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Mellow Actionsby Brandon Downing
Synopses & Reviews
Brandon Downing, whose Lake Antiquity beguilingly combined painstaking full-color collage with painstaking found poetry and painstaking visual bravado, returns with this collection of new poems, his fourth. You'll be laughing about flotsam, you'll be crying about jetsam. There is nothing but supernaturally canny vernacular to hold on to in these poems, but there is excessive cultural material to dream about.
Wait for me, Raymond Carver!
You piece of shoot!
The girls are too solo, not herd things,
Dirty butt, jelly-jar weed-heads,
Tiny chiggers leaving huge welts,
That is the world waits in the woods.
Me, I can't buy enough Giclee prints
To cover the guile accreting on my walls!
What was that all about btw,
Those donut bushes and Sprite
Ladders running up over the defensive
Walls of our new youth clinic? WTF?
Brandon Downing is an artist and writer from the San Francisco Bay Area, now living in New York City. His collections include The Shirt Weapon, Dark Brandon, and Lake Antiquity.
"The poems in this aptly named collection make strong verbal gestures while at the same time refusing to emotionally engage the reader on anything more than the most casual, almost flippant, level. Though peppered with exclamation points and frequent underlining for emphasis, the poems leap so freely and quickly in their sentiments that the overall effect is of an intentionally adolescent approach to what might otherwise, sometimes, be more weighty subjects. 'You were fired: I was gassed./ I've got your back, while/ You have my kind of front./ The Marines really seemed kind of situationally chicken, what I saw/ I guess that's OK for boys in Orlando, the best of the great./ You read that article in Parade about Cinnabon?/ Ã¢Â€Â˜Yeah,' ' As the poems stack, the book begins to feel like one long exercise in eavesdropping in a shopping mall food court. By the end, the reader is left with a somewhat hollow, unsettled feeling, as if having been dragged through a bad dream that was just a bit too relaxed to be a nightmare." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
These actions are deceptively mellow; with nary a narrative arc in sight they mime brain-scrambled, conceptually far-reaching, experientially shorthanded speech-moments.
About the Author
Brandon Downing is a videomaker, visual artist, and writer, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2000, he has lived in New York City, where he works as an exhibit designer and writer. His poetry collections include THE SHIRT WEAPON, DARK BRANDON, and LAKE ANTIQUITY. An online gallery of much of his recent photographic work can be seen at www.brandondowning.org. A feature-length DVD collection of recent video works, DARK BRANDON//ETERNAL CLASSICS, was released in 2007.
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