“How does one review a legendary reviewer such as Kevin Killian?” I asked myself after reading his newly published collection, Amazon Review Poems? To be honest, the only real answer I could give myself was, “you just fucking do it.” So here goes:
Kevin Killian, for those of you unaware folks, is a cult icon in the experimental writing world. He’s published essays and art critiques, has a stack of published poetry, runs a poetry zine, writes for numerous publications, has written countless plays, short stories and novels and even has biographies under his belt, yet, he still somehow manages to find the time to be one of the top reviewers on amazon.com and he’s probably out of those ten the best.
Needless to say, Kevin is a genius. He’s probably written more words than there are seconds I’ve lived and all of the words he’s fastened together are poignant, all full of worth. I used to have the luxury of living in close proximity to Kevin. During some of this time I studied under him and like to say he’s just as genteel a guy as his poetry makes him out to be. That said, he’s also at times devilishly funny, with the ability to make you cry and scratch your head as you ponder the insightful new thought he’s cleverly dressed up and illuminated for your pleasure. Kevin is a man of pleasure and the world, and his amazon reviews insightfully open eyes to such far ranging subjects as the occult magickal teachings of Aleister Crowley and Highland 1039500 Black Rainproof Car Top Carrier and Duffel Bag. Kevin is such a reliable, unreliable narrator, that readers must question whether or not his interactions with the subject matter is truthful every step of the way. In one sense, this book proves just how connected people are to their things, and to the world around them, and I’m talking in both the metaphysical sense and the hoarder sense, just as this book calls into question the reliability of the Internet. Most importantly of all, Kevin repeatedly proves that it is of little consequence whether his stories bare truth, for truth to Kevin is a fiction. What is fundamentally at the heart of his reviews is his desire to interact with the world, to be the world, to become so much a part of the world that the incalculable amount of subject matter the world possesses lives through him. Surely to have written so many reviews on such wide-ranging topics proves Kevin’s sensibilities are overflowing. These poems can be read as refined poetic gestures to the authors, books, and films that inspire them or this book can be read as a subversive assault on the nature of poetry. Can something as mundane and free-for-all as an amazon review be considered poetry? I’m sure academics are shaking their heads as Kevin proves again his ability to defy literary notions. Who was it that said literature is way behind in terms of progressing when compared to other art forms? Obviously they had never read Kevin Killian. And if you haven’t you really really should click here.