March 8, 2008.

Jeremy James Thompson, "I'd Like to be Alone," The Bucky Monkey A (2008): 14.

Thompson manages to question the reader's comfort zones from so many angles it feels like an on-slaught.

The running text in brackets gives directions for date rape, murder & body dumping ("[keep a brick handy]. . . [and when she comes to]. . .[smash her face with it]"). The narrator is a racist paranioac ("Look at all them blacks. I can't let them take anything. I'll stop them"). Even the end faux-remorse ("I don't really like saying it but the thought is okay./I'll eventually go back & be more honest") adds to the discomfort of the poem, because it shifts the ideas from fait-accompli to the realm of possible future acts (St. Paul's take on evil thoughts, anybody?).

Thompson here is inacting a poetics of taboo & it's purposefully disturbing. It's a brick in the face when you thoguht you were getting a poem.



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