Monday, December 22, 2008

Damaged mentioned on wikinews.

JD Nelson's blurb about Damaged

DAMAGED is a document of Andy Riverbed's trip through time.

Luckily for us, he's got his notebook
I can picture its stained pages
his pluma
property of ____________

He's dealing with it as he gets it all down in DAMAGED, his new chapbook of poetry from Coatlism Press.

He's taking good notes and writing great poems.

He knows where the beauty hides.

- J. D. Nelson


Joseph Veronneau reviews Damaged by Andy Riverbed

Andy Riverbed's poems are diverse, sometimes entering into a fantasy landscape of the imagination, and at other times mostly straightforward musings of the mundane, sometimes detailing how to detail. As given in the poem "The Lost art of Visualization": Think of it as cleaning/your room; all the shit/comes out of dirty closets and it's on the floor. Little by little we/all join and clean; eventually, the room looks good. Conversations take place with Mr. Riverbed's work that is concrete one minute, and jumbled the next into a ramble. Some poems serve as follow-ups to others, some offer somewhat obscure advice measures. From "Nothing": sucks/creativity/more than drugs./let's/waste your time./let's hang/with shady/people./learn this/when you're/young;/it's why/they're/old./seperate/completely/to use/successfully./you must isolate./there is no other/way.
The book is handsomely designed, small enough to cradle like a hot dog, but more appeasing in the end, and without the indigestion. You'll mostly laugh, but will have it followed up by a humbling piece on the page to follow. Read without expecting one thing or another on this one, and you'll do just fine.
-Joseph Veronneau
Poet/Editor, Scintillating Publications

Monday, November 24, 2008

Review of Damaged by Andy Riverbed

If Andy Riverbed was on the couch I'd say he never learned how to mourn properly. His mother may have been too reserved and detached while breast feeding him.

Andy resorts to drugs to avoid any feelings of pain or anxiety. When his poem brings up the murder of James Bulger by two British youths he minimizes this tragedy by comparing it to his own shitty job.

"Damaged" ofen (sic) resembles "A Light In the Attic", a book whose author I fail to remember. Joyner's artwork compliments the poems and adds much to the charm of this slim volume.

If I see Andy Riverbed hanging out poolside, at a Puerto Rican time-share, seducing Jewish drug counselors on vacation and playing Bingo for bottles of rum I will ask him if he masturbates to photographs of Gregory Corso.

Jeff T. Kane is an inmate at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility. His work can be found in Thieves Jargon, Ruthie's Club, and Dread Central. "Gray Fragments" can be bought off

Friday, November 14, 2008

Joe La Rosa reviews Damaged by Andy Riverbed (Coatlism Press)

The key to penetrating the poems in 'Damaged' lies in the organic nature of their language, which extends from the poet like a layer of skin, perpetually shedding and replenishing itself as it goes.  Andy Riverbed's words are things, not abstractions, like objects lying about a room; they have substance, form and color; and they're near enough to reach out and touch.
                                                   shells ,
                  data     , coral        coconuts
                 {between 1 + 2)      usually
                 ; laundry maids     patrol {
                                             (long   tuber
                 sprout) exhale  nose
                   and    dance  y a 'la
                  Morrison     acro s s
                   the wave
                                                    ("Laser crawls and)
    Riverbed goes strictly on his nerve in this work, taking no prisoners, as they say, along the way.  The incidental quality of the mostly short poems only enhances their overall impact in that the reader isn't force-fed effete notions of his own, or of the poet's, grandeur.  There isn't a trace of snobbery to be found in these poems amidst their relentless testaments to the painful verities of existence itself, as personified in Riverbed's baleful version of the proverbial Life in the Big City.
          remains of
          men burnt down to oblivion.
                  used to walk,
          barefooted and slumping,
                  lips kissing the ground;
          now decomposed
                  skeletons devoured.
    At first I didn't know what to think of the drawings of William Joyner Jr. that accompany the poems, but I came to realize that the seemingly child-like style in which they are composed compliments Riverbed's one of tragic beatitude in a charmingly dissociative manner.  More importantly, they never distract attention from the poems, in much the same way a good boxing referee remains invisible in plain sight during a match.  Also, the drawings lend to the graphic, graffiti-like character of the visceral landscape elicited from the poems, in broken pieces, as it were.
               I            cry
          when I see pictures of ferrets
          or photos of destroyed landscapes,
          birds soaked in petroleum
          and hear 'bout                     boys
                       in the European Union
          who tortured a toddler
                threw his body to the tracks
          in hopes
          their mess'd be cleaned up.
          I cry                                           realizing             
           I   didn't   cry when my father died.
    Reaing Andy Riverbed's 'Damaged' put me in mind of the late, great Bob Kaufman, the quintessential Beat street-poet who wrote "Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness" and "Golden Sardines," two extraordinary collections of poems exemplifying modern man's miserable state of isolation in this crummy world, but in a beautiful, sometimes hilarious language.  It would be easy to classify Kaufman's language as an outcrop of jazz, namely Bebop, but it's more accurate to call it the language of chaos, which is a universal language if ever there was one.  Pain, despair and sorrow serve as the raw material out of which Kaufman's, and Riverbed's poems are made.  But 'Damaged' is not a book of mere lamentations, nor is it a paean to lost youth or some such trivial ideal.  It's too hip for that.
          When I was really young,
           I'd wrap my watch so hard,
               months later when
               my skin wrenched,
                      rotting and stinking.
                      (As a teenager, my father)
    Life is indeed ' a vale of tears,' consisting of hapless, fragmented instants and instances, whose meanings are dubious, if not inconceiveable; 'a tale told by an idiot'; but in this case, by a savant as well.  Riverbed's world is the same insane world we all live in today, the brittle surface of which only needs to be scratched with a fingernail to reveal its face of a death-mask.
Joe La Rosa        

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Damaged by Andy Riverbed

New book by Andy Riverbed is ready for pre-order. It's due out 1 January 2009. It's an awesome book packed with drawings and poetry that explores the universe. Art is by the talented William Joyner Jr.

If you'd like to review this book (you'll get a free copy) please contact the editors of coatlism press.

Buy it at the Coatlism Bookstore, free shipping anywhere in the US!

Stay tuned for an audio and print interview of Andy Riverbed.
New book by Andy Riverbed is ready for pre-order. It's due out 1 January 2009. It's an awesome book packed with drawings and poetry that explores the universe.