Mark Terrill
Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues

December 2010. 36 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-33-6 (= PSPS 4)
£4.50 (+ 1.00 p&p), €5.50 (+ 1.00 p&p), US$ 8.00 (+ 1.50 p&p)
 

"Mark Terrill accomplishes a difficult feat in Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues: prose poems of expansive range yet exacting focus. This is real-time poetry, in which the events and thought processes described unfold in the same interval it takes to read about them. The result is a collection of 28 meticulously recorded observations in which scenery serves to direct a quicksilver flow of associative thought. Terrill calls our attention equally to urgencies like globalization and pollution as well as the "subtle cinematic shifts" of German sunlight, all the while tracking resolutely each "momentary realization" sparked by sensory phenomena. Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues shows Terrill at his most perceptive and connective, employing perfect blocks of text which seem to have been grafted from the nebulous atmosphere of thought, pressurized and framed on the page. These poems invite us into the world of an attentive observer whose intellect is as unrestricted as his language is precise."

Stephen B. Delbos


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Excerpt from Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues

A Poem for Those Who Mean Well

There's a big black bug with curved wiggling feelers brown filigree wings & long angular legs crawling across the inside of the kitchen window looking for a way out & not wanting to find myself trapped in a crippling stasis of voyeuristic entropy like John Wieners in his poem "A Poem for Trapped Things" I quickly grab a water glass & a beer coaster & gently & efficiently capture the bug & open the kitchen window & watch him fly out across the pasture toward the canal where some watchful-eyed hungry stork or insatiate bullfrog will probably snap him out of the air before you can say the words voyeuristic entropy.

Reviews of Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues


"Empathetic, thoughtful, grown-up, wryly humorous, self-deprecating, ambitious, authentic. ... I was impressed by Terrill's ability to write entirely comprehensible, unpunctuated, single sentences, sometimes over a page long. They often felt like streams of consciousness, with everyday concerns vying for prominence with more metaphysical musings on death, time, old age, etc."

Gill Andrews, Sphinx 17 (2011).

"In a lot of the poems, it is philosophical concerns that infuse everyday experience, more than political ones, but in case you're worried about the writer getting carried away with all these preoccupations, don't the writer is worried about that too, and manages to inflect an amusing self-parodying tone into most of the poems."

Robin Vaughan-Williams, Sphinx 17 (2011).

"The poems in Laughing Butcher Berlin Blues are energetic rambles and runs through fragments of American and European life ... there's a great deal of pleasure to be taken from the flashes of bright language in this collection ..."

Kirsten Irving, Sphinx 17 (2011).

Click here to read the full reviews on the HappenStance homepage.


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