Book Review: Blind Items

blind items

Dina Del Bucchia, Insomniac Press, 85 pgs,, $16.95 

Dina Del Bucchia is the kind of poet who habitually takes the sweet fluff of life — gossip columns, mullets, fashion pages, chick flicks — and unravels it into surreal, confusing, and surprisingly cogent work. This particular collection is made up of “blind item” and tell-all confessional style poems about encounters with celebrities that spiral into the trashy, the neon, the postmodern, and, most consistently, the raunchy.

“I am fucking Lindsay Lohan in the back of a pickup truck,” the collection begins, deceptively punchy for the varyingly subtle, critical, and gonzo humour that courses through most of these poems. Bill Murray is as jarringly smooth as you’d expect: “I push his face into me, assist in his artistic growth. In gasps, I realize the flesh can produce a punchline.” Britney has a sloppy night out. There aren’t many words for an encounter with R. Kelly, but two of them are “salty” and “cocaine.”

I get the impression that this voice, however speculative, belongs honestly to Del Bucchia; a smart girl living in a moneyed-up hyperreality, choosing to allow herself to dive deeper into our shiny celeb-o-sphere rather than come up for air. The strangeness of the situations is delightfully unnerving, and unexpected word choices and imagery remind the reader that celebrities we almost consider friends, or at least familiar, are distant creatures elaborating made up worlds.

In anticipation of her recent release with Daniel Zomparelli (another po-mo fun poetry darling from Vancouver) on the theme of rom-coms, Dina Del Bucchia continues to delight as she elaborates this particular style of pop culture pushed through a poetic fun house mirror. (Jonathan Valelly)