Mainstream (Michael Magee)

This is a flarf book, and like most flarf it’s very uneven. There are some excellent poems — many of the “Fascist Fairytales” stand out and the long poem “The Story of In Sip” is a highlight — but too many of the poems are clever on a first read but not of lasting interest. I wish more flarf-ists would pay attention to traditional craft aspects (like Ryan Fitzpatrick — you can read Ryan’s poems aloud and read Magee’s poems aloud and notice an immediate and telling difference). I feel compelled to note that this is without a doubt the worst-produced book I’ve ever seen in all my life. It looks like shit. There’s no nice way to put it. Beginning to end, the book is an eyesore, and is full of typos that don’t seem intentional and have no purpose if they are. Much better than it appears on the surface, and worth a read, but not the strongest work I’ve seen as far as flarf and flarf-inspired material goes.

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