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Jukebox Music is Tony Nesca’s dedication to music. I know this because it says so on the last page of the book in 18pt text. The poems have a hard edge and while I tend to go for irreverent bad-ass poets such as Mingus Tourette, Charles Bukowski and Kathy Acker, these poems by Nesca do not equal the energy of his earlier novel Dishpig.

The reader never gets pulled into the world Nesca is writing about despite all of the references to marijuana, acid, beer, cocks and pussies. Though Jukebox Music has its share of interesting images: “guitarist he playing possessed chainsaw riffing” or “guitar rips through the room homicide electric,” the poems, in spite of their colourful subject matter, do not grab you by the throat and demand your attention.

It is difficult to imagine that a book of poetry with the line “devil scratching his balls / corner of Hargrove Street and Cumberland” would not get my nod of approval, yet I am afraid Jukebox Music has more misses than hits. (Vincent Ponka)

by Tony Nesca, $16, pages unnumbered, Screamin’ Skull Press, 504 Brock St., Winnipeg, MB, R3M 0Z1

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