Friday, April 18, 2008

BE SOMEBODY by Lester from Effing Press

by Lester
64 pages

As with all Effing books, Be Somebody is printed in house via digital, offset, and letterpress. Bound in the nude in an edition of 447 copies. Taste the rainbow.

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[T]he approach of ventriloquism goes one giant step further in the form of Lester, sock puppet extraordinaire & alleged author of the booklength manuscript, Be Somebody. Lester, obviously, is in the tradition of other wisecracking dummies from Charlie McCarthy to Triumph the Insult Dog, but also Armand Schwerner, Art Language & just possibly the aforementioned Mr. Bernstein & David Antin. &, dare I say, Spicer too falls on this side of the line, certainly in Language & Book of Magazine Verse. [...] Be Somebody [...] pokes a very hard finger into the chest of Western literary assumptions. [...] Like somebody who understands that what makes Moby Dick great is all that stuff about whales, Be Somebody is difficult in the way the very best books are . it challenges our desire for the familiar (and nothing is more familiar than my pronoun, not even my name) & holds on like a pit bull with lockjaw for the entire trip, in this instance 58 pages. [...] Someday, someone is going to publish this book & then we will all have to deal with Lester's intimate striptease of the self. Until then, it will remain, like the full-length version of Mark Peters' Men, one of the great rumors of contemporary poetry [...] you have to read the book.
- Ron Silliman

A few years ago, the unschooled shepherd poet Alberto Caeiro flew into our millenium with a rocket pack on his back, calling himself Lester. He spoke in the most simple and transparent syllogisms, though only a few (their hands cupped to ears) were present to hear. He landed, he spoke, he fired his rockets, shot up, landed over there, spoke, fired his rockets, etc. Then he went away... Thankfully, and somewhat miraculously, his parables have been transcribed by the faithful handful and are gathered here in one place for the first time.May I suggest that all the hip Flarf poets get down on their knees and urgently pray.
- Kent Johnson

Lester is a smart-mouth puppet who wants to ruin the sacred truths to fable and old song. Actually, he wants to ruin the fable and old song, too. Are we an important poet? Lester seems to want us to think we have no opinions on the matter, even the ones he has laid out for us. It's no good hating Lester; this is what we get for asking goat questions and giving sheep answers. Be Somebody raises a serendipitous lake cup atop the strata of radiant steam whose luminous degeneracy we have ascertained, and then lets it fall away like a silken robe. This isn't fair. If you see this book on the road, kill it. Unless it's already too late, and you're reading this, which means it has somehow found you first, and you have not read this after all, though you are rightfully convinced you have. Lester is not Patrick Herron. This is not a blurb.
- K. Silem Mohammad
and please enjoy some Mister T.

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