Anthology of Spam Poetry, The: Edited by Morton Hurley, 72 pgs. By Dave William

This book is actually a bit tricky to review, although I suppose all poetry is somewhat difficult to criticize in any intellectual manner. This anthology, from what I gather, is a collection of the best of the unintelligible drivel found in your everyday electronic junk mail—“spam,” if you will. The fact is these writings aren’t particularly unlike even the most revered works of history’s “greatest” poets. Had these lines been penned by a tormented literary artiste, tied directly to an instance of lost love or some other travesty, as opposed to being assembled by soulless computing machines, I imagine they’d read quite the same: manic, disjointed, melodramatic, and completely open to interpretation. If the goal of this book is to highlight the subjectivity of poetry as a whole, then it’s done a fine job. In that sense, it’s almost a mockery, a “culture-jam”-type shot at a literary genre that really doesn’t need more mocking. I could be way off, though. Maybe I’m reading way too far into it. Someone could’ve just put up some money to crank out a book of nonsensical toilet reading—wait a second… maybe the notion of the book itself, the idea of the physical specimen, is as open to interpretation as the words within it! Y’know, maybe it’s like, poetry in motion, as they say. I think The Anthology of Spam Poetry just blew my mind. –Dave Williams (Vertice 1925, PO Box 890882, Houston, TX 77289-0882)