The Moon's Jaw
by Rauan Klassnik
Paperback / 76p. / Poetry / $14.95
The poems of The Moon’s Jaw are a portrait of rotting decadence: wastelands of body and soul radioactive with death, cruelty, and a dark gleaming perverse sexuality. The language, flow, and rhythms of Rauan Klassnik’s second collection seem to revel in themselves, stagnate, bog down, wallow. As Klassnik writes, “There’s no way out but we don’t stop trying” and here, we find a wasteland spectrum, from a playground, a twisted eden that lurches forward—despite a swollen turgid gravity of blurred gender and godlessness and wheel-spinning ruts—to an obsessive and persistently striving narrative of death, gender, corruption, and (anti)religion.
“It’s full of knives and silk and peacocks and breast milk and ghosts and fetuses and orchards and wounds and girls and suns. It shifts continually between horny and cruel tones, meditative and exacting tones, stiff and puffy images, swallowed up somewhere in the space between all bodies, where nature mutates and crushes you and grinds against itself forever. There’s a constant succession of murder and regrowth, as if no matter how many times you undo a person they’re still here wandering around half-erased. It feels terse and epic at the same time, like the old surrealists, but suited for our age of insane kids. It’s like a Jacuzzi full of semen. A sky-blue hacksaw.”
“In the wound of a stabbed cosmos, Rauan Klassnik’s moon, kin to Plath’s moon bald and wild, bucks against despair. Anytime we devour the queen, we will be forced to vomit her back up, a clean saint out of our foaming mouths. A pretty swell in the music. We’re not afraid of the cinema, even though it houses all our night-mares. We’re not afraid to die. Marble, Tequila, Rotted, Flapping. The myth of biological sex, the myth of biological stability [l]ike cathedral meat. Wrapped in a thin red towel.”