wayne koestenbaum at city lights

“Wayne Koestenbaum’s brilliant new collection is like a lurid coloring book of Fauvist Depravity. Playfully perverse, his poems reinvent the lyrical, satirical barb for our moment. And they’re as telling as they are outrageous. Where else could we meet the ‘Mrs Robinson of Abstract Expressionism’ or experience the joy of biting “the wolfman’s wombat ass.” This scholar of excess is off the cuff, over the top, and always on the money!” — Elaine Equi



Read his bio on poets.org

Here is a quote about his new work from Publilshers’ Weekly:

“In his sixth book of poems, Koestenbaum takes a hilarious and dirty look at the underbelly of culture in America in poems that are raunchy, mean, darkly funny, and a joy to read. Flirting, and often going to bed, with nonsense, these poems, many set in sectioned-off couplets or tercets, poke fun at everything Koestenbaum’s capacious intelligence seizes, drawing together elements as disparate as dairy and philosophy (“The heavy cream went bad. I read aloud/ a Lacan line about the stupid signifier”) and Barbra Streisand and Stravinsky (in a memorable suite of imaginary album titles: “Streisand Sings Stravinsky/ Streisand Sings Schoenberg/ Streisand Sings Chomsky”). He pushes the limits on all sorts of subjects, including Eros between men (“The Ass Festival” is simply too dirty to quote) and high fashion (“Guilt: I bought Dior/ Homme silver/ sneakers”). But these are not just dirty jokes for dirty jokes’ sake: Koestenbaum achieves something powerful in this book, in which anger, sarcasm, self-deprecation, and desire are all swept into a kind of emotional whirlwind that feels deeply authentic and nakedly human. These poems are beautiful in spite of themselves.” -Publishers Weekly, 02/20/2012

To read more go to the City Lights events page.

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