if u dont love the moon your an ass hole
by Steve Roggenbuck
$10.00 buy from LIVE MY LIEF
1. Burgeoning (burgeoned?) internet poet Steve Roggenbuck’s second book; promised to be meatier and denser than his first book, CRUNK JUICE.
2. CRUNK JUICE functioned well as a collection of Roggenbuck’s disparate subjects and styles–the startlingly direct and innocent love poems, the textual manipulation of “lowbrow” pop culture, the pseudo-immaturity blended with faux-irony–but each poetic mode was largely kept separate from the other via separate sections and poems, often punctuated by pages of isolated one-liners.
3. if u dont love the moon your an ass hole, on the other hand, stitches these voices together right down at the line level.
4. The most common type of poem in IUDLTMYAAH is a justified block of title-less text that reads like a transcription of one of Roggenbuck’s videos: line after line of relentless juxtapositions, jumping from something clever to something life-affirming to something brazenly obnoxious.
5. Example: “in spain they love football so much they even call soccer football. im becoming aware of the fact that boredom and laziness are social norms, that ive felt pressured to supress my excitement and set lazier goals. I TRAINED MY SON TO EAT OUT OF MY HAND SINCE HE WAS A TODDLER. IT’S RLY STARTING TO FUCK WITH HIM NOW HE’S 15.” And so on.
6. This sporadic format is a double-edged sword, and the amount of enjoyment you get out of this collection will largely come down to how much enjoyment you get from these individual lines. As one might imagine, reading a book full of these–even with variation–might be nonplussing to many.
7. One thought I had was that this book might not be ideal for reading in one go, though, and might be better suited to short reading bursts. Its small size is ideal for this: put it in your pocket/purse and bust it out for little boosts throughout your day.
8. These poems read like little peeks at a singular, alien twitter feed. You get a few esoteric jokes, an inspirational retweet here, a cryptic typo-ridden observation there. IUDLTMYAAH accurately recreates the rhythms and tempos of internet browsing, with random, potent bits of information all jammed up with one another, each clamoring for your fleeting attention with a hyperbolic, exaggerated language/voice.
9. “ok if jesus come back I will teach him Internet. ‘bad writing’ is a meaningless phrase that creates hierarchy where its not apropriate. EMO DAD license plate. buddha buddha buddha buddha rockin everywhere. i peaked out the window before bed and saw a brown buny hoppin across the snowy yard.”
10. I hate to say something like “ADD-addled” and make some damning generalization about a generation’s attention span due to the internet or whatever but yeah… I think I just did anyway.
11. (TED Talk about the division between the communicative modes of speaking and writing and where “txt language” falls on that spectrum; elucidating when considering Roggenbuck’s propensity towards txt lingo and why his work translates so well to hyphy poetry readings.)
12. The design of the book is very satisfying. It’s cute and pocket-sized, with thick, attractive letters splayed across the front, and just a dash of Bieber purple for flavor.
13. The layout of the poems/macros/selfies is also satisfying in a blocky, tetris-blocks-lining-up-perfectly sort of way. A balance of text sizes and weights, very clean and minimal.
14. (I was kind of tempted to write this in a Roggenbuck-y style but that’d be too predictable, wouldn’t it?)
15. The selfies are an important part of this book’s artistic project; those who preordered the book were given personalized selfies, the book itself is subtitled “Poems and Selfies” (which serves to equate the two in importance), and one of the poems even starts off by declaring the artistic importance of selfies.
16. Pictures of Roggenbuck in various poses and from various absurd myspace-y angles are sprinkled throughout the book.
17. Lots of talk regarding branding surrounds Roggenbuck’s work, and I think these selfies serve as an extension to that. Roggenbuck’s brand is inherently very visual, as a quick glance at both his singular vlogging style and his various websites will attest. The selfies are part of that, a face to embody the chaotic and ever-shifting voice of the text.
18. (Also considered winkingly including my own selfies in this review, but, like, I don’t want you all to know what I look like.)
19. Moments of sadness and beauty shine through the internet detritus like poetic beacons:
“i sing into your mouth pretending you are dead
it sounds like you are the ocean
i hold your
mouth like a cup
it sounds like you are full of what the sky is full of”
20. “im like skrillex I jus take what I like from my artform and then bastardize it making a fun version.”
21. Roggenbuck is attempting the equivalent of pop music for poetry, exhibited not only by his work’s consistence and immediacy, but, perhaps more importantly, by Steve himself becoming a social signifier through the sacrifice of his self-image.
22. Roggenbuck has been acquiring fans the same way a touring musician acquires fans, and Roggenbuck postures, brands, and communicates with his fans the way many musicians/bands do; this is why community is such an extremely important factor for Roggenbuck’s project.
23. The blurbs on the back are excellent: “Possibly the worst thing that has ever happened to art”, “Please die”.
24. David Foster Wallace: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue.”
25. Steve Roggenbuck : “use your life to make other peoples lives better.”