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.