REVIEW: ‘More Wreck More Wreck’ by Tyler Gobble

Texas poet Tyler Gobble is so crazy for Swayze that he named his latest collection twice.

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More Wreck More Wreck reads like the American dream if the American dream consisted of rainbows and astronaut helmets and Chicken McNuggets.

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Gobble is like Peter Pan with a really impressive beard whose talents lay in his poise, his optimism, and the playful exuberance in which he uses language:

You’re bound to get knifed at some point, a man on a bench says.

A bottle rocket flared from the dark.

I’m not afraid of knives or humans or fireworks!

I have been collecting my whole life!

Switchblades and Freds and Firecrackers.

What if he grabs a stick of butter by accident?

And when I come to, he’s made pancakes out of life’s terrible confusion.

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Gobble seems like he’d be a really good friend, like the kind who’d fix your bike if it were broken and only ask for a beer as compensation.

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A lot of the poems in More Wreck More Wreck have really tasty lines (This place hurts like a dream/where no one finds the missing baby) that get the ol’ brain motors humming, and then there are lines (You can fly your kite in the grape jelly wind) which make me want to vomit because I hate myself and cannot fully appreciate their giddy, innocent brilliance:

Flower in my rooster bed.

The rooster in my bed is a flower.

My bed is a rooster but also a flower.

Silly rooster, you can’t sleep in a flower bed!

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Gobble definitely wins the award for most jovial poet, and watching videos of him read to an audience is a pleasant way to spend a few minutes. However, my cranky inner-voice does not match the whimsical Gobble voice these poems possess; they zip right past me as I’m reading them off the page. In fact, I am jealous of them because they seem more assured, more cheery about life and about art than I may ever be about anything, ever:

There is the rain outside.

The fancy part is the umbrella,

the shoving to stay dry.

I probably need a good soaking.

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Even the darker poems seem like Candy Land romps:

Who will perform my sister’s abortion?

How will you get her to love America

the beautiful again? How will you get America

to love my sister the beautiful again?

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Gobble’s poems are like a suddenly drawn curtain on a bright, sunny day when all you really want to do is stay hidden in the dark.

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In short, you will probably like this book if you are young and not yet dead inside.

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About Brian Alan Ellis

BRIAN ALAN ELLIS co-edits the literary journal Tables Without Chairs, and is also the author of Something To Do with Self-Hate (forthcoming), The Mustache He’s Always Wanted but Could Never Grow, 33 Fragments of Sick-Sad Living, King Shit (with Waylon Thornton), A Series of Pained Facial Expressions Made While Shredding Air Guitar (forthcoming), and Something Good, Something Bad, Something Dirty. His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Crossed Out, Zygote in My Coffee, Monkeybicycle, DOGZPLOT, Heavy Feather Review, Sundog Lit, Connotation Press, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HTMLGIANT, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Out of the Gutter, Literary Orphans, NAP, The Next Best Book Blog, Revolution John, Lost in Thought, Electric Literature, People Holding, and Atticus Review, among other places. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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