Or as Pink subtitles it, "A beautiful nice poem". Now I´m no stranger to Pink´s prose, having previously read Person and Witch Piss, but it´s the first time I have dived into the madness of his poetry. I´m with him on the beautiful part, even I have a slight different definition of nice.
It would be easy to write a 2000 word essay about depression and suicide but ain´t no need for that, Sam Pink did that one already and he did it better than - maybe not everyone else - but at a minimum better than I would be able to do.
Kind of similar as to everybody´s darling Melissa Broder´s @sosadtoday Twitter account you have to laugh about the dark things in life in Your Glass Head Against The Brick Parade of Now Whats as not completely get bend out of shape. It simply would hurt too much otherwise. Sam Pink doesn´t care one bit to be "empowering" or "uplifting", he chases demons instead. His prose poetry in Your Glass Head Against The Brick Parade of Now Whats - the title is borrowed from a sentence in the book - is pretty messed up and dark and ... alright, it´s depressive as fuck; if you let it affect you that way.
There is a reoccuring theme, or a pattern, of the "firing squad"; from "talking shit" to "spitting at" to "making friends" to "laughing at" where life is like that. From depressing to overwhelming to "Smiling/laughing more not out of joy but out of a feeling like, ´Yeah, fuck this.´"
(Unrelated fun fact: Since 1960 there have been three executions of death row inmates in the USA by firing squad, all in Utah.)
Which the masochist in me appreciates, not the death sentence by firing squad, but the writing. I would think (almost) everyone has those thoughts once in a while, which makes Pink´s stream of consciousness style so endearing and charming. Those mental pictures of my own which makes myself creep out, just Sam Pink writes them down and makes a book out of it, where despair is established in a lackluster of a reality that happens exclusive in his dark thoughts. Or like if you are standing in an empty room, alone, and the walls suddenly demand to know what you think is going to happen. Doesn´t sound like much fun to me.
Still, I feel like with his honesty he is taking a bullet for the team. He has the tools (words) to talk about all those shitty things in life, which makes it even more exciting to be alive, and indeed read about what is not only Pink´s darkness but everybody´s, one way or the other, including my own. It is powerful in a way that is unique to Pink and Pink alone, and actually not very far from his more usual books. His sarcasm comes across as wildly inappropriate, but that´s kinda the point of sarcasm. "Death like the slow addition of more and more tiny weak hands to your throat until it works. And it works. Man, I´m telling you, it works."
From my previous reading of Pink I always left with an impression he never quite fits in, even he is not above making fun of himself as well, "Given that I´m everyone´s favorite all the time." Writing in a landscape that values different things than his characters who have nowhere to go and nowhere to be, even it is clearly designed as something born from the consequence of the times we live in, where there are "Ideas instead of personalities. Moments instead of life. Like who the fuck left me here."
The whole book is like tidbits, drawn from every day life, that seemed - apparently - funny in this ha-ha kind of way, or remarkable, born from self-loathing without being able to distance himself/itself from it, like "a photo of myself holding a picture of the earth and doing a thumbs down." From "Painful periods of no self-worth" to "Painful periods of high self-worth."
Even yeah, I totally acknowledge that any kind of comparison is unfair and vague and does a disservice to Sam Pink. I do guess that you have to be pretty fucked up, and knowing it, to enjoy the dark humor which is between the pages. For what it is worth Sam Pink can do in a single sentence things other authors would have to write an 800-page novel to bring the same point across. It helps that this beautiful and nice poem is written like prose, using full sentences and once or twice full chapters, instead of fragments of thoughts where you have to piece together the context of what is happening.
What Pink isn´t, is sentimental. The book is like a bored, lifeless, frustrated person full of sadness and suicidal tendencies, "Shooting yourself in the back of the head while smiling at yourself in the mirror.", but never ever sentimental. Something real, a human personality.
Now excuse me, I´m off to listening to some JapaNoise or Free Jazz to get my brain back in working order. "Which means on to new problems. Because why not?"