Facebook

a poem by t.kilgore splake

edited by Scot Young • Rusty Truck Press 

A chapbook review by brian morrisey

If anyone has been familiar with POESY for more than two to three issues, you know what a big splake fan we have been going back to our roots of issue eleven. In the bundle of progressive goody packages splake shares with every correspondence, a glimpse of brilliant creative magic is bound to expose itself with the pages somewhere between the folds. So naturally, when splake sent in his Facebook chapbook off Rusty Truck Press, it definitely sparked my interest. Rusty Truck has been on a dire quest for the past few years to get to the bone of cutting-edge poetry with a well selected roster each issue. To have splake team up with Rusty Truck to expose the absurdity of this social networking website seems only appropriate.
Rusty Truck nailed this chapbook with the amazing cover art by Norman Olson who I find traces of Rauchenburgesque / impressionist masterful use of color, subject and composition. As noted on the first page in Splake’s profile, “…in 1989, he chose to take an early retirement as a college professor to live in creative poverty and find his poetic voice…” It is appropriate to set the tone for splake to take course on a clear and concise poetic insight into the (as I mentioned before most appropriately stated) absurdity of this social networking website. Personally, I have always wondered, but never asked, how hardcore creative artists like splake see Facebook? Is it a tool for promoting artistic inspiration, or a complete waste of endless amounts of time that could be better spent more constructively?
The book intertwines a series of Haikus effectively prevailing abstract associations with the absurdity of this new-found enlightenment infused addiction endured in societies around the world. He begins with:

Facebook

adult children
never ran away from home
circus long gone

and not even the artists are immune to his criticism on several occasions throughout the book

Facebook

unfulfilled artists
chasing bitch goddess success
never going to find

and in another instances, noting how yates, kerouac, and hemingway used the road to write their revolution questioning wasting introspective personal thought on “posts” that are soon to be lost in cyberspace and never to be resurrected. I agree. True emotions cannot be savored in this medium for more than an instance whether it be a second or a minute burying itself within. Everyone is making friends with writers who should be writing.

Clearly, for an artist inspired by solitude and the outdoors, I don’t have to ask if splake will be my friend on Facebook. I know he will always be the “graybeard poet winning / dance with death.”