Dennis E. Bolen’s Black Liquor continues his exploration of modern disconnection and the disparate paths taken by those railing against the austere landscape of their lives.
Imbued with lyrical evocations of lost childhood, mature love and deep friendship contrasted against brutal depictions of grueling labour, industrial mishap, historical misfortune and often hilarious disappointment, Black Liquor progresses to an appreciation of being alive, against the odds. Bolen writes in the pacey cadences of contemporary speech, tough and tender. His quirky use of metaphorical story charged with biting imagery makes these deeply autobiographical poems an exhilaration.
As in his previous writings, five novels and two collections of short fiction—among them Stupid Crimes (originally published by Anvil Press), Stand in Hell (Random House), Kaspoit! (Anvil Press), and Anticipated Results (Arsenal Pulp Press)—this new book explores the varieties of disaffection, this time in poetry and this time as remembrance of things past.
From rough justice on the Island to the piss-stained ugliness of dissolute Lower Mainland life, Black Liquor nicely skewers the gentle hypocrisies of postwar, Pacific Northwest optimism. Bolen’s verse sucks the marrow of postmodern disillusionment with tenderness and irony–but without nostalgia