on 26 May 2012
It's right that you should buy this book.
There's a slight tendency within literary circles online to view the quoting of Siken as too common, to even label him as hipster. To be honest, I don't think that's true; and I would urge you not to let that stop you from buying this book. To avoid something because other people like it? I'm sorry, but that doesn't make much sense to me. You should just like things. This book certainly isn't over-hyped in this country, as you never hear Siken mentioned at all.
That being said, I think it's a shame. Because this book truly is beautiful. Siken has the ability to craft painfully beautiful sentences that attach themselves to the mind for a long time. Moreover, this collection is painful to read in places, because of how truthful you can see it is. It's plain that Siken had to go through a difficult period to produce something like this, and that should not be taken for granted. I think it's rare to find poetry so startlingly genuine and unnerving.
It's very difficult to choose my favourite poems, actually. Because they are all absolutely beautiful. Taken one by one, they are works of art in their own right, but together the journey through the book and the pieces is really rather like music. I can't think of much higher praise. "You Are Jeff" is bewildering, confusing like being in a nightmare; "Snow and Dirty Rain" the perfect end to the book, a truthful voice there; "Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out" is grand and sweeping and really very, very clever. The language is always beautiful.
I'll leave you with one quote, which took a long time to decide on.
"A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river
but then he's still left
with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
but then he's still left with his hands."
- Boot Theory
I might seem clumsy and single-songed with my praise, but I do mean it. Do buy this book.
on 1 May 2016
I could write so much on this collection and why I adore it, but I'll leave that for you to discover. I randomly found Siken's Crush and how grateful I am! It's superb and I would easily list him not only as my all time favourite poet, but Crush as the book I will always hold the dearest. I've read it a thousand times, have pages folded over and lines underlined. It goes everywhere with me. I love a lot of poetry and poets but this blows them all away - contemporary and other.