The Elvis Machine, by Kim Vodicka (Clash Books)

Most of you will discount Kim’s poetry right from the start. The poems are too dense for casual fans, let alone those who don’t usually dig poetry. Her line breaks are placed in jumps around the page. The images are weird. There is a superficial disconnect between individual stanzas that can make them look like bumper-stickers that were strung together. The poems are too fucking long. Then, the literate pedants will be put off by her vulgarity. There are too many dicks and pussies and gallons of cum, not to mention the titties and gonorrhea. I don’t imagine many of you will look much further that the admittedly fucking amazing cover art.

Frankly, that is a shame. Her work is worth the work you have to put in. Yeah, I had to read most of these poems multiple times to even begin to suss out the sense in them. I had to weed out my own nonsense to weed through their nonsense. But what the fuck good in life comes easy? When you sift the images and metaphors and dig into the ideas, what she is doing becomes clear enough but never quite crystal. Which is the way it damn well should be. If I wanted literal simplicity, then I would pick up a Tom Clancy novel. 

I’m cool with more than a bit of difficulty in my poetry.

As far as the vulgarity goes: aren’t you the same people who champion that drunk douche who talked about fucking his alarm clock? Guess what, Kim is diving into the depths of what it means to be a human just as much as that performatively disaffected asshat was. Physical sensation and what it does to our concept of personal worth are important parts of the human experience and euphemisms are boring. 

Kim is weaving out herself on these pages, her experience of being worked through the machine while attempting to keep her essential pieces intact. Sometimes it seems prettier on the surface than it is inside, sometimes it feels rougher than the softness that lurks underneath. Sometimes, it is all lilacs and juicy petals opening to the sun. 

What that is worth is up to you to suss.
buy it directly from the publisher here.