 Dkaufman rated it it was amazing
very striking rhythm, fun but also impressive.
Julianne
Sep 10, 2013 Julianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a great writer. My favorite Poet, and author. Fabulous man!
Michael
Jan 27, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
5 Stars are for masterpieces. This is a masterpiece.
Ben Rogers
Nov 21, 2009 Ben Rogers rated it liked it
Favorite piece so far:
"I cannot make your past disappear. Only rabbits my love, only rabbits"
Jacqueline
so where is that voice from nowhere?
that burning bush?
the passing dove?
(...)
can he be heard over the gunfire
the whizz passing missles
the crash of buildings
the cries of the children
the crack of bones
the shriek of sirens?

or is that his mighty voice?

your angry god
craving the sacrifice


Харесвам музиката на Saul Williams, който, както го определя wikipedia, е "performer known for his blend of poetry and alternative hip hop". Текстовете му са на светлинни години от класическата представа за hip hop lyr
...more
Nicole Craswell
Jan 26, 2017 Nicole Craswell rated it really liked it
This poem is a love story but it is also so much bigger than that. Within only 180 pages (most of which only have a few lines on them) Saul Williams touches on religion, racism, cultural appropriation, war, the patriarchy, and yes, of course love as well. Which all seems like a lot for such a small book but it never felt like too much. It never felt preachy or over the top. The way the words flowed and were formatted, some sections were lilting and ethereal while others felt like a punch in the ...more
Lissette
Jan 26, 2017 Lissette rated it it was amazing
I loved this poetry book by Saul Williams. The poems were amazing and each of them had a different message that came across well. The use of different fonts was creative because it was a new way of reading the poems. The poems themselves touched on politics, human rights, race, feminism, relationships, war and other topics. Saul Williams is one of my favorite authors this year and I'm looking forward to reading all of his other poetry books.
Courtney Savage
Feb 16, 2017 Courtney Savage rated it it was amazing
Okay. Wow. I know that poetry can be hard to understand and to get into, but reading this book was an emotional journey into so many relevant topics, and really challenged me to think outside myself. The language was incredibly beautiful and evocative of so much. I definitely foresee myself reading this again and even getting something different out of it each time I read this.
Jenni
Mar 10, 2017 Jenni rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I enjoyed this poem. I loved the format. I loved the grit and I loved jumping into the political statements being made. But it took me quite a few pages to get to that point. I wish I had gotten into those feelings sooner. But this is a fantastic work that makes a huge statement on the aftermath of 9/11 and the link between belief and politics and violence.
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Saul Stacey Williams is an American poet, writer, actor and musician known for his blend of poetry and hip-hop and for his leading role in the 1998 independent film Slam.
More about Saul Williams...

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“Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again - the first kiss of the rest of your life. A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world's greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding” 1187 likes
“Come, my love, we have oceans to sail.” 154 likes
More quotes…