Read American Mastodon by Brad Ricca Free Online
Book Title: American Mastodon|
The author of the book: Brad Ricca
Edition: Black Lawrence Press
Date of issue: December 13th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780982876626
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 468 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.8
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In this collection of poetry, Brad Ricca seems to ask the question “What is heroic and what is monstrous?” Ricca pieces together the ideas that not everything is as it is leading you to believe on the television screen.
There is a lot of reflection on superheroes and super-villains, both the ones found in comics and the real life equivalents, which include senators, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and regular people.
One notable poem is “Ode to Bruce Wayne”, which reflects on the humanity of Bruce’s decision to beat in faces every night rather than settle down with a wife and live a peaceful and comfortable life. Perhaps the most influential of images is when “Alfred draws the heavy drape to obscure the signal, just this once, as you dream of pennies, Zorro, pearls” (page 41-42).
Whereas “Super-Villain Team Up” is a hilarious take on the villain’s viewpoint when he knows he is going to win, especially in the line “We engage in obnoxious clichés heard on late-model TVs in Missouri” (page 30).
Even simple things like a restless night get heightened qualities, such as “the hours between three and four are the worst. They are full of cold black flies clinging to the walls” (page 34). Or, the powerful creation of a delicious sandwich, described with terms such as “ham in rolls like sleeping bags’' and “herb dill mayonnaise the color of skin” (page 23).
In addition, there is the ridiculous humor of the man who will “equip the Statue of Liberty with deadly red eye beams” after he “[severs] all ties with Scotland”, so that the statue “cuts with destructive force all incoming boats” (page 43).
Don’t forget the title poem, which deserves to stand out for its originality and subject matter that reflects both the extinct creature’s former life and the “larger than life” people of modern American society. Humans and ideas that are the mastodons of society, and that are struck down by corporate greed, sinful waste, and human error.
In only his first collection of poetry, Brad Ricca already shows the reader what a poem about modern culture should be. His words and creations lurk like the tar pits waiting to snatch mastodon-sized beasts into their traps. Such traps should be sprung, in the same way as American Mastodon should be enjoyed.
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Read information about the authorBrad Ricca is the author of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation (St. Martin's, 2017). He is also the author of Super Boys, winner of the 2014 Ohioana Book Award in Nonfiction, winner of a 2014 Cleveland Arts Prize for Emerging Artist in Literature, and a Booklist Top 10 Book on the Arts. He is also the author of American Mastodon, winner of the 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award. He is a SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University and lives with his family in Cleveland.
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