315 pages, $13
The latest collection from Catfish McDaris mashes all the buttons, here there and everywhere, page after page of Catfishy goodness.
Catfish McDaris, the Milwaukee based American writer who for some intriguing reason has become extremely popular in Dublin (my hometown) this surge in McDaris’ visibility began about three years just a few months after his name was being mentioned around the hip parties in London. Who can say why that is? But perhaps that quirky artistic sensibility of the British and their approach to modern music and literature has something to do with the way that McDaris’ over-the-top mode of writing has struck such a note – that resonates like Big Ben through the grey day atmosphere of the British Isles. The Geographical place that spawned Punk and Grunge and the likes of Sex Pistols et al has no trouble with McDaris’ tongue in cheek surrealistic images in a style that is only a touch reminiscent of Bukowski, one of his antecedents, but McDaris is his own man and takes it to another level, takes it to the limit of sensibility; normality is twisted out of shape like a comic book plays with and bends everyday visual reality. The Theatre of the Absurd is the stage that he inhabits and moves upon, perhaps as a method of coping with the absurdity and unreality of everyday experience in an insane world where truth has been disappeared, compassion has been murdered, love has been hijacked by the pornographers, justice is buried in some deep anonymous dungeon, where the ‘war on drugs’ produces 50,000 disappearances and deaths in Mexico each year, the average people (the salt) are enslaved by warlords and gangsters masquerading as The Government, and the Puppet Masters of big business (legal and illegal) control governments and public institutions. McDaris though not British has that great traditional British characteristic of – ‘taking -the-piss’. He takes the piss out of the pretentiousness and absurd sense of self – importance displayed in the public arena in a world gone well and truly mad and blindly going down the gurgler. If the ship is going down one can either scream and piss their pants or else sing a wild native song and laugh at death; and there is nothing more certain than when Death stands before us we have at least two choices, we can try and be manly and accept our end with an ironic smile or we can squeal and scream like a child denied something and who pisses their pants uncontrollably. McDaris’ songs have absolutely nothing to do with everyday sensibilities or appearances, his writing is an authentic wild bizarre laughter in the face of life gone bonkers.
Faceless parade of endless prodigy genre leaping grasshopper pseudo mystic inexplicable hippie purgatory
Gut shot frozen mustang screams hair raising whinnies from red mountains enticing hill woman exploration
Relentless spelunking skullduggery perverse nostalgia perpetual rock formation zen yen bodhisattva karmic carnage.