by Steve Carll. Tinfish Press. 2002. Susan M. Shultz, Editor. 47-728 Hui Kelu Street No. 9, Kaneohe, HI 96744
Book Review by Michael Basinski
I couldn’t resist this book because it came in a foil fresh hamburger bag - yes - just like the one you might get in any fast burger place. And I have known Steve Carll’s name from here and there over the years. And I like books like this - that kind being - various poems playing with the same subject - this subject being hamburgers/hamburger. And what a meal of word plan and variation (again the theme like music/jazz) repeats with endless wonderful and pleasant variation. And here the various ketchup and pickles are the captured words from the mouths stuffed with burger and - wow - hamburgers and beer are really in the news. Let me just write some titles, cause that is better than my rambling: BAD HAMBORG, HA! MBURG! ER, HAM(MINGITUP)BURGER etc. And I think my favorite, a poem called FUN, FUN, FUN, which parodies the Beach Boy Song FUN, FUN, FUN: I’ve gotta give you a bit or bite:
obtain father's ford under pretext of studying at library, now true destination hamburger stand, now increase volume and acceleration, now extract maximum pleasure before losing auto privileges
That is the type of play and joy that Steve Carll brings to Hamburgers. Never clobbers you with politics, never pounds you with art, never overcooks his poetry, never burns your intellect. I just like it that way. And the book itself, the way it is, the design and the graffics used (cows), charm. Well - read it and have fun, fun, fun.