Book Cover

This 66-poem selection includes an introduction by author Angela Yuriko Smith and artwork by erotic illustrator Martini. Early on, readers are invited to embark on a graphic journey through gay sex, love, and self-loathing. There’s no shortage of strong language, whether from a speaker who refers to himself as “a zombified fucktoy” (“Erased”) or another who struggles to reconcile thoughts that spring from “the darkest, most fucked up corners of my brain” (“Yellow Hands”). Repeated motifs of muscles, sweat, and metal lend a visceral quality to Gold’s words, urging readers to sit with their own physicality in a way that will enliven some readers and disturb others—but the poet makes no apologies for creating works that aren’t for the fainthearted, nor should he. The accompanying artwork features muscled titans, often twisting themselves into unfathomable positions as stars spin in the background, which perfectly matches the ethereal verses. Sprinkled with occasional double entendres (“How often I wandered streets where every door was a closet”), the poems reference everything from biology (“bacterial nothingness”; “mitochondrial urges”) to Greek mythology: “tremendous undulations of their bodies, rocking in hot bedchambers consigned to some protean-fetishized hell, raged with an unforeseen Hadean desire, hungrily groping the night” (“Rêves Érotiques: Ancient Desires”). Through it all, Gold remains consistent in his dedication to dreamlike visions, even as he tackles such weighty issues as hatred (directed inward and outward) and physical and emotional and pain. The result is a bleak but beautiful series of works, full of haunting, lyrical introspection.


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