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Poetry Review:
Bela Tarr Has
Feathered His Nest

By Bradley Lastname

bela tarr has feathered his nestBradley Lastname is absurd. And that's absurd.

Conundrums, odd phrases, weird word plays, enigmatic expressions, existential nonsensities, Dadaistic brain farts, humorous heuristics, left turns in all the right places and right angles over the top of straight lines, mathematical irregularities, oddities, and just plain stupid prose, lists, fancies, and other things that will make you laugh, giggle, snort, and chortle. Bela Tarr Has Feathered His Nest is poetry like none you'll read in today's top literary journals. And that's a good thing.

Seriously, I laughed and I cried. Sometimes at the same time.

Bela Tarr Has Feathered His Nest proves that poetry can be jocular and respectable at the same time. It can also be a nuisance in one's eye while stabbing your pupils with their irises.

Surrealism has come of age and Bradley Lastname has found his niche within the tradition. The fact that there is a tradition is enough to say that the avant garde strains were not just some flight of fancy. Some poems in Bela Tarr Has Featured His Nest deserve to stay around a long time. Others should be killed on the spot.

"Romulus, Remus, and the Hind Tit Vexation Or Location, Location, Location"

Bradley Lastname plays on words in uncanny ways. The parenthetical "Marianne Faithful isn't the only one with a Mars bar inside of her !!" is such a nonsensical and out of place proclamation that it makes perfect sense as a followup to the allusion to Mars, the God of War. But when he tells me that "WEREWOLF'S WEAR DAILY" is keeping abreast of what the wolf is "were-ing" I want to puke. Sure, the pun is logical, but a bit too juvenile for my taste and judging by many of the other twists in Bela Tarr, I'm sure Lastname could have done much better.

Still, the poem does get better and leads us into an amusing exchange of Romulus and Remus arguing over which of the two should suck hind tit. When Romulus wins we are told, "Listening to Romulus and Remus argue is like overhearing Yul Brynner and Telly Savalas fighting over a comb." I laughed. And if Bradley Lastname had ended it there I'd say that he had written an absurdly nice absurdity. But his next two sentences, absurd though they are, just don't aspire to the same level of magical insight that two bald man fighting over a comb do. Romulus and Remus aren't the best act in the book, of course, but that fact is made up by the pair not being the worst either.

Many of the allusions in Bela Tarr Has Feathered His Nest might not make an impression on the synapses of some readers. But all in all, the tricky language and plays on words are marvelous fun. If you read this book looking for the meaning of life, you'll be very disappointed. It's more like Monty Python than the Holy Bible - perhaps a bit like Monty Python reciting the Holy Bible. King James Version, Green Letter Edition.

Bradley Lastname does things that no other poet would dare to do (thank God!), such as including a glossary and an Appendix A, simply because they aren't necessary. Which is precisely what makes them necessary. Though I could have done without "PYTHAGORAS' RECIPE FOR NO-BEAN CHILI" because it reads too much like a serious recipe for no-bean chili and isn't funny or absurd in any way whatsoever. It literally looks like something you might find in a modern recipe book and there are no references to mathematics or anything associated with Pythagoras. Maybe that's why it's so absurd, but it makes no sense as Appendix A even within the framework of absurdities that Lastname has created for himself. Of course, it could be that I'm not a short order cook and my lateral thinking skills need some polishing. Whatever, it might have been better placed in the middle of Bela Tarr's nest rather than on the wing of feathers.

Overall, if you're looking for a fun read, Bela Tarr Has Feathered His Nest is destined not to be a let down, unless you're stuck in the nineteenth century.

You can order a copy of Bela Tarr Has Feathered His Nest from

The Press Of The 3rd Mind
1301 North Dearborn Parkway
Department 1007
Chicago, Illinois  60610
or e-mail bradleylastname at hotmail dot com.

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