Kristin Sanders's Cuntry makes for a difficult dinner topic. How do you bring up the subject of pussy at Applebee’s, the aftermath of the Me Too movement, or Cosby being released from prison? You’ll have a drink and say what you are thinking.
The book combines lyrics, rants, lines and prose about culture, country music, porn and sex, in a way that only the subconscious can reason with—this combination, quite sweetly, having no linear conclusion. “The failure of the confession. The failure of the penis. The failure of the cunt…” of the soul to be honest (p20 “When I tell people I grew up watching porn.”). “The internet is our sibling, bad egg, incestuous desire…”
In line and prose the poems blunt with humor and cynicism, in this dance that’s like having sex with someone new, or listening to anecdotes about your mom’s love life: it makes you uncomfortable at times, but you come back, it itches: mom’s advice about failing prevails again.
Shall you please be pleased by someone else, use or be used or both, copulation is relief and tragedy and opens the wonder of masturbation to find what you may in the nooks of your mind—how you’ll sell yourself, what you will sell yourself as, sometimes quite sincerely.
Brazen and cuntily female, the poems have an engaging vocal range. The author also mentions a past attempt at being a country music writer and some of the poems ring pleasantly with this experience. But a hidden charm flowers through the bluntness, a winked perversion, something like a smell or a curiosity, like talking to an ex: whys, why nots, what the spice could have been, could still be…
If Pop Art fused with YouTube, you could describe it as a Kristin Sanders style, but the novelty of these poems defeats such an intrusion. The poems are shockingly frank, difficult to quote or review without a tear—a real problem for what we poets will consider as subject matter, in what is thought to be feminine, appropriate, worthy of attention. When the shape meets sex, it disappoints us, but we can’t stop indulging it.
I had been dying to read some poems that sounded like 90s rock before opening this book, and voila: I find myself actively speaking to the author, with vivid questions, talking about porn, watching VH1 re-runs.
“After I have watched hours of videos, I touch my clit for a few seconds, and force takes me by the throat into the dark sweet corner of my mind.”(p29 “My therapist said”), “The ugly parts don’t look like porn” (p53 “Something In Red Sung By Lorrie Morgan”). Do the good parts? Or do they feel like what we think porn feels like? We all suffer from pornographic delirium, so “here is a neon vibrator / this one is fuschsia…”
To enjoy the wonderland of a cunt, I have been tagging this book along with laughter, dismay and stubborn inquisition as to what I should have known or been taught about the glorious cunt. What feels like vaginal anguish, delight, to be the one to submit, sing and cry “you could use the bristles and cuntpink paint…” p53, this thing in red, loud as hell, ringing bell of my unfolding. “The country object chokes. Gagging and drooling signify youth, fresh naivety submission. She submits… ” (p54 “The Cuntry Object Chokes”).
Foolish man, or woman’s ally, will choke or be bemused by this book, to see the cunt as a flower, hibiscus unfolding, a violent story of its own, oh the evil unfolding, the waters: it yanks something from you, pleasure, force, tears, violence, leaving you raw and burnt, if you are a guy like me, from the other side of how you fuck, a beautifully curled pen or spade “and what you don’t want—rape—force—to be unvoiced to have your own decision about your body plowed over, igonored—to have someone else make the decision to enter—” (p56 “I’ve never been raped.”). The beauty of Samsara, and to please someone with your mouth, your words—check it out, it’s got poetry and theatre.
Darryl / Dadou / Baron Wawa is a Port-au-Prince born Haitian-American who studied Photography and Creative Writing. He enjoys chocolate and good books. That said, maybe a movie is a good book. He loves to work with images and words and their pairing.