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Poetry. Music. Hybrid Genre. EVERYBODY'S AUTOMAT, Mark Gurarie's debut, invites the reader to hear the discordant, decadent music of the collapsed marketplace of language, assembling from its wreckage a sense of identity as collage-like imprint, as misplaced nostalgia and porous memory. Here, colonized by empire, the naïve optimism of the 20th century collapses into its dystopian, contemporary reality; the city is revealed to be its own kind of forest; broadcasts and commercial lingo echo back, distorted and weaponized, and sounds—the rumblings of chaos and chance as much as the mathematical order of a melancholy tune—coalesce into gritty song. What arises is an artifact assembled of disparate but connected idioms, each strategy carving a discrete, cubby-like space within an interconnected whole.Along the way, the ghosts of Erik Satie, John Cage, Gertrude Stein, Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, Elvis and the Cold War mingle with the Slits, Martha Stewart, Captain Kirk, Snookie and an out-of-date poster of the solar system. In turns, EVERYBODY'S AUTOMAT is an exploration of the possibilities of avant garde musical approaches and a meditation on the precarious and paradoxical nature of urban living and its jangly rhythms. Elsewhere, the fractured lexicon of an invading extra-terrestrial is dressed in the aggressive language of antiquated telecasts and advertising broadcasts, and the pop song becomes poetic form, gesturingtowards alienation and finding, in real time, its own sort of redemption out of the ashes."The pitched quality of inventiveness in Mark Gurarie's poems... is a worthy homage to the aleatoric musician John Cage and other musicians who inspire both the silences and contemplative notes of whimsy. The poems, like the music, however, are hitched to emotional states of being that are never distended or anemic, but curiously imaginative and responsibly resourceful to the core."—Major Jackson
Number of Pages: 98
Publisher: Small Pr Distribution
Author: Mark Gurarie
Street Date: April 1, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-18-1284
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