There’s this punk girl who I know. She’s okay, I guess. But she annoys the piss out of me. She’s one of those baaad girls. Always acting, well, baaad all the time. For instance, I ran into her recently, in a different city than the one where I met her. I said hi and she recognized, but couldn’t place me. Which is fine, I don’t know her all that well, but when she put it together, the first thing she does is start telling me about how the night before she got drunk, passed out in the street, almost got arrested for telling the cops to fuck off, and then she beat some guy up, puked, and, I don’t know, took it in the ass or something. From the simple fact that she didn’t really even know who I was a few minutes before she brags to me about her ribaldry, it’s obvious that it wasn’t because she thought I, specifically, would appreciate it, but that it’s the first thing out of her mouth to anyone who’ll listen. I don’t doubt that’s who she really is, this baaad girl who does crazy stuff. But it’s such a boring, cultivated, self-fulfilling personality. She has this idea of who she is and has to constantly be aware of herself to keep it up.
That’s the way I feel about Charly “The City Mouse” Fasano; he’s this punk poet, who finds that most poetry is “impossible to relate to” for folks today; he wants to write poetry “where people aren’t intimidated by wording or rhythm of it.” While he’s able to transcend this cliché, he falls into the other one, the cheap room-living, alcoholic, loser-chic poet. He might be writing poetry that is more accessible and relevant to people today, but he’s not interesting enough for those same people to change their non-verse reading habits—regardless of how many punk plugs he throws in there. I have no doubt that “City Mouse” is anything but the alcoholic, tortured poet that hooks up with baad girls like the one I described above. But at some point, it seems that he decided that that was what he would need to do to be a poet and lived that lifestyle until it was truly him.
And after a while, it gets pretty boring. I mean, it might have been absolutely necessary for Doestoyevsky to be an epileptic for him to write such frenzied, compulsive stuff, but did he have to make references to it all the time? It might have have been completely necessary for Bukowski to be an alcoholic loser to write such gritty and tortured shit, but unlike “City Mouse,” he didn’t have the blueprint to cultivate such a personality. Too bad Bukowski unintentionally wrote one for every poet that came after him. –Craven Rock (Fast Geek Press)