Buy Nick Demske By Nick Demske

by on Nov.11, 2010

People, last year I had the opportunity to be the final judge for Fence’s Modern Poets Series. I read some awesome, potent manuscripts but the one which did the most mental damage to me was Nick Demske by Nick Demske. Want to know why? Here’s a poem:


“the very word is like a bell”

—John Keats

I didn’t think it was loaded. But it was a kn

Ife. So we’re both right. I foresee

Blinding enlightenment. I beat these children like the deadest of horsies.

The people cheer at their victory. Peasants dan

Cing in gutters, commoners singing like so many

Semi-trucks braking. This is the ultra-vulgarity to they who make

The definitions. This is cops getting shot in abnormally

Broad daylight. I will make me beautiful if it takes

Uglying everything else; a reflect

Ion so unfamiliar you feel impolite confronting it. I am the awestruck lex

Icographers, staring back into a nightingale. I will beat these

Precious children back to life. Fuck me, shit me.

Remind me what it’s like to be offended, Nick Demske.

Ah. Already with thee.

And here’s what I write in my fancy judge’s intro to the book:

Nick Demske writes from culture like the Hollywood version of a rebellious slave, the role shredding off him, culture’s synthetic exemplary tales shredding and piling up on the floor of the projector room, but non-biodegradable, sticking around, the pancake makeup also strangely persisting, rendering his face plastic and one with the material of the film, the celluloid itself. How can we tell this dancer from his nasty dance? Language has ecstatic prison sex in these narrow cells, de-synchs and hooks up in detrimental sequences which will make the baby sick; the sonnet form both persists and shreds, goes on talking/being a talkie; his own name copies itself again and again like a one-man “I am Spartacus”—splits like a wascally wabbit before the Law. One lump or two? Or, the sonnet is one brief sequence played backwards and forwards until its fake, twitchy face says everything: “This poem is named after you, like a slave.” “Nick Demske, you are everything wrong with the world. Which is to say: the wor/Ld.” Is it shit or is it speech? Is Language the patented dance move of the sapiens sapiens or the catchy scat that shows where we’ve passed? The staff or the shit of life? “This humor so dark you mistake/It for chocolate.” “God wins because he’s bigger,/Until I digest this cracker, converting it on/Into the drabbest defecant His face will ever don.” Yum yum! A poet both coprophilic and narcissistic finds his own face reflected in some pretty dirty places. Or, as Catherine Clément has held, “To eat the placenta, one’s excrement, or one’s Dasein, to devour the loved one with kisses or to make love with God: these are some of the possible equivalences to the body’s debris. The angel is part of it, as is the beast that follows him like a shadow since Pascal united them, one behind the other in an ineluctable procession.” Or, per Demske, “I enjambed that promise/So far up the Muse’s tuchis he still shits shards of meter.” “Ick, narcotica prissy self-gratified non-prophet: AWE SHIT.”

And check it, the cover is COVERED with evil eyes, evil eyes that shit art.

So you should definitely buy this book immediately. Plus, this guy works at the Racine public library, doing the right thing. His blog is nickipoo.

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6 comments for this entry:
  1. Johannes

    Awesome poem. I hope we get a copy.

    Also, notice: there’s one eye that seems to reference the “Laura Mars” movie we watched last night: the one with the blade in it.


  2. Laura

    Thank you for posting this: LOVE the poem–thrilled to get the heads up about this book!

  3. Nick Demske

    is it redundant to say how much i love you guys?

    i admit, though, i feel more and more every day that the judge’s citation overshadows every other thing in the book. is it just my bias or is that the smokin’est blurb/citation others have ever read as well? this is not rhetorical. I really like the one linh dinh wrote about kasey mohammad, where he called him “the exorcist giving us all a ride home” or something. But this one eclipses that for me as well. if others have favorites or know of a more enticing one, post it, please.

  4. Montevidayo, Joyelle McSweeney and Paul Ryan « NICKI-POO

    […] The godmother of my new book, Joyelle McSweeney (she was the final judge for the contest my manuscript was picked in) recently made an announcement on the new uber-blog I’ve mentioned here before, Montevidayo, about my first book getting published.  It includes her judge’s citation, which is a piece of sublime literature on its own.  Check it out here. […]

  5. Dave

    “Evil eyes that shit art!” Loved the review-I can’t WAIT to get my copy and allow some mental damage be done to me!

  6. A few faves from my 2010 reading list - Montevidayo

    […] Like Johannes, I also favored Poemland, Poems of the Black Object, and Nick Demske (which I just read the other night and I love it so much I’m going to teach it next semester. […]