The Absinthe Literary Review, Book Reviews Spring 2002
B O O K   R E V I E W

Spring  2002

Diary of a Seducer by D.A. Blyler and William Reichert  



Diary of a Seducer
Poetry by D.A. Blyler
Drawings by Marcus Reichert
Carrboro: Gallery Americas (1996)  88 pages,  $17.95

The layout of Diary of a Seducer includes a poem by D.A. Blyler on the left page and one of Marcus Reichertís black and white line drawings on the right. A natural marriage, one might say. At times, Blylerís poetry lends a substance that augments and improves the raw emotive message of Reichertís art. At other times, the poetry stands as a bothersome accompaniment that seems merely to defuse and distract. The device works best when image and text come together to form a seamless mass of messageóthe poem standing not so much as a comment on the primitive childlike scrawl but as a cry emanating from the art itself. Unfortunately, poem and image are more often at odds than in accord. 

Blyler in the introduction, states that Reichertís images helped release him from an emotional and artistic constipation of sorts. In some of his works, this rings true and we see a release from formalism that captures the crude but considered temper of Reichertís scribbling; in others, however, we canít help but feel the poet working too obviously, seeking to imbue the poem with heavy-handed personal meanings that distort the image more than strengthen or capture its spirit. In such cases, both poem and image would have fared better alone, unaccompanied. We also cannot condone Blylerís no-cap style. As usual, we see little justification for its employment other than an embarrassment of hubris and/or laziness. (Despite our appreciation of experiment, ALR will never sanction the ďdistillation of formĒ argument in poetry when it reveals itself in such a generic and maddeningly done form.) We can recommend Diary of a Seducer for its interesting blend of abstract expressionism and straightforward poetic imagery, but you probably wonít find us shouting its praises from the street corner anytime in the near future.  


For more information on this title, visit: