“Forgive my bluntness, but… Goddamn, Sam Sax can write some poems. Ross Gay”
And he can. I am not sure though if I like them or not. There are some fabulous images. He just explores what it was/is to be him. Gay, Jewish, male, a person and so much more. And he does it wonderfully, creatively, not easily through his poems. His experiences. His knowledge. Sax is not for the “I like flowers and pretty ponies” poetry crowd. He is for the “this poem will smack you up side the face and not apologize for it” poetry crowd.
I once jokingly asked myself, “What kind of tree is Poetry?” And last night I not jokingly asked, “What kind of monster is Sax?” And “What kind of monster am I?”
I do not think Sax means he is a literally a monster, but he does have monster tendencies. The violence in one poem he shows to himself by projecting it onto his brother is not pleasant to read. He talks about the monsters of the world (I think Folktale is about being gay, but also the Holocaust. Yet, you might read something different in it). He just talks. Well, writes.
Each section is prefaced with three types of monsters. He then takes his version of them and not the mythological versions we know. Yet, they are not far off. He gives us his stories. He gives us a look into this world.
A few images end each section. We see the monster, we see it unzip itself, we see the child inside, we finally see the pudgy boy-child at the end. No words. Take what you want from that. And take what you will from the works of Sam Sax.