DEATH SALAD: now available from gobbet.
8″ x 5″ trade paperback: 110 pages
Brad Liening’s collection resurrects philosophy, if philosophy is redefined as a study of the fundamental nature of the world we thought we knew, but in fact do not. These poems embody a wicked irony and a sense of wonder undeterred by corruption and menace. In “Kids of the Black Hole,” “The poison handgun talks / Steamy under the hood. // Inside the desert is a / Second, hotter desert / That’s really bad with money.” Death Salad is not simply a log cabin built with well-wrought lines and sharp phrases. It is a window that yearns to be broken, the reader tasked with handling those fragments.
Brad Liening’s Death Salad comes flooded with headlines, with blurt, and the most unnatural of natural disasters: “Wikibots tweet racist meat,” he tweets and tweets until they retreat. These poems are advertisements for the end of the world, graphic designs for the graphically violent, the graphically visceral, the graphically beloved. But they are also antidotes for exactly what ails us, dragging us up close to the epicenter of our only hope. Thank the weird goodness of the vast, then, that Brad Liening’s on the scene to document the fallout that’s falling down inebriated all around us. Death Salad stays drunk on starry, black death as a way to live in the world without hurling every second, without hurting for something eternal, without any non-irritable reaching.