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Modern Absurdity

Modern Absurdity



Releases 1/10/23


Modern Absurdity, the new collection of poetry by Joseph Fulkerson, is comprised of previously unpublished poetry, selections from out of print small press chapbooks, and a new and revised edition of Snout Chasing Tail.



"This eclectic collection of poetry explores themes centered on the idea that life is irrational, illogical, incongruous, and without reason. Entries are organized into four basic groups: Snout Chasing Tail, Uncollected, Point of Diminishing Returns, and Asleep at the Wheel.


Told largely from the first person POV, there is a wellspring of emotion in this collection. It is sharp and at times acerbic. Terse, brisk verse conveys anger, bitterness, frustration, despair, ambition, fear, hopes and dreams. The collection also explores some themes of loneliness, restlessness, isolation, and regret.


There are some strong lines and vivid word pictures such as those drawn in Lost in Translation, Volcano Tears  and The Mechanism. Others, not so much. Entries like Screaming Into the Night and Sweet Symphony will resonate with writers. These people will also recognize the deep pool of emotion described in these particular entries as they relate to the writing craft. Indeed, there is a great deal of openness and transparency in this work which opens a window into the writer’s perspective on various aspects of life, relationships, politics, and Bigger Questions.


It is important to note that “absurdism” or “absurd” is a term used to describe the nonsensical, irrational aspects of life and that which is devoid of purpose. Thus, the verses in this collection do not fit into the pre-packaged, cellophane-wrapped cotton candy type. Indeed, there is little here that is tranquil, sanguine, or serene. Entries are typically hard-edged and flinty or truculent. Some readers will find the contents depressing and dark.


So Modern Absurdity is not going to be everyone’s cuppa. If you are looking for a collection of poetry that is sublime and uplifting, this is not it. And it does not pretend to be. However, if you gravitate toward something edgier, rougher, and more cynical, then Modern Absurdity resonates.


Modern Absurdity is described as a “new collection of poetry” that includes “previously unpublished poetry” and “selections from out-of-print small press chapbooks.” It is about six thousand words and contains “mild explicitly content.” 


Kristine L., Reviewer-Reedsy Discovery







“The fourth horseman blazes his own path and solidifies a well-established identity as he continues to grace the earth with the word, and the word is plenty and filled with the ramblings of philosophical musings only an insomniac poet such as Joseph Fulkerson can pull as he’s trying to grab hold onto some sense of normal in a world that’s been inverted while spinning furiously in circles on A Merry-go-round in Purgatory.”


- Tim Heerdink, author of Checking Tickets on Oumaumua, Razed Monuments, The Human Remains, Red Flag and Other Poems, Sailing on the Edge of Time, I Hear a Siren’s Call, Ghost Map, and A Cacophony of Birds in the House of Dread





Fulkerson's fourth poetry collection showcasing, yet again, his wit, honestly and dynamic style.


Snout Chasing Tail is Fulkerson's seventh book and his 4th full length collection of poetry. In it he documents the urgency, the profundity, and the absurdity of modern life.


From the opening poem, Snout Chasing Tail is reminiscent of Fulkerson's first full length poetry collection, The Glenmore Sessions. This collection, however, is far more tongue-in-cheek at times and celebrates Fulkerson's pointed cynicism as he explores modern life.


There are humorous pieces, such as 'Luck Favors the Risk Takers', which had echoes of beloved British poet Brian Bilston, and a few are a little indulgent and forgettable. But, Snout Chasing Tail improves as you read with the eponymous poem being utterly brilliant, capturing the honesty I've always enjoyed in Fulkerson's work.


This strength and dynamism is furthered in pieces like 'To My Former Self, from a Future Iteration', an incredibly moving piece, 'The United States of Dichotomy', a phenomenal indictment and a hope, and 'Death Comes on Twelve Wings', a visceral piece demonstrating Fulkerson's superb command of imagery and lexical choice. All of which are sublimely juxtaposed by pieces like 'Wad of Flesh'.


It is a timely and experimental collection reflecting upon life and how vastly it has changed while other things feel painfully stagnant. 'A Merry-go-round in Purgatory' is a perfect example of this and will resonate with many due to the isolation we have experienced in recent years. Snout Chasing Tail then draws to a touching close. Fulkerson paints a superb self-portrait before sharing a gorgeously heartwarming and soft final piece about being a honeybee.


At no point in this collection does Fulkerson attempt to hide or hinder the wonderful eclecticism of his work. It is what I have always enjoyed and admired Fulkerson for; he is a writer who responds wholly to the life he lives and the lives he witnesses. Thus, there is something for everyone in this collection - just as there was in The Glenmore SessionsBoth collections are highly recommended reads!


Kristiana Reed, Reviewer-Reedsy Discovery




5"x8" | 142 pgs | perfectbound paperback

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