Having blogged for more than a year I have finally reached the status of renowned, serious blogger. I have carved out my niche, and I have been asked for providing feedback on a book in that particular category.
Of course, it is a book of spam poems.
… compiled by my LinkedIn connection Alan Mundy – “poorly translated Chinese recipes cannibalised to form the most insightful and thought provoking book of its kind ever written (presumably)”
Checking Alan’s LinkedIn URL again I confirm it starts with uk which does not come as a surprise. A book like this can only originate from the country that produced Shakespeare, Monty Python and Douglas Adams.
I am a blog spam expert, so it is an enormous task to review, understand, and do justice to e-mail spam poetry.
A bunch of spam poets – Alan Mundy, Jess Bryan, Rob Cleaver, Richard Sutton, and Dan Roberts (If any of you wants to have your name sanitized for the sake of online reputation – let me know and I replace it with *****; if I have forgotten somebody let me know, too) – have assembled poems from spam, adhering to the following rules:
- You can only use lines from the text in your poem – you must not add anything
- You must not edit the original lines in any way
- You can use partial lines but must not mix lines together to create new lines
(I promise I will follow these next time, too!)
The book contains 101 spam poems plus the original spam e-mails as bonus material, sort of ‘making of’. The original e-mail spams are rather long-winded which might give the poet a greater selection of phrases to pick from, but in the other hand it might be tiresome to read through all this without turning your brain into the juice of three bark.
The poems are as food-centric as the original spam was. This was a novel experience for the philosophically inclined geek in me who prefers postmodern spam poems lingering on the new age-y.
Having read the book for countless times in the past week I have changed my mind – though recommended to all the hobby chefs among you it the poems will also appeal to the refined ethereal poetry lovers. The poems contain gems of timeless wisdom such as Very often you use also be young and aphorisms on ethics such as Be good if you die.
It is in particular the embroidery with all stuff food-related that provides a consistent down-to-earth theme to put all these grand insights gained from spam into perspective. So the poems are both artistic as comprehensible to readers that did not have that much exposure to advanced experimental poetry. After all didn’t great physicist Richard Feynman say A poet once said, ‘The whole universe is in a glass of wine.’? Cross-checked again: Wine is featured in four poems!
Also the Stephen King fans will enjoy their share of creepy violence – Cut in your liver! – and science geeks will love terms as Transmission intensity.
There is also a poem titled A sexual poem… (The header lines have been created by the poets BTW). Thanks for your understanding that I cannot quote from this on your geeky family blog though it might boost my Google ranking.
So I give this alleged first(*) book on spam poetry 5 of 5 stars.
(*) As usual, I did not do research on this, and I do not want to be involved in disputes about originality. It’s probably the spammers who own the stuff and who have licenced it under Creative Commons.
PPS: Calling people ‘connections’ is LinkedIn’s terminology, not mine.
PPPS: My blog spam queue is exploding!