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THE WORLD WILL DENY IT FOR YOU by Janaka Stucky (Ahsahta, 2012)


Janaka’s book is a flammable mix of compression, directness, and metal.

“The truth is

We are perfect

I make with my mouth

The hour of your arrival”

It is a place where desire is an imperative that tests and distorts the self, pushes it into the utmost. There is nothing speculative about these poems. They are not cute. They do not draw images to wink and erase them in a powdery smear. They are not about the contours of the mind thinking itself or grandpa on the hill. They are going to be in the anthology of metal poetry that Gerald proposed once. What up with Trakl and Aase  Berg, with the poems’ sincere, original hells.

“The terrible mountain of needles

A lake of blood souls with human faces

Grow four legs and fall into

All the things we’ve ever done

Have brought us to this very point”

In many ways, I don’t see this book as fitting Ahsahta’s aesthetic. But maybe they’re letting out more rope for this, their new chapbook series. Given how good this collection is, hopefully they won’t real it back in.

Filed under: Book Notes

About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.

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