Book Review

Celebrity Poetry Slam

EW compares the poetic talents of the Smashing Pumpkin's Billy Corgan and the publisher of Maxim

In A Glass Half Full, Maxim publisher Felix Dennis offers 202 pages of rhymed verse. (He'll also raid his well-stocked cellar for this fall's 14-city ''Did I Mention the Free Wine?'' tour.)

Big Surprise Allusions to Shakespeare, Keats, and Stevie Smith -- and poems that actually scan.

No Surprise ''Five and a Bit,'' named for the average size (in inches) of an erect human penis, is shaped liked its subject on the page.

Bottom Line Decently crafted, occasionally funny, but often repetitive and sappy (''She smelt of sleep and flowers''). He can't teach old doggerel new tricks. C+

In Blinking With Fists, ex-Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan offers 83 pages of mostly free verse.

Big Surprise Name-checks Jack London and Hans Christian Andersen, but misspells the god Poseidon.

No Surprise The aptly titled ''a bunch of words'' begins: ''Curses lick lips locked browbeaten hills touch sallow codes decipher...''

Bottom Line Corgan is a random-metaphor generator whose poems are both pretentious (''a twixt the twine and flowers divine'') and confoundingly esoteric (''armadillo trains rustle underfoot''). Where are the guitar riffs? D

Originally posted Sep 17, 2004 Published in issue #784 Sep 17, 2004 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners