by cait collins. 1999. 36 pages. fingerprintpress, P.O. Box 5473, Deptford, NJ. 08096.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
At the grave of Charles Bukowski, Cait Collins left a blue and silver pinwheel, some smoked cigarettes, empty bottles and her vibrating vibrator stuck into the ground. Inspired by the candid and anarchistic self of Charles Bukowski - that free man, now free of even the earth - Cait Collins not only has Bukowski’s sense of humor but also Bukowski’s passion for writing about the American underbelly, bar life, and erotic sex. Full of self-love in her poem “Likes” she lists her likes as follows: me/ sex/ sex with me/ sex with other people. Pure unexploited sex love and happy animal passion sex certainly is a preoccupation in these poems. There are a number of poems about in car masturbation, about flashing her breasts and sucking on a sex-toy. These are among the most expressionistic, outrageous and funny. Her sex poems are vivid and lurid. However, beyond their carnal surface, a type of karma-sutra spiritual freedom via meaningful, personal fulfillment is proposed.
Lusciously absorbed with herself, frank and tender, tongue out and tongue in cheek and plenty of tongue all the way around, a Cait Collins poem spurts bursting and bubbling flesh happy fantasy ecstasy. Collins is a living loving maid in the middle of her life - living it finally on her own terms, by her own rules and being herself. As a poet if she cannot express other than what she is, which is a real she imagining herself all day long in the real of this world and acting on it. Self expression, writing poetry, is an opening, unbuttoning, revealing of a self that Cait Collins has taken out of the hat-box, placed on her head and proudly struts about New Jersey, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Pedro. Anything and all things forbidden or unsanctioned behavior, speech and thought, becomes the stuff of a poetry of liberation. The poems are almost a please see my naked, sometimes-silly, always-ready, sometimes sad and sentimental soul. She writes in her poem “To Erins, Etcs.”
understand this: words about experience are words of experiences and I do not pretend the almighty movements of the deep blue me
See also her other books: Smell Me Again and In the Midst of Erected Poems and her site: smell-me.com