by RC Miller
Calliope Nerve Publications
reviewed by Joseph M. Gant
Though drawing quite steadily from the vocabulary of contemporary dark verse, RC Miller uses specific surrealism and absurd humor to disarm any preconceptions of the poems in Gore. The turns are sharp, well executed, and refreshing. If there is “shock” in these poems it is a shock to any misplaced expectations regarding a book titled Gore.
In Gore, nothing is taboo, but that’s not what sets Gore apart. Irreverence aimed at church, sanity, and ambiguous sexuality have become common fodder in many works, however Miller makes no pretense that he is the first nor profoundest to write such verse. Often, these poems seem to be laughing at themselves. They are both the tight-rope and the walker, and this relationship of the poem to itself is signature throughout Gore.
Stylistically, Miller writes in tight, concise stanzas and couplets. With a strong awareness for presentation, he uses the page well, avoiding meandering narrative and consistently respecting the inherent bounds of the free form poem. Regardless of whether Miller evokes in you a contemplation, a disregard, a chuckle, or a scratching of the head, the execution of each poem is undoubtedly polished down to its punctuation. Gore is a book of language first, message second. This characteristic makes Miller’s work both accessible and easy to enjoy.
All that aside, it’s just a good fucking book worth reading.
You can acquire RC Miller’s Gore through Calliope Nerve Publications as a hard copy or a download here: