Monday, March 31, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

Unless his testes
were regularly evacuated,
they became the seat of his central nervous system
and sent throughout his body
venomous communications in the forms of
neuralgia, dyspepsia, and a twitching
of the inner eyelid, maddening
though not visible to others.

          Thomas Berger
          Sneaky People

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Review: Thomas Berger, Sneaky People (1975)

This review is unfair to Thomas Berger’s Sneaky People, as it is a function of my genre expectations rather than the actual quality of the book. I like Thomas Berger, and when I read a passing reference to Sneaky People as his “noir” novel set in the 1930s, I bought a copy immediately. The plot gets rolling when Buddy Sandifer, owner of a used car lot, puts out a hit on his wife. That sounds noir enough, and the book certainly has its dark moments, but Sneaky People is a sex comedy, and I am the victim of bad intel. I kept waiting for the novel to be something that it never became. If I had encountered Sneaky People in a different context (“Hey, you’ve got to read this hilarious Thomas Berger novel!”), I doubtless would have liked it more. If I could call a do-over and read this book again for the first time, I would. Grade: C+

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

He clenched his teeth.
He’d like to get her
to dance for him,
you know?
Then give it to her solid.
Then the rest.
And when he was really pumped up,
give it to her right.

          Gil Brewer
          Memory of Passion

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

The undertaker’s eyes
always look like
they’re measuring you for a coffin,
and the astronaut’s eyes are
always looking
up to the sky.
My father was mostly
His eyes had
stories written across them.

          Sherman Alexie
          “Witnesses, Secret and Not”