Tonight We Slurp in Color/Andrea V. Tubig

“Tonight We Slurp in Color delights in its desire to disrespect everyone and everything. Lovers and friends, fictional characters and quasi-celebrities, the poet herself: they’re violently displayed in the most compromising positions, bacon strips and oven toasters and whatnot sputtering out of their orifices. Even Serious Issues™ are treated with deliberate callousness, viciously whittled down into tropes advancing a perspective that’s Baudelairean in its mania for the depraved and the disgusting. Aggression trumps affinity; shock trumps shame. But the annihilatory energy is couched in poetry that’s hyper-agile in its catalogs and mind-blowing in its narrative surprises, the salacious content powered by an imagination as generous as an orgy.”

– poet Mark Anthony Cayanan

“Andrea V. Tubig’s Tonight We Slurp in Color is preoccupied with surfaces, which is to say: this book does not prefer depth but instead: a mask made out of a dead dog’s face; dreams of sunburnt flamingoes and naked men diving into pools of guyabano juice; scum-like frappuccino looking like Satan’s shit. Saying no to the stasis of depth means saying yes to motion of metonyms: the persona gives her muse a blowjob, and his orgasm consists of “vegetable oil, beer, picture frames, fried chicken, cathedral debris, stationery, diced carrots, bacon strips, [and] bullets.” Tubig’s poems startle not because of meaning but because of movement, a refusal to stay still, despite strictures, such as, say, the alphabet: “Swain. Stripling. Staminate. Stallion. Tweety Bird. Tuna. Tom. The worst. Teenager. Tiger. Tom or Drake.” The metonyms accumulate, though there is no wholeness in the pile up, only an awareness of the gaps are as forceful as the parts. The poems are typified by capacious sentences and surprising elements that come one after another, but surface activity is longing in disguise, a desire to reach out, regardless of the prospect of rejection: “I fix my eyes on the door and you are nowhere to be found. Please let me sleep. I am fucking exhausted. The coffee shop’s about to close. Tomorrow, I’ll wait again. Same time, same place. Hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll recognize you.” In other words: “Type of electrical coupling. Type of bonding. Unruly. Unstable.””

– poet and critic Vincenz Serrano


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