LAURA CARTER Reviews
Hello, My Meat by Daniel Beauregard
(Lame House Press, 2015)
What, exactly, is the spectacle? Illustrated beautifully by Guy Benjamin Brookshire, and written in lovely, meandering lines by Daniel Beauregard, Hello, My Meat tells us exactly what we might find there. We might find a “butterfly world air permeated” or “Mr. Milktoast,” and Beauregard lets us know that Mr. Milktoast watches out for us as we seek to take on America and to celebrate the American dream in so many ways that are so fulfilling, no? We learn about pageantry, Victorians, and the Queen who is deficient in conversation. We learn about the beauty of the naked body, buffed and prime.
Beauregard gives us a perspective that we may not have heard of before, with questions like, “How far will the salt penetrate?” and “extra gasoline edible viscera.” That’s what it’s all about, and a picture of Sigmund Freud lets us in on the truth of the cigar-smoking, analytical man behind the whole thing. Beauregard tells us that “we mounted the shaggy ponies” and that there is “the latest American hairdo from New York.” We also learn about “Pagan sloop Roman-nosed goats” who populate the winds of the spectacle, blowing as American pageants do. This brilliance doesn’t seem to end.
The book is relatively brief, as chapbooks often are. We have many enjambed lines and many lines that lack punctuation in this homage to the beautiful. We learn about how “springs stick out in great humps,” about how the spring that never runs out of water is the great American epic poem. I am surprised by the ending, though, which is “the vintage of a century.” Are we Victorians? Are we moderns? Maybe we need a critic to come in and write about this book from the perspective of some –ism, but maybe not. I don’t think a critic could do this book justice. Only a cannibal could.
Laura Carter lives in Atlanta. Other reviews have appeared in The Fanzine and Atticus Review.