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Crunk Juice by Steve Roggenbuck
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it was amazing
Recommended to Zan by: Ppl who are afraid to LIVE THEIR LIEF
Recommended for: Ppl who want to get FRICKED UP

I wrote a really rushed review of this for the WU 'Collegian.' I'm just going to copy and paste it here instead of writing something new because I hate SEO and have a deathly fear of original thought.

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Steve Roggenbuck’s Crunk Juice: Poetry For the #YOLO Generation

There are a lot of reasons people hate poetry. Some people lack the broad frame, load-bearing shoulders, and muscular physique needed to really ‘pull off’ (i.e. violently tear) a turtleneck from the shoulders of a pencil-necked anemic who would willingly wear that article of clothing. (Sorry, Mom.) At the same time, it takes years to master the nuanced facial expressions elite-poets use to convey both a substantive joie de vivre and signal their aware-ness that human existence is a well of infinite cruelty surrounded by nothingness. (It comes off as a sort of cross-faded constipation.)

That’s basically the anti-thesis of Steve Roggenbuck; the alt-lit writer whose new book “Crunk Juice” was released earlier this year. Roggenbuck lists Walt Whitman, the Buddha, and Lil B among his inspirational heroes. He is unabashedly kooky, and despite a growing Internet fan base and fondness for personal brand building, isn’t well known outside out of small, literary circles. You probably won’t be able to pick up “Crunk Juice” at the supermarket along with your despair and bicarbonate of soda. The again, if you’re out trying to buy poetry in the first place, your best bet might be an estate sale.

Roggenbuck practices poetry as a form of boosterism, caps-lock maximalism that isn’t really concerned with smoking the right brand of cigarette. Following the AP style conventions of your old AIM chat logs, reading “Crunk Juice” almost feels like someone accidentally sent you a link to that MySpace account you were sure you had deleted. It’s uninhibitedly zany, earnest in way that comes off playful, integrating the typos, dada-like absurdism, and overblown but entirely meant professions of love characteristic of unsupervised internet usage.

In one poem, titled “In five second I will be kissing you don’t laugh,” Roggenbuck writes, “it rains, I fuck your family to do what I am beautiful at doing.” Another poem simply goes, “Justin Bibber.” [sic]

It’d be a mistake to disregard Roggenbuck’s style as gimmicky or dumbed-down bro-etry. His work is inherently his own: inclusive, positive, and spunky. At the same time, Roggenbuck isn’t the harbinger of the grammar apocalypse. “Crunk Juice” might have enough comma splices, em-dash abuse, and de-capitalized pronouns to kill a librarian, but Roggenbuck doesn’t think all poetry should look like his. He just thinks everyone should look like a poet.

“The reason that most people don’t read poetry is because it’s boring… and the reason most poetry is boring is because poets are afraid to distinguish themselves,” explained Roggenbuck on a video blog post titled, “BE YOURSLEF” [sic]. Roggenbuck makes almost weekly YouTube videos, posts that feature footage of Roggenbuck speaking in fields, forests, and other people’s bathrooms – spliced with grainy VHS footage of motivational speakers telling the audience to, “live their life.” “I used to listen to non-Christmas theme’d dubstep,” Roggenbuck says brightly in one clip. “Big mistake.”

“Crunk Juice” can be purchased online or downloaded as a free, public domain pdf at www.lifemylief.com. (And yes, it IS printed in Helvetica.)
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Reading Progress

March 19, 2012 – Started Reading
March 19, 2012 – Shelved
April 19, 2012 – Finished Reading

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