YELLOW FOR PERIL, BLACK FOR BEAUTIFUL by Turner Cassity

YELLOW FOR PERIL, BLACK FOR BEAUTIFUL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Just twenty poems, mostly in rhymed couplets, and a one-act play written out of ""infinite cynicism"" and a political bitchiness that passes for epigrammatic wit. The title poem uses the Honolulu household of a Negro sergeant married to a Chinese as an example of American race sellout and insidious banality. Vietnam and Cape Town are also featured, as well as a narrative from the chief conspirator of JFK's assassination: ""I hired one fool to kill another. . .I simply thought he'd make a sexy corpse."" (The first fool, by the way, is ""Leon Trotsky Oswald."") Yeats' vision of Leda's rape as the start of Greek woes of state becomes in America ""stark true action, hard to stomach"": ""A fat whore straddles her stuffed bird."" Pittsburgh becomes St. Petersburg before the Revolution. Off another wall, Cassity smears the grad students of Academe and questions what Captain Hook does with his prosthesis during sex. His idea of Hollywood's ultimate in cheap tinsel and glitter is a screamingly funny (but do you like screaming while you laugh?) union of MGM, Ibsen and Garbo. The play Men of the Great Man is set during the Anglo. Boer war and features colonial stereotypes haggling over Africa and lines like ""avarice can be a creed like any other."" Woolly if not Wilde.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Braziller