Tuesday, November 23, 2010


"It is extremely difficult to write poetry about Love without sounding cliché. The great poets over the years have all covered the topic of love so meticulously there is little room left for originality yet with Rob’s second full collection, THERE’S A FIST DUNKED IN BLOOD BEATING IN MY CHEST, Plath found a way to carve out a masterpiece unlike anything you will have read before." - Casey Quinn, author

There’s A Fist Dunked In Blood Beating In My Chest
by Rob Plath

179 pages
$15.50 + $4.50 shipping
Epic Rites Press


this product may cause one or more of the following: dry mouth, grinding of the teeth, abdominal cramps, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of personal hygiene, loss of simple motor skills, loss of financial freedom, loss of material possessions, loss of job, loss of friends, loss of family, loss of vision, loss of self, lethargy, blank staring, insomnia, jaundice, disintegration of the vertebrae, testicular shrinkage, hypersensitivity, extended bouts of weeping, wheezing, chain-smoking, excessive use of alcohol or other recreational drugs, driving while intoxicated, walking while intoxicated, continuous use of inappropriate language such as “bitch” & “whore,” angina, aggravated hypertension, internal bleeding, bone pain, confusion, disorientation, migraines, swelling of the brain stem, anxiety, paranoia, hysteria, domestic violence, racism, war, & hatred for all humanity.

- Rob Plath, from "There's A Fist Dunked In Blood Beating In My Chest"

“In the war over the heart and soul of modern poetry, Rob Plath will be the last man standing.” - John Yamrus, American author

“Read Rob Plath at your own risk. His words will stick behind your eyes. His heart may even expose a shadow you've kept hidden from yourself.” - Dan Fante, American author

“Plath is a merciless poet. He is not afraid of drawing blood, even his own. He will blow psychic holes in your being. He will leave you wounded.” – Todd Moore, American author

“Rob Plath’s poetry does what powerful writing should, mercilessly exploring the human condition in all its horror and banality. He journeys to the dark parts of the soul not talked about in polite company. He takes his readers along, refusing to let them look away.” – William Taylor Jr, American author

If “A Bellyful Of Anarchy” was Plath’s monster, then “There’s A Fist Dunked In Blood Beating In My Chest” is the monstrous bride of the creature. Eighty-two new poems by Plath are presented in this volume, with an additional six poems riding shotgun in the footer of every page.

An autopsy of the creature would reveal the following contents:

• sandwiched between lust & loss • to hell w/all the so-called cities of love • two cigarettes in the dark • fifteen hundred days & she was still a stranger to me • although it can be torn to shreds • sitting in the bar i see lovers racing to their doom • fuck you, gravity, you bitch • Cupid has made us all into junkies of love • love • do you remember Ithaca • the faith healers • this dark dance of replication • the hunger of endings • six feet eight inches & still lost • a pinch of sand in the hourglass • as the sharks forever swim through my cigarette smoke • for now i wait w/the worms • dear l. • as if it wasn’t crowded enough • this takes guts • brief letter from a cheating ex • honeycomb of pain • i don’t think she ever knew it • as the blade floats in the air punch the keys • only problem was • instead of a love poem • other ways to get inside • the monster in the fog at 5 a.m. • what my mother was dreaming while anesthetized in order to get her left hip replaced • daydreaming about wild childhood backyards • the simplest fucking story • the sun doesn’t stop • always on the verge • & the lint trap is full • Don Juan of melancholia • pessimist’s love song • getting the black ants of despair shit-faced • to the whore who relieved herself in my heart seven years ago • defeated & whistling for detachment • thirty-six, thinking about the night of my conception • maybe, just maybe • sewer blues • oozing doom • before the monsters came • beds & coffins • the unart of poetry • while the masses laugh holding the pin to yr hand grenade heart • how a poem should be • irretrievability • what on earth does this thing in my chest beat for? • hearts full of war paint • in-between love • just a mesh of disconnected lines • if you want to hemorrhage go right ahead • some hearts are wood chipper machines• that loveless peaceful shape • arranged marriage to the void• dance in yr meat threads while you can • if shared enough, all beds gather bad karma • double-fisting w/Li Po • eating alone w/ghosts • he died before i was born but i am told i am the spitting image of him • quit pretending that the end is merely a dream • hope doesn’t dream here anymore • year after year • i cringe in shapes besides my own • the real goddamn battle • forget flowers, knives make better bookmarks • waiting it out • my goal • waiting in the brilliant dust • i just want to look at the winter stars • Bukowski’s wish • one for Li Po • seven characters in non-pursuit of an entrance • moving again down here on earth • for some hearts just these two factors alone are enough • a good night • tonight i imagine the dead lonesome • sitting alone in thinned-out rooms • 12 a.m. epiphany • skin magicians

Order your copy of "There's A Fist Dunked In Blood Beating In My Chest" at http://www.epicrites.org/theres-a-fist-dunked-in-blood-beating-in-my-chest.html.

Copies won't reach the Small Press Distribution warehouse until mid-November but read the press release at the sales page here: http://www.spdbooks.org/Producte/9781926860022/theres-a-fist-dunked-in-blood-beating-in-my-chest.aspx?rf=1

There is a light that never goes out
A review of Rob Plath’s "there’s a fist dunked in blood beating in my chest"
by Zack Wilson

Reading Rob Plath has often reminded me of the Ramones - booze driven repetitive riffing and a knowing insouciance posing as deliberate dumbness - often infuriating simplistic but never, ever pointless and capable of killer insight.

This collection delivers more of that grinding same but also new, and welcome, subtleties. If you’re looking for variety of language, flowery metaphors and a crippling embarrassing self-conscious ‘outlaw’ pose, then there’s thousands of mediocrities cramming themselves into that particularly well-stuffed niche at the moment. Plath is still more leather jackets, stark, short lines, New York nights and urban despair, usually, and there’s certainly plenty of that in this packed volume, but there’s also more. There’s love here, all over these poems actually, and, tellingly, loss.

The poet of this collection ruminates upon love and death through different prisms. A mother’s mortality, a lover’s infidelity and a growing awareness that even evil bastard fathers had their reasons. Much of the poetry here speaks of sparks in the darkness, honest appraisals of the reality of love to individuals. The couple sits “marrow to marrow” in ‘to hell w/ all the so-called cities of love’, not heart to heart. This is love stripped down by desperation and, more often than not, cigarette smoke. There is an often-occurring contradictory desire for the burning brilliance of life-affirming love, even if Plath spends much of his time raking the ashes in a grey morning rather than watching the fireworks burn against a blue-black sky.

Sex and cigarettes may not seem much to some, but to Plath they are the very bones around which life is constructed. Blow jobs and the “cannibal” smoke of cigars mask a desperate celebration of love. Even in the humorous list of unpleasant symptoms caused by love in ‘Love’ there is an acceptance that “testicular shrinkage, hypersensitivity, extended bouts of weeping,/ wheezing, chain-smoking, excessive use of alcohol or other/ recreational drugs, driving while intoxicated” are maybe worth going through for the tiny moments love promises, and the fear it brings. Love leads to apocalypse, according to ‘this dark dance of replication’ after all, and death is merely ‘unmagic.’

Plath is Old Man Winter, content in his cold smoke and wise in his cynicism, but with a spark of regret that burns as brightly as his Zippo when he thinks of the last (always the last) time he touched his first lover. Betrayal and infidelity lurk like sharks in a tank, biting off the poet’s fingernails now and then, as the smoking signifiers at the foot of each page turn into mini meditations on self-torture, eyeballs and cheese graters, morgue slabs and mothers about to die.

But this Plath is a witty old chap sometimes, as in ‘brief letter from a cheating ex’ – it’s this that we really like, bitter ruminations on the stupidity of people with no comment passed just the plain bones of their idiocy exposed. Laughter as best medicine for death. “i was head over heels/ for her/ but she preferred heels/ over head” as he puts it. ‘Instead of a love poem’ has crows on a freeway pecking a squirrel’s corpse, almost a reworking of the old Scots poem ‘The Twa’ Corbies’ as the scavengers triumph once again with their “horrible hop(s).”

Meditations upon his mother’s mortality and the passage of life and time produce moments of genuine poignancy though. The poem as list may have been done to death but Plath shows lesser craftsmen how it should be done in ‘what my mother was dreaming while anesthetized in/ order to get her left hip replaced’. Indeed, Plath speaks of his mother a lot in this collection, as though as her own aging process has allowed him to understand his own mortality more clearly, and in much more humanistic terms as he meditates upon “love/or the lack of it” and takes what he claims is a pessimistic delight in falling leaves.

There is no life without death, after all, and this book may just be the light that never goes out being switched on. Then again, it might just be someone sparking up a ciggy...


Epic Rites Press: "because all our fingers are middle ones"
This blog is updated irregularly and has nothing to do with the poet's output. The poet is actually disturbingly prolific. He writes about 5 poems per day. The pages are everywhere, even stacked in the bathtub.