Monday, June 13, 2016

Your Daily Horoscope - Nik De Dominic (New Michigan Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Your Daily Horoscope.  Nik De Dominic.  New Michigan Press.  Tucson, Arizona.  2015.

De Dominic [Nov 2015]

Nik De Dominic has been hereby declared as Master of Horoscopology by Today's book of poetry. Your Daily Horoscope is true-that one the most thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining romps we've been on in a while.

Splendidly playful and deadly serious, Your Daily Horoscope is a first rate page turner.  If these horoscopes replaced our daily grog in the newspapers the world would be a very different place.

Your Daily Horoscope [someone will send...]

Someone will send you a .gif
of a clown tying a noose
around his neck to a sapling.
He will then water the sapling.
Everywhere a .gif a gift.

...

To tell you how funny these poems are would be a bit like doing an "Ali-shuffle," brilliant mis-direction.  Watch my feet while I disconnect your noggin.  Nik De Dominic could be a stand-up comic with poetry punch lines.  It's like he has absorbed the best of Richard Brautigan's surreal joy and stewed it up all modern and relevant.  

Today's book of poetry had a few other comparisons that leap to mind, it is possible that De Dominic has studied at the church of Ron Koertge, but we'll skip the comparisons and tell you that these poems cook.  Stone cold, Nik De Dominic can cook with the best.

Today's book of poetry's only complaint with this collection is that it is too short, we could have read these gems all day long.

Your Daily Horoscope [twenty years ago...]

Twenty years ago Dizzy had some racket with Impalas
and could have keys cut to VIN numbers. A perfumed
icon hanging from the rear view as we drove around
doing crimes. Now I ride the 794 to work and I think
Dizzy is dead. Everyone on this line is infirmed somehow,
walkers and wheelchairs, boils and bald, reeks of salad dressing, and I
am trying to figure out why my problem is. Big and beautiful
blonde boys bring their bibles on the bus, sit closely
together in starched white short shirt sleeves, murmur to each other
secrets of the after this. It is a bible, the thing Mormons morm from?
The strip-mall church off San Fernando, Pentecostal something or other,
is giving away food and there is a line out the door,
up both sides of the block. A little girl with black bangs hangs
in her parents' hands over a pack of pigeons, brethren grieving
over a fallen and headless brother, and she spits at them to scatter.
When I get home still afternoon we lie in bed and let the house go
from day to blue. I tell you I read today that you are everyone
in your dreams. No shit, you say,  who else would you be?

...

Nik De Dominic is one Mother of Invention, these poems snap, crackle and pop like old timey flash bulbs.  We had so much fun at this morning's reading that we tackled some of these poems twice.   Milo, our head tech, was particularly enthralled and in his finest form.

When Today's book of poetry tells you that these poems were easy going we mean it as a compliment.  They welcome you in like they were looking for you.  Nik De Dominic has found a voice that sounds as natural as a siblings, rings as true as a straight shot always does.  This is no small feat but from the first poem the reader is comfortable with De Dominic's cool, clear and clean voice, the cavalier comes later.

A Note For Reading Your Daily Horoscopes

The preceding horoscopes are intended for purely
entertainment purposes. I make no claims, beyond
the claims I've made above, about the possible
outcome of your life. It is important to remember
that the horoscope, like all things, is metaphor, and its
application completely subjective -- that language, too,
is dynamic. Flexible. Destabilized, even. Something
about signs and signified, yada, yada (lol, Plato).
When I say you sometimes I mean me; when I say I
sometimes I mean you. Sometimes when I say we I
mean you and I and other times I mean well, it's sort of
royal, so I mean me. But other times, I really do mean I
and I really do mean you and I really do mean me and
I really do mean we. further, for one stargazer, a new
job may mean getting fired. For another, a new job may
mean losing an uncle. For yet another, a new job may
mean, literally, a new job --  like in middle management
at a rental car agency. What I will say is this, something
good will happen for you soon. I am sure of it.  So will
something terrible.  That, I am also sure.

...

It's a real pleasure to be able to tell you about books like Nik De Dominic's Your Daily Horoscope. 
These poems really do scamper across the desk with considerable glee and purpose.  This is beautiful and audacious poetry with the grace of a cheetah - and then that bite.

Today's book of poetry flat out loved Your Daily Horoscope.

Nik De Dominic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nik De Dominic believes in the stars. Work has appeared in Los Angeles Review, Harpur Palate, Guernica, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He is a founding editor of The Offending Adam and a poetry editor of New Orleans Review. He lectures in The Writing Program at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles with is partner Janna and their leash aggressive dog, Dinal.

BLURBS
I want to read one of these in my newspaper daily and then when they're done to get them in my newspaper all over again from the beginning. They are keen, talky, funny, immediate, clear, kind, and more. Welcome to a beguiling set of new constellations.
     - Aimee Bender

The future cannot exist without the invention of debt, debt that bonds us with time beyond the immediate. Oh, and we owe much to the prescient prestigitation of Nik De Dominic's imperative and dimension-warping poems that, time and time again, rip time a new portal. And predictably you always and already know that when you read this book you will find yourself finding yourself in those past pasts and in those future futures. And there you are being struck dumb by the brilliant anticipatory insight and elegant grace of this work -- the smart smartness, the dumbest of luck.
      - Michael Martone


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