Sunday, February 5, 2017


Jim McCrary Engages

The Gilded Age Of  Kickstarters by Eileen R. Tabios
(Dancing Girl Press, Chicago, 2016)

The Gilded Age Of Kickstarters by Eileen Tabios.   Huh?  So I have been looking at the cover of this chapbook since it came out of the envelope.  Gilded?  An image of a caiman or is it alligator or is it crocodile?  Or why any of that?  Whose age is it anyway?  And why kick start anything but an old 2 banger motorbike.  Ms. Tabios, you have me twisted before I enter into this slim volume.    But all that aside…I don’t know from conceptual poetics…just what shows up usually.  This is for sure and downright not fooling around, simply re-presenting something found online for new consideration and angle of view.  How one can rearrange and reimage what has been discovered to be relevant or ironic or funny or emotional or which will trigger something to someone.  Tabios’ skill comes from her choice of material as she surfs through the Kickstarter website and the results are stunning in their simplistic power.  Read them and weep or laugh or contribute.  This is, after all, a book to be enjoyed without trigger….I does believe.  And the usual talent by the author is here for us all.  It is certainly hard to resist the desire to interact physically to some of these entries, for instant a post listing a long list of Sri Lankan food items; i.e.

“…Jackfruit Curry,

Red Beet Curry,

Coconut Carrot Radish Salad,

Deviled Chickpeas…” 

How can anyone resist this.  Well, perhaps that is the point after all.  Other entries Ms. Tabios found online include text she reconfigured to end up generating titles like “There Was A Lost Banjo Pick,” “There Was A Company Of Flexible Dancers,” and “There Were Two Bakers In Seattle.”  And more for sure.  It is all as real as can be and we can thank the author for bringing to our attention some of the more interesting and, yes, poetic, entries under the heading Kickstarter.  Worth finding a copy and it is a gift that that not only keeps on giving but encourages the reader to keep on giving as well. Too.

Here's a sample poem in its entirety:

There Was A Company of Flexible Dancers

69 backers

pledged of $10,000 goal

6 days to go

Hard work

enervates Royal Flux Dance Company

to take you

on a magical journey
captivating and challenging your mind
leaving you on the edge
of your seat craving more…

For which we need money


Jim McCrary is the author of the poetry collection This Here (theenk books, N.Y., 2015) as well as several poetry chapbooks, most recently A Yearbook (Shit Pocket Press, Michigan, 2016).

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