Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mutant Neuron Codex Swarm

In a recent interview in Pretty Owl Poetry, Robert Cole says that Juliet Cook’s poems “read like a secret keeping a secret.” This is an apt description for their new collaborative chapbook Mutant Neuron Codex Swarm just released from Hyacinth Girl Press. This book is writhing with its own secrets; its own masks; its own messes. This is a place “where the light at the end of the tunnel/is another tunnel smoldering beyond control.” It is a world that, as “Blood Drenched Funnel Cake” says, is “the opposite of diaphanous.”  

This book teaches us that in this world the body, sex, and life itself is something to be feared: “He /she/it can no longer speak for itself.” This is a place where someone might “pluck out her neurons” or walk by “…shopping carts full of legs, breasts, puppy hats/covered in cement," a place where “…pussies purr/and then turn into explosive devices.”  Weird science, violence and horror collide sending us on a wild word ride, unlike any I have been on before.  As “Final Swarm” tells us, we are in a place where “There is nothing gentle left.” We are served cupcakes with “anesthesia frosting” and we “bargain /to taste delicious undoing.”

Similar to a Stephen King novel, Mutant Neuron Codex Swarm is not going to win the award for “Feel Good Poetry Book of the Year” but it may win the award for the creepiest poetry book I have ever read.    

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