Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Search Box Bed - Darryl Whetter (Palimpsest Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Search Box Bed.  Darryl Whetter.  Palimpsest Press.  Windsor, Ontario.  2017.

Today's book of poetry had to get my much smarter better half to translate the dedication that begins Darryl Whetter's most excellent poetry adventure.  We both thought it was splendid so I thought it should be shared.

à Gisèle. 
restes toujour, ma belle, 
dans mes bras et ma bouch, 
mon lit et ma vie
K's translation, late at night, while busy reading the second volume of three
of a Theodore Roosevelt biography:

a Gisele. 
always stay, my beautiful,
 in my arms and my mouth,
- my bed and my life

And so begins Search Box Bed, Today's book of poetry will warn you, "This is not your Grandmother's poetry."

Nipple Clips On Amazon

the world's largest bazaar
hawks baby wipes alongside
bullets and butt plugs to target
you tip to tail. e-anonymity spares
the gum-chewers in customer service
tirades from the pant-suited
confronting their first strap-on,
all that prosthetic love
and necessity. no fallen soldiers
work security with their flashlights
to keep the boys from the fleshlights
and mid-aisle lube fights.
One-ClickTM Midas knows how keenly
we await drone delivery
of our non-drone desires


Darryl Whetter, in the context of these lascivious laments and poetic porn pastiche, could be the secret name of a super-literate 70's porn star or director. Search Box Bed starts off with an explicit warning shot, rim-shot: "This is not your father's Playboy."

Whetter is investigating the true unspoken sexual playground of contemporary society and the electronic Oz behind the curtains.  Whetter is looking at on-line porn and how, why, where and what we are watching.  Whetter's Search Box Bed is hardwired to your mainframe and there are no more secrets for anyone.


       If metadata is information about information, then meta-metadata
         is information about the information of information.
                          -U.S. PATENT

to classify is to know

chart and place
not just the scurrying
creatures of swamp, savannah and museum

but gauzy information, the churn
of abstract need

tag: a verb swatted
from the playground to the hurtling
subway cars of graffiti

label the grim
or smiling crowed then unleash
the comment feeds

touch (there you go)
and smear the video glow


Search Box Bed also wants to talk about the information generated and gathered in the "cloud" as our pulses race over the next moment of prurient passion, pause until this phase becomes passe too.  These poems are biting the reader in private places.  Whetter is constantly upping the ante on shock and awe by saying the thing we know but rarely expect to hear said.

That's the cleverest thing to do, to realize, often the most shocking thing is the thing that is most true.  Darryl Whetter's Search Box Bed gives us some truths, orgasmic barrels of it.


sexercise, not tantric marathons but daily
unconsummated orgies in expensive clothes.
now that lingerie is cheap the ostentatious curves
are yogic, every studio a rapper's choreographed dream:
upper middle class asses
up, faces down, bent reversing and candescent
in a heaving room

where else can men learn to last without whiskey.
each ujjayi breath a shaggy swimmer
kick-turning off one end or another . stitch an engorged
nostril into each thigh, dip the velvet
lungs into legs that will never feel longer

open and stretch the body entire, twist
with a gentler high curve ball
or Cossack's swung cutlass, thrust and unfurl
what you have and what you want
in the flush


Our morning read was certainly an energetic occasion.  Milo, our head tech, and Kathryn, our Jr. Editor, took over the reading this morning like they were minions from Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey's original research team, like they were the original Yin and Yang sock-slut puppets.

The pill, rape, anal sex, condoms, bondage, shaved pubis, class struggle, sex toys, patriarchal sexual mores, sex tools, computer mice that appear to be sperm in mid-swim, golden showers, porn kings and the perversity's of Pompeii, it is all in Darryl Whetter's appetizing, charming and carnally candid exploration of where we are in this electronic internet driven sexual revolution.

Whetter isn't offering explanations as much as examinations.  While not exactly a voyeur, Whetter sure has his eye on us.  He knows what we do alone and together, with the lights on and after we've made our peace with the dark and turn to embrace.

Spank Me

free from the tyranny
of hole one, two or three.
give me that starburst kiss
and map a wincing
ring road round the whole haunch.
garland my rump, this thickest meat.
each delicious whack
tugs me back from volume and insertion
to flower-press into the crimson
second skin of curved hurt.
rumbling Baghdad, blitzed London, the amber flare
and night shudder of our combat sky

glove my hair tight in your fist
to parse the pliant in compliance.
ribbon and cat-pull the entire
arm of dark speed, rubbing fling elbow,
wrist, then sparking finger
through the amped nodes.
lash velocity red and blossom
this necessary


Milo and Kathryn went home early today and took our copy of Darryl Whetter's Search Box Bed with them.  Something about comparing notes, doing research.

Certainly something poetic.

Whetter's purpose is perhaps to deconstruct the undeconstructable, our desire and the delectable fury of electronic freedom.  Or maybe Today's book of poetry got it all wrong.  That wouldn't be a first either.  Regardless, we, and everyone in our office, seriously enjoyed Darryl Whetter's Search Box Bed.

Read it with someone you can trust enough to read poetry with.

Image result for darryl whetter photo

Darryl Whetter

Darryl Whetter is a novelist, short-story writer, poet, critic and professor. His debut collection of stories, A Sharp Tooth in the Fur, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. His debut book of poems, Origins, received a starred review from Quill & Quire. His novels include the bicycle odyssey The Push & the Pull and the multi-generational pot-smuggling epic Keeping Things Whole. A former CBC Radio books panellist, he reviews for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, etc. He has taught creative writing and literature at four different Canadian universities. Currently, he is a visiting professor in Singapore, where he is the inaugural director of the first creative writing master’s program in Southeast Asia.



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