THE SILENT CULL AND OTHER MECHANICAL IDEAS, Collected Poems 1980-2005 collects the bulk of long and short poems of Washington DC artist and poet Gabriel Thy, penned, performed, and published in various venues sparingly over the past twenty-five years into this single volume. It should come to nobody's surprise that this book of poems is a bit different than most self-published tomes of verse. Not content with a thin volume of poems that few readers would have taken seriously in the years since it was first printed, this poet chose to publish a thick volume of poems that few readers have taken seriously in the years since it was first published. For that brilliant insight into the minds of the poetry-buying public, the poet now believes his decision was a smart one, when at the time it was just something he had to do to move on to the next stage of his career which found him picking up the paintbrush to march straight into the bonfires of the WDC art markets.
Complex, simple, colorful, dense as thickets most should avoid, but often Beckettesque in his enfilading use of both contemporary and forgotten language, structure, and rhythm, these 166 poems track the "real and the unused" experiences informing a rather bleak historical vision the author describes in the very first poem as "the battleground where art and politics beat each other up and few are they who seem the wiser." Many of these poems offer revealing glimpses into the biographical nature of the works while others assert themselves into the earnest sensitivities and conflicts of the era with brilliant and scathing screeches of self-conscious but courageous wordplay.The visual, oracular landscape described within these pages is a spiritual one, a rugged landscape which all humanity has struggled to tame. Disparate soft voices turn desperate. The proud fall victim to their own false shadows.
Whether these poems attest to their own life and times or of future liasons now approaching, while often difficult to decipher, the reader is always assured of a cultivated argument. The volume of 166 poems range in length of several pages to a dozen or so lines. The table of contents includes both the date and the residential location from which each work was created. The four major locations in chronological order are Lofton Creek in Nassau County, FL (1980), Corpus Christi, TX (1980-1982), Atlanta, GA (1982-1983), and Washington, DC (1984-2005).
While many of the works included will no doubt baffle even the more astute reader, the many themes of the poet, including race, religion, riches, art, politics, and literature are threaded and woven in and out of various works. It would have been interesting to have been able to refer to a word index, for many phrases, characters, and historical figures make repeated appearances throughout the book. Many of the more memorable phrases turn up slightly altered, turned on their heads in different contexts which then contort into a divergent purpose.
At first glance, one may surmise that this book of contemporary poetry might not interest the casual reader of light doggerel, but if any reader suffers even the slightest pretention as a "serious bibliophiliac," an occasional glance at a few pages should turn up a handful of linguistic gems that will have been well worth the spot effort. Rich in irony and irreverent humor, this collection will foster those truly interested in the dark captivity of a mind trying to claw its way out of the wretchedly polarizing culture the poet describes.
You may purchase the book from the publisher's website. The book should also be available at Amazon and other fashionable online stores.