Wild's mescal-dream imagery depends on a continuous infliction of horror for poetic effect. His surrealism borders on the absurd, but then, too often, on the ridiculous: ""wild rice jumps up/ and runs screaming on dirty legs back to the swamp"" or ""your head/ a piece of dung with/ gold glasses on a white thistle"" or ""the dumb girl who rises naked from the ashcan. . . ."" The line breaks lurch from clause to clause with an occasional curious full stop midline followed by the lower case -- a queer punctuation that's boggling to read. Entering this holocaustic universe in which inanimate objects possess malevolent will, and murderous savagery is the norm for human relationships, requires a strong stomach (a certain tolerance for pig-creatures, wife-axings, nose-pickers, bleeding warts etc.) and a nihilistic disposition to experience page upon page of godless unredeemed despair and anomie.