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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Writer's Block: A Book of Shitty Poems by O. Persaud is indeed an anthology of shitty poems to the core—literally. In 74 pages, this little volume pays tribute to that human necessity that requires our tryst with the john. This anthology is the product of a bonus chapter in the poet’s award-winning book, Shitolian. It has been expanded as a response to positive feedback. The result is fascinating attention to detail about the different types of crap that we flush out. The texture, size, color, and the feeling each elicits are written with descriptive confidence complemented by an e.e. cummings style that distinctly identifies O. Persaud’s poetic style. This book is solid proof that there is such a thing as shitty poetry.
At first, I thought that Writer’s Block was dedicated to celebrating the U.S. National Bad Poetry Day. I stand corrected as I got hooked on these verses. To paraphrase Leslie Nielsen in his film The Naked Gun: I Love It! Clearly, something in Persaud’s poetry is working in his favor. Is it dedicating a volume of poems exclusively to discussing the semantics of shit? Is it his daring creativity to talk about something that many would not dare talk about? Is it because his poetry is a brilliant figurative examination of the human condition? I would say that all these elements come together effectively and build up this collection as an enticing read. I particularly like his take on the dung beetle and the creepy experience of being watched from a peephole while you’re shitting. Persaud finds sharp and witty observations that jolt you into awareness, and it’s what makes his poems so powerful and entertaining. Whether or not you’re into poetry, Writer’s Block is sure to entertain and provoke you.