Cop Kisser is a book of 18 poems in a variety of modes. Some are quasiconceptual, some repetitively relational, and some are hyperactive lyric collage. These modes have been ordered intuitively into what appears as a totalizing structure. Thus, it’s a big book, and deceptively so. Really there are only about two ideas in here. See if you can find them all! But be careful: don’t let Cop Kisser fool you. It doesn’t want to know what it’s about, and wasn’t written for the betterment of the reader. In fact, it was barely written. It’s just one of those things that showed up one day and refused to leave – like love, enemies, or authorship.
Like a breath of fresh air, Cop Kisser forces itself into the mouth, for taste, into the lungs, for expansion, and into a thin paper bag, for huffing that one that is the many that are repetitions of the nauseatingly delicious one. – Vanessa Place
By turning the tradition of “first I do this, then I do that” poems inside out, Steven Zultanski demonstrates that language today is nothing more than a never-ending series of hypertextual chains consisting of empty signifiers: One thing leads to another; nothing leads to anything. By doing so, Zultanski aligns writing’s current crisis brought on by the internet as having its roots in a century-old Existential problematics. Like a Beckettian hobo in a ditch on the side of a road trying to roll over onto his belly, these poems articulate crisis through the body and the bodily, underscoring the everwidening division between the corporeal and the linguistic, giving us a truly disembodied poetics. This is a dangerous book: wrapped in the guise of hijinks juvenilia is a dead-on critique and demonstration of what it means to be a writer today. – Kenneth Goldsmith
Steven Zultanski is desperately attempting to escape Buffalo NY. He is the author of Pad (2009) and edits President’s Choice magazine, a Lil’ Norton publication.