An aggressively juvenile collection of poems, fiction fragments and assorted doggerel by an Iranian-American physician writing under a pseudonym.
In “The One-Pagers,” a sort of ars poetica that opens the book, “DJ Ass Maggots” writes, “I think of my reader, my audience, as a one-night stand. / No need to develop rapport. No page-turning here. / Just a quick fix, a quick thrust and out.” Later, in “Ditch the Valet,” he warns the reader again: “If you’re reading this, it’s a mistake, / Because I don’t write poems for you. // I write them for me.” Whether the narrator’s unlikability matters to someone who chose DJ Ass Maggots as his nom de plume seems somewhat beside the point. There’s little going on here beyond lazy attempts at button pushing, although DJ Ass Maggots stumbles into the occasional moment that reminds the reader of a Frederick Seidel B-side: “Fuck jazz in the worst way, / Rectally with no Vaseline. // Give me a trance beat six hours straight. / A bottle of E. / Put my tongue in a sling when I’m done.” As with Seidel, there’s potential for the same documentation of American affluence, but while there’s a bourgeois-punk spirit to admire in the piece of flash fiction “I Like Smoking Crack,” there’s little excuse for it all being so dull. “Ethics, Part I,” for example, includes the lines “She was the tortured, ravenous, / Starving red rose. / Sterling indefinite / Unrequited breathless / Panting like breathing,” which is about as provocative as Taylor Swift. In the end, much effort and bodily fluid is expended in getting the reader riled, although the book is most revealing and successful in the amiable prose piece “Iranian Doctor, German Car, American Values,” which manages to condense a hundred pages of ennui and privileged cynicism into a single sentence: “Fortunately, the valet company paid for it.”
A weird, mostly infantile collection of aimless verse, with some moments of brilliance.