The Sugar Book
Fiction | Poetry | Other | 5.5″x7″, 208 pp., paperback
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Doubling down on his trademark misanthropic imagery amid a pageantry of the unpleasant, Johannes Göransson strolls through a violent Los Angeles in this hybrid of prose and verse…. The motifs are plentiful and varied, including constant reworkings of image-driven ideas, among them prostitution, pubic hair, Orpheus, law, pigs, disease, Francesca Woodman … and the speaker’s hunger for cocaine and copulation….. Fans of Göransson’s distorted poetics will find this a productive addition to his body of work.
Sends its message like a mail train. Visceral Surrealism. His end game is an exit wound.
—Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle, Fanzine
As savagely anti-idealist as Burroughs or Guyotat or Ballard. Like those writers, he has no interest in assuring the reader that she or he lives, along with the poet, on the right side of history.
—James Pate, Entropy Magazine
Goransson uses language smeared with bodily fluid and sex, language spackled with violence and death (in addition to literal bodies in states of otherness, objectification, violation, and evisceration), in mini-Ars Poeticas and commentary on the state of art and the art scene…. It takes the reader far beyond their comfort zone, as poetry should. Just like Los Angeles herself, the poems inhabit that glittering/grotesque duality of Kardashian Family and Manson Family.
—Carleen Tibbetts, American Microreviews
The book is a whisky genre-bender in a haunted Los Angeles.…. [The Sugar Book is] a tome in which vomit, semen (lots and lots and lots), and mercury poisoning drip from page after page. I’m not sure that even Rimbaud would title a poem “My Sperm Gets in the Flowers.”
—Johnny Payne, Cleaver Magazine
We live by breathing oxygen, but we also die because of oxygen. We live feeding on nature, but we also die because of nature. But, Everyone, do you realize, as you live, the fact that you are citizens of Nature, citizens of Earth? We drink silver, and we are just those who have immigrated to a movie that features Nature. Immigrant is the Observer. Observer is the poet. Poet has several bodies. I that acts and I that observes the I that acts. I that follows the I that observes. I that records and condenses. Johannes Göransson’s poetry is a bang bang – art of these I’s. A film of the Earth’s paths seen through the eyes of someone with an out-of-body experience. And poetry that has smashed the boundaries of genre. Like the mandala of Potala Palace I have seen in Tibet, Göransson condenses within a single poem the inside and outside of Nature’s and Earth’s time. It’s as though his poetry takes us to the forest in Lars von Trier’s Anti-Christ, where it’s filmed, but then suddenly we find ourselves standing in front of a vanished movie theatre of our home. Göransson’s poetry is a film that Death peeks at, the scene of shooting the film, the film shot on a roll of film, the movie theatre, the Arcadia. A single poem is the world’s interior and exterior, it convulses wildly like an animal that has eaten the poem’s interior and exterior all together with silver. bang bang.
“I make a language out of the bleed-through.” Göransson sure as fuck does. These poems made me cry. So sad and anxious and genius and glarey bright.
excerpts from The Sugar Book
Book trailer by Paul Cunningham
about the author
In addition to his Tarpaulin Sky Press titles The Sugar Book (2015), Haute Surveillance (2013), and entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (2011), Johannes Göransson has published three other books of his own writings—A New Quarantine Will Take My Place, Dear Ra, Pilot (“Johann the Carousel Horse”)—and several books in translation, including Dark Matter and With Deer by Aase Berg, Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland, and Collobert Orbital by Johan Jönson.