Doggy Doo by Bob Brueckl & Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
(cPress, Finland, 2001)
You were waiting for a poetry book titled Doggy Doo, I know. How shall I present it to you, eager Reader of reviews? You expect some charge, some lighting of fuse, else why place the book in consideration. Okay, I take the challenge.
I don’t know what to make of it. That’s my official response, and why you should hanker. The book’s strangeness does not prepare an easy invitation. Why should one bother with it?
I have the up here in that I have seen much work by both authors, as they send work (or is it play?) regularly (singly, I mean) to the listserv Wryting-L. Jukka should be known to many of you, assuming dear Reader has troubled to be troubled. Bob has been less forthcoming of his work to the wide view.
This collaboration mitigates two different processes into a formal mess. Jukka uses computer programs to dispatch the usual. He inputs stuff, if you want to get technical, and outputs other stuff. That’s how I understand it, and I am 100% percent certain I could be half wrong.
I do not think Bob uses such technology to overrun the ramparts of our language base. He absorbs language in some way then processes it according to rhythms of bespeak and bespoken that are mathematically ineligible. He praises Gertrude Stein routinely, as well as Zukofsky, Eigner, and Grenier.
So anyway, these two went back and forth over the course of some weeks to create this book. Bob wrote to me (I don’t claim objectivity here—what a silly feature that would be in a review!) that he could not always tell what part of Doggy Doo was by who. I thought I could guess but now I’m not sure.
So what up, dear Reader asks, fairly enough. I should just type the book into this review and leave it to you. Well, too, I could invoke capitalism to the degree of imploring you to possess this book. Just to exercise that part of the brain that has not dealt fully with the likes of Brueckl and Kervinen. I mean that not as praise, tho I am ready to praise them. I offer their work as earnest of possibility in the silly biz of writing poems that have not happened before.
Okay, so here are the first few lines of Doggy Doo:
wyf, iAS OmbaNK SQU)PANSY SMX;1IN ToDd cardoon rubber lil’ tiny nest b6StCEDPA snooty zwimpfer milkier coo istarted milkin’ the prostate concretions of the ghostly ghaist…
It goes on (transcription errors likely), but what make you of that? Hints that I can offer include that Bob scours a weird sort of scatological language, while Jukka contentedly sprays consonants together. Were you looking for ‘real’ words and real, um, sentiment?
Isn’t the first word above Old English for wife? Or if not, why couldn’t it be? iAS reverses capital first person, and includes the next word, as¸ for an impending but incomplete sentence (idea).
OmbpaNK suggests to me, obviously om¸ and the rest is breath and emphasis: bank, pank. See the way the letters, urgent to become words, shimmer into stances that one could ‘read’? Well, you’ll have to keep doing that, with every letter and every word. I don’t say it aint hard, I’m just saying that it’s there.
For more Bruecklian moments, this comes later: I assume they are Bruecklian.
Eight Heidegger hugger muggers:
I’ve got 5ive farkle fins!
& a little o –
der die das –
ein husk-tusk sunk in the sink,
skin’s dusky music
You might say that that makes no sense, and I would be inclined to agree. It does not make sense, it renders sense obvious in unobvious ways. As in, what does ‘making sense’ mean?
This is original poetry in the original sense. This poetry discovers awe, just in the way Emerson said each word originally was a poem. We as readers—I include you, dear Reader—let laziness confine us, assuring ourselves along qualitative lines about things that have no measure. Words within the veil of meaning have no measure.
This book indicates the gates of language. When the dire proclaim poetry’s importance, they shine a light on one of our utmost dependencies. Language happens every second, and it defines and integrates our lives within ‘it all’. The confident challenge of this book centers on how our limits, which Olson said we’re each of us inside of, define us and the world. The very fact that I don’t get it makes this book important. That’s the quickening of light that I received.
good god! so little ado
over nine pods of dapper doggy doo
Allen Bramhall is the author of DAYS POEM (Meritage Press) and blogs at Tributary.