"As darkly luxurious and ferociously driven as either Jenks or Muench is singly, this hydra-headed address is passion squared, an uncanny vesper "scribbled to the abyss” intoned in a duet so tuned as to create a third even more intense, even more longing, even smarter, even sadder, even scarier voice. Though the Gothic cast — Morrissey, Michael Myers, a vampire, a deer on the North Dakota highway that appears like a recurring nightmare “jut-rotted…luring us to the wilderness,” — is glared at with fierce knowing (parlor games put the fun back in funeral here), the attention is sharp, without camp, and soul-piercing."—Robyn Schiff
"Two poets not only challenge each other to write a poem, but challenge each other for the voice of the poem as well as its place and possession – speech and location being the double meanings of address. This vibrant, loving book opens with “Dear Dear,” an introductory address to each voice, then proceeds in a collection of epistles through numbered sections called “Rooms,” in which the poets confront or accommodate their co-existence. Ronald Johnson’s epigram on the opening fly pages to “invite the eye/ invade the ear” sets the objective of an inextricable bond between eye and ear. The collaboration’s passage through seduction, co-existence, stand-off and outright hostility is echoed in poems about relationships, loss, institutionalization, and some wonderfully fun savagery. This makes an exciting poetry of wild and rapid changes for the reader. “Haptics, Not Optics.” is the only poem without an addressee, and it is the best statement of both their arguments in one poem as both artists perform his and her case slyly, beautifully as one. A moment that, for all its sadness, foreshadows the conciliatory calling of the names that ends the work and the address, “I”, reveals its fragments answering to the name."
“Dear Leatherface,” “Dear Danger,” “Dear Film Noir,” “Dear Chanteuse of the Abattoir for Young Girls” — if you loved Simone Muench’s Orange Crush as much as I did, you’ll recognize in these titles from Disappearing Address the return of her great animating idea: femininity excited by danger. Muench collaborates with Philip Jenks here to return to the theme in a series of letters to villains from horror films, to abstractions, to icons of pop culture like Morrissey or the high school dance. The exploded syntax of the letters makes for a kaleidoscope of the sublime and the mundane — Coca-Cola, Pop Rocks, and the Day of Judgment jostle one another in a kind of phantasmagoria. There’s wit here — “Dear Nothing” begins “why’d you have to cut out & make everything come back,” “Dear Obtuse” begins “Be straight with me” — but the best of the poems revel in novel images and a diction for which the only possible term is “hothouse gorgeous.”—Robert Archambeau
"This collaboration feels entirely seamless, as though it were not a collaboration at all but the work of a single, virtuoso poet with a very broad range of imagery and a finely tuned sense of how diction can coalesce varied materials. There is some of the surreal bounce we expect of collaboration but very little in the way of bi-polar diffusion or poetic ju-jitzu contending egos can produce. This is wonderfully contemplative work, and though it's hard to tell when Muench might begin or Jenks end, there is throughout, but particularly in the sequence addressed as letters to poets, a broadened set of concerns about poetry, especially, that these two poets seem to have negotiated in the act of joint (or should I say, mutual) composition. A genuinely wonderful collection."—Michael Anania
Dear Director of Operations—
to strip an arm of its flesh as if it
were buckskin or petal is an act
of contagion. You once tried genocide
but forgot about the flapping mandible
inside yourself. Forgot about expandable
bodies, inflated rates for tagging tools, black-
bagged corpses who talk to each other through
chatter of what’s left of their chinny-chin-chin.
Chimneys stuffed to the flue with ex-patriats.
Essays on apparitions & machinery. Look,
the scribes of natives stare back at you between
sliced history where heads are scattered
like handbills for a show everyone’s dying to go to.
We eventually quit too, got shot or ground down.
Yeah, this was the town where we all arrived
for a test drive, to find ourselves parallel ourselves,
wishing we could wake. Instead, our bodies
scripted into this apocalyptic landscape.
You say I’m a naysayer for refusing your form of sorcery,
casting nothings that you “think” sexycool but all’s mimicry
or synecdoche. You say baby; I say maybe.
It’s just game, philopena, & when you wake,
sugar-spoon picayune, you’ll find the nothing that is not there
drizzled with luminous language talking over itself, never listing
“listen” in its vocabulary. Just a voice—part voltage, part rain gauge,
that speaks but cannot record itself out of the past. The vinyl
history you cling to so jukebox smooth, but once I caught you
fevered in the corner of your porch, “played out” meta-master
with shrink-wrapped trousers; say it ain’t so as you form
digitized lines to & from the dance floor
guessing there is attraction in this type of execution.
Dear Disco Dancer—
You’re a lover not a long-timer,
Lancelot of Quaaludes
& Qiana, an answer
to the question:
how do I do your brand of simulacra?
My guesses, all imitations.
I intimate by shake
& wavering word in clubs unheard;
I high-kick to your hustle;
I’m vanilla to your medieval.
When you agree, I wonder
if pity pointed by polished boots
looks back at me.
The mirror says no to your limbs’
musings, shadow step & swivel,
livid glitter of your resurrection,
as you dance pants past imploding windows.
Spent time on earth, & you will do
the shovel, which is all in the hip’s
shimmer so loosen up your holler
as you bend this way, bounce that
to “Love to Love You, Baby,”
end up on a small island gleaning
neon beams that intimate your own disaster.
Whoever wants to understand much,
must play much you said, my dazed-out
little aster as you dropped
through the dance floor
in a moon-about. Recasting summers,
this one’s your seventies trip; your leverage
a line to nostalgia. Dance dance you beautiful pants!