Visceral Stimulation: Joy Leftow on Daniel Borzutsky’s One Size Fits All


one size fits all, Daniel Borzutsky, Scantily Clad Press 2009

Borzutzky’s poetry is a strange exotic and eclectic mix; a conglomerate of words that while I read I wonder who is this dude who strings these words together like this. Sometimes I know what he is saying from one sentence to the next. Sometimes one sentence follows the thoughts and sequence of the one before and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t exactly know what to do so I follow along because he’s strange enough to make me want to. Although I read the lines in bewilderment I laugh and feelings are aroused.

‘one size fits all’ published by Scantily Clad Press opens with the prick of misgiving glides on references to Milton and Blake that seep out in dry sardonic humor,
closing with Suddenly I was old, and had no one to fucking talk to., the classic death of the poet. Borzutzky outright admits that poetry becomes the property of the reader once published …woohoo :), I like that! “I do not own this poem; it is the responsibility of the poetic community.” And, “If you can’t feel the tickle on your genitals that this poem provides,” please masturbate safely within the confines of rubber walls and maybe then size won’t matter.

I visualize the scenario from his poems with his unique illustrations and I treasure his concepts; i.e., you don’t have to be a winner to win. Sometimes you may as well scratch your ass instead of your head for all the good anything will do you in society’s grip.

Borzutzky has trapped me and remade me in his image. This collection is written for the poet exorcizing familiar demons in spurts of more traditional views and references. The general notion being if you haven’t lived it how could you possibly write about it and if you did live it would you be crazy enough to write it and if you did write it would anybody understand or read it … right? I laugh and go back to what I read before. I think that could be me, that is me he’s talking about not only himself. I relate to the artist’s lament about how the industry prostitutes ethics.

The problem, said the critic, remains one of imagination and its insistence on the distinction between thought and action. We all have to live with criticism, poets especially, since strong and different works always raise suspicions and hard penises. “Poetry lives here,” she replied, “but he will chop you up and kill you, and then he’ll cook you and eat you,” along with attachable and detachable prosthetics to demonstrate how we either give or shed an artificial piece of ourselves – very unique imagery and this is what makes Borzutzky more cool. A daring risk-taker appeals to me. “I vomit a poem onto a stack of bloody cows and win a Pushcart prize.” I do understand – I think I do…

What I like the most is that Daniel Borzutzky does not fit the mold. I like his differences, the folly and play in his voice, his humor and sarcasm; I feel his triumph and growth develop. The voice of Marguerite Duras mixes with Milton and the colored girls go. I can ask for no more; I’m getting all the visceral stimulation I need.

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