DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains
Insomniac Press, Spring 2012.
DOOM is now available! Order the book online from Insomniac Press or contact me directly.
DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains is a poetic exploration of the erotic potential of the superpowers associated with comic book supervillains. Each poem is dedicated to a supervillain’s particular style and substance of antagonism. In each piece, the supervillain’s powers are deconstructed and eroticised, so that the language, objects and forces that are typically instruments of crime and violence are examined for sexual potential. DOOM examines how violence and villainy can be transmuted or repurposed in a positive sexual light, much in the way that supervillains are pressured via narrative to reform.
The poems employ highly specialized language, as well as linguistic constraints determined by each supervillain’s powers, weapons, back story and protagonist. The language used is also drawn from each particular supervillain’s manner of speech, so that the poems occasionally resemble the classic villain’s monologue. This language is highly technical and dense, but becomes intimate and even erotic in its specificity. The lexicon is also derived from the potential drawbacks of various superpowers: the side-effects and negative results of various experiments and abuses of power. This creates a kind of pathology of super-villainy.
DOOM is primarily composed of several “Rogue’s Galleries” made up of single poems and short cycles dedicated to individual supervillains. There is also a section for “Bondage,” poems dedicated to the various prison facilities specifically designed or modified to contain super-powered inmates; and “Stronghold,” poems about supervillains’ lairs and fortresses, whether they be buildings, cities, or entire countries.
isbn: 978-1-55483-064-0 | Canada $16.95 · US $16.95 |
5 x 8 inches | 120 pages | 2012
Illustrations for DOOM have been provided by the incomparably talented writer and illustrator Evan Munday.
Evan has discussed his work on DOOM in a number of blog posts.
Part One, January 3rd 2012.
Part Deux, January 11th 2012.
Part Trois, February 8th 2012.
DOOM is also available for purchase here, on Amazon.ca!
Snare Books, Fall 2007.
Thumbscrews is a poetic engagement with the aesthetics of sadomasochism and consensual pain. It employs the techniques of mannerist poetry to constrain language as ropes, cuffs, or shackles that might be used to constrain the body. Each poem can be taken as a miniature sadomasochistic encounter where language is tied up, beaten, and twisted into submission. This book abuses language; language begs for it.
Thumbscrews engages with the sexual subculture of BDSM in content as well as in form. It explores the erotic ’scene’ and the prevalence of role-playing in the kinky bedroom, examines various settings as ‘pervertable’ locations, and chronicles a series of embarrassing trips to the emergency room. Poems are shaped from the hobbled language of email, visual representations of pain, and odes to various implements. Thumbscrews is a dirty-minded, sticky-fingered book.
Thumbscrews won the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.
isbn: 9780973943863 / 0973943866 │ 10.00 │ 4.75 x 7 inches │ 88 page │ 2007
Buy Thumbscrews from McNally Robinson here!
Praise for Thumbscrews
“Natalie Zina Walschott’s Thumbscrews is a ‘sticky-fingered book’ which reveals language’s kinks and hang-ups, reveling in every drip, drool and bruise. The poetry in this volume gathers around sites of naughty play, allowing grammar to bind, restrain and enjoy every moment of it. A slender, well-designed, sleek little number, Thumbscrews — in language, in design and in function — will remind you of that lovely chrome vibrator; compact, fashionable, and designed to arouse.” ~ derek beaulieu, Beatroute Magazine
“Natalie Zina Walschots…engages with the aesthetics of sadomasochism in order to generate elegant, sensual poetry that writhes inside the shackles of its own linguistic constraint…each word becoming a gasp or a moan—an almost erotic object, with its own painful, but sensual, texture.” ~ Christian Bök, Poetry Foundation
“Walschots carves out a space of spare words in short bursts and contained, sharpened marks, yet continues in that Robert Kroetsch long poem way of delay, delay, delay; pushing the end back as far as you can. Thumbscrews knows its limits, but pushes the boundaries.” ~ rob mclennan
Did you perform a reading of this in St. Catharines at the NAC? It/your bio seems like a familiar vague recollection.
I sure did! It would have been for the launch of the second issue of Dead Gender magazine.