Appetite is a book that explores our American Mythologies, particularly masculinity and film. Smith investigates our fascinations with the body, gender, and entertainment in poems that are critically observant, darkly funny, darkly angry, and, sometimes, heartbreaking.
Whether he is cataloging shirtless men in films and bad television, lyricizing the anxieties of childhood, or redrawing the lines of cultural membership, Appetite attacks its subjects with wit, candor, and compassionate intensity. These poems announce their presence with a style that is as beautifully wrought as it is provocative.
In the America of Appetite, the usual hierarchies are obliterated: the disposable is as valuable as the traditional, pop culture is on the same level as the sacred, and the pleasurable simultaneity of past and present are found in high art and the tabloid. Smith’s work engages our contemporary moment and how we want to think of ourselves, while nodding to rich poetic, cultural, and personal histories.
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Table of ContentsContents 1. Men in Groups Men in Groups Safe Lucky Fatal Attraction, 1987 (Movie Review and Trivia) Fat Ass Psalm (Queer) Hurtful Jesus Poem (Pierre et Gilles) Fire Island, June 2008 Spring Rush 2. Celebrity Photo Sometimes I Want a Gun Film Short: Husband and Wife in a Grocery Store He Only Reads Fiction Celebrity Photo (Daniel Craig w/ Angelina Jolie) The Problem with Straight People (What We Say Behind Your Back) Boogie Nights, 1997 (Movie Review and Trivia) After All These Years You Know They Were Wrong about the Sadness of Men Who Love Men 3. I Love the Part I Love the Part 4. Prodigal What It Feels Like to Be Aaron Smith Diesel Clothing Ad (Naked Man with Messenger Bag) Antibiotic (West Virginia, 2010) Psalm (Boston) What I Wanted (Age 8) Casino Royale, 2006 (The Blue Speedo and Daniel Craig) Christopher Street Pier (Evening) Prodigal 5. Appetite Appetite Make Him Think You Could Pull a Gun Notes on Contributors What Christians Say During Sex The Earth Spins Toward Oblivion While We Ride Trains Anonymous Psalm (West Virginia) West Side Highway (Meditation) Train (Hymn) Notes Acknowledgments