The Jill Kelly Poems is a whimsical book in which Porco takes as his muse the actress Jill Kelly, who has appeared in over 400 films, including Prettiest Bikini I Ever Came Across, Prettiest Tits I Ever Came Across, and the 33rd installment of the apparently popular 100% Blowjobs series.
Porco also writes about other famous females, including Christina Aguilera, who “sluts about South Beach, keepin' it real” in Porco's mythopoeia. However, Kelly is the focus of the book's main suite of poems, serving for Porco as an avatar for pornography itself, from which Porco draws unnerving levels of inspiration.
For those wishing to vote down Porco's nomination of Jill Kelly as poetry's maidenhead, “Jill Kelly's Titty-Bop Sonnet” defends the author's project:
What's to stop me, say, from writing
A beauty's-best blazon, never looking
Above, below, or beyond gianormous
Jugs jugging-in at a C-cup 36?
Well, sure, some critic might claim,
Porco è porcu, his pen unable to sustain
A poetic argument of “real” value;
But that's no reason not to do as I do,
Which is express a love of bib-bubs
In a fourteen-line song to the God of
Titty-bops — hast thou forsaken me?
Why not hand over a naked Jilly Kelly
So I can finally stop writing this
Thing & slide my this between her that's?
It's not much of a defense, but then again, Porco's poetic project hardly needs defending; popular culture has been prime fodder for literature arguably since its inception, and certainly validated in recent years by postmodern aesthetics. Although academics of the dreary variety might continue to insist on a separation between low and high culture, artists and writers have gleefully united the two for millennia (the aforementioned boredom-mongers conveniently forget about things like Joyce's endless allusions to contemporary music or the mass entertainment that was the Greek theatre).
Porco certainly enjoys his poetry, almost as much as he seems to enjoy his porn, and why shouldn't the two interests be fused?
It's refreshing to read a book like this after having just slogged through a number of self-important volumes, some good, and some very bad. Porco pokes fun at a number of poetic tropes, particularly the conventions of romantic poetry, as in “My Sweetest Bi-Curious”:
My sweetest Bi-curious, live and love
Without reprove, and like a dove
Fly, fly high, soar, though to survive,
On occasion, you must muff-dive
The joke is fairly obvious, but there are some clever nods to love poetry's fascination with birds and uplifting rhetoric. The poems work as humorous lyrics and also as satires, including parodies of the work of Gertrude Stein and what survives of Sappho's work (in the hilariously titled “Thank You Fathers For Your Daughters”).
Porco's lines are clever, not just crude, so that while crudity provides much of the humour, the writing is much more accomplished than one might expect. Porco has an especially good sense of comedic timing, evident in the placement of his line breaks and the pacing of his best poems.
Though in many ways it's missing the point of the book to wish that Porco had attempted something more ambitious, I can't help but wish that he had pushed the joke further, into extreme absurdity. After a while, the poems begin to sound the same, and what stands out are the specific genre and style parodies.
Although not for the squeamish or politically correct, The Jill Kelly Poems is a great book for people who find themselves wondering why most poets seem to live such joyless lives.