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Deviant Propulsionby C. A. Conrad
Synopses & Reviews
Deviant Propulsion is dedicated to the elimination of fear. The title refers to the idea that those who are deviant propel the world forward at top speed. Delving into the center of the endless webs of repression against our bodies, desires, politics, and imaginations, are those whose actions and motion cut away at the systemic limitations of society. This collection of poems was written with the inspiration and work of these people in mind.
As a working class queer poet, Conrad has had to fight through different stratifications of oppression his entire life. His poems vibrate with the flamboyant desire that manifests itself in queer culture, where the right to act on basic desires can become a battleground, and everyday acts of love and devotion must be enacted as a political form of defiance. The poems that emerge from this life long struggle illustrate the sharp edge of that defiance and desire, where joy is closely linked to death. In a world ruled by those who govern with fear, and in a landscape barbed with those who are terrified of desire, moving at speed of deviants is the only way to transform potential into action, and desire into positive change.
"Sexy and outrageous, Conrad's debut fuses the confidence of the beats and the casual demeanor of more recent downtown New York performance poetry into short lines, exclamations and admonishments. Conrad's sentences can include a whimsy bordering on randomness: 'It's True I Tell Ya My Father Is a 50 Cent Party Balloon,' one title insists. He can also turn suddenly profound: 'all the/ death has a/ way of/ getting us/ the love.' If the specter of HIV looms heavily, it does battle with the happier spirit of Stonewall: Conrad imagines a 'transvestite boxer... willing to wear pink gloves with drawings of Judy Garland's face' punching out Mike Tyson, and portrays himself 'in a bishop's robe bless[ing] rush hour traffic with one hand, with a sign in the other 'IGNORE THIS BLESSING YOU HAVE ALL YOU NEED!' ' Though he invokes celebrities and poetic mentors from Robert Creeley to Kevin Killian to Courtney Love, the best analogy for the Philadelphia-based Conrad is Allen Ginsberg, who also shocked America with his frankness, denounced hypocrisy in prose poems and in verse declamation, and who also hoped to embody the queer life of his times." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A collection of poems dedicated to the elimination of fear by a working class queer poet.
In a world terrified of desire, "moving at the speed of deviants" is the only way to transform fear into action. These poems by C. A. Conrad vibrate with the vitality of unrepentant queer culture, where the right to act on basic needs can be a battleground, and everyday acts of love and devotion take the form of political defiance. This brilliant barrage of words was inspired by the work of the fast-moving "deviants" whose very existence changes society.
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