Book Review of George Anderson’s Dancing on Thin Ice

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George Anderson is clearly the best Canadian born underground poet living in Australia today. In fact, he’s among the best underground poets in the world today.

Take “Beerwigs/The Beerwig”. This poem about finding story titles in an old cookbook takes an experiment and runs with it. All five possible titles, from Beerwigs to Puke-O-Gram are vaguely epicurean and George fully analyzes the meanings of what a beerwig is and may be. He credits Google (search time .23 seconds) with the finds, but the bizarre search is in his neural canals. This weird poem shows his prowess as an experimental poet.

Other favorites of mine were “Vasectomy”, a funny piece about testicles the size of grapefruits and saving money; “On the Road” with the killer line “If not, I’ll suck your kerouac [sic] dry for a week”; “Fat Admirer (Feeder)” a full-poem lauding of a fat lover, “I miss the statistics-/ of coming home &/measuring your wobbling/ thighs” and “I miss the stacks-/ of frozen pizzas, the/ boxes of chips, scores/ of chili enchiladas/ & nuggets”; and “Tabarnak” which begins beautifully: “urinating methodically, luxuriously on the rear hubcap/ of a BMW…” and then tells the story of a night in jail with a deluged bully who thinks he’s in a hockey match.

This book is filled with sharp observations and told in a conversational pass-the-spliff (or bottle) tone. The cover (by Alan Corkish) is a kangaroo jumping across an icy street. This is one book, from a poet who really gets poetry and is quite experimental, that you need to have.

Dancing on Thin Ice

by George Anderson

Erbacce-Press 2008

40 pp

ISBN: 978-1-906588-29-8

Cover Price: £3.99 / $8.25