Someone Who Doesn’t Experience or Understand Pleasure

Poetry zine, Jacob Wren, Paper Pusher,, $10

Someone who doesn’t experience or  understand pleasure, according to Jacob  Wren, is someone who has lost faith  in poetry. He makes this clear in the  collection’s titular poem, along with the  central claims that poetry is “something  marginal and irrelevant,” incapable of  instigating change, let alone pleasure.  At the same time, the poems, in  which he ironically communicates  his disenchantment, are nevertheless  poignant and rather quite elegiac.  Instead of demonstrating the failure  of poetry that he claims, Wren makes  it beautiful, introverted, while distant,  and thus renders his existential anxiety  as something fashionable rather than  something actually disconcerting.  Contrary to avant-garde predecessors  who suffered the same anxieties — the  Dadaist, surrealist, L.A.N.G.U.A.G.E  poets — and nevertheless created  from despair, Wren merely complains.  His lines seem to derive directly from  anti-capitalist manifestos, with an  all-encompassing anomic sensibility  piercing through each syllable and  punctuation point. SWDEP is however,  an honest portrayal of the current state  of poetry, bemoaning the futility of  language even at this very late point in  the game. (Annie Wong)

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