tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > The Origin of Paranoia as a Heated Mole Suit

The Origin of Paranoia as a Heated Mole Suit by Rupert Wondolowski
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really liked it
bookshelves: literature, poetry
Recommended for: other wayward proets [sic]

I've written so many reviews now for GoodReads that I find myself imagining the review that I'll write while I'm reading the bk. It's like being a projectionist, wch I am, & looking for the changeover marks every time I watch a film.

ANYWAY, I immediately wanted to say this: "Rupert Wondowloski's bks are slim volumes. Everytime I think of "slim volumes" I think of a Bonzo Dog Band song from their album "Keynsham" entitled "Sport". The song's about a boy who prefers a "slim volume of Mallarmé" to sports. That wd probably be Rupert. That wd definitely be me. There the comparison to Mallarmé probably stops."

I think Rupert has "hits his stride" here. There's a conciseness to the way he consolidates the influence of the deranged streets of Baltimore w/ the absurdity that helps one cope w/ it w/ a general sensitivity to language that's gotten pretty remarkable. Maybe I just haven't read anything of his recently but this is my favorite bk of his so far. In the other bks, the slimness bothered me, it seemed a tad inadequate - now, it seems appropriate (although I still wish he'd write something much longer & more calculatingly elaborate - but that's my bias for complexity in general).

In "Meditations in a Thrift Store" he writes: "It's long been believed that the U.S. Government unleashed him [Rick James:] on American ghettos to spread the scourge of crack cocaine, processed hair and vile clothing, just as another Canadian performer, Leonard Cohen, was set upon the white hippies to deflate their revolutionary fervor and replace it with paralyzing romantic nihilism."! Harsh words, Rupert!, but at least I can testify, as a former folk singer who covered Leonard Cohen songs, that it didn't ultimately work on me!

Rupert's writing evokes a "Nameless Horror" that's like a desperate person's attempt to get in the right frame of mind for having their teeth removed.. &.. yet.. it's strangely 'beautiful'. There's nothing sloppy here, the vocabulary is like the slang of a subculture that doesn't quite exist. A subculture of suburban kids grown old in moldy basements forgotten by their parents but somehow growing enormous brains despite all the deprivation & neglect.

Whenever I think of Rupert's writing I associate him w/ 2 other great writers: "Blaster" Al Ackerman & John M. Bennett. If it takes being associated w/ a 'school' to become a famous poet (to make anthologists' inclusion of their writing a 'necessity' for school 'completism') then the 3 of these make a core of a 'school' for me - maybe the "School of Wayward Proets" or some such.
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