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30 review for This Planet is Doomed: The Science Fiction Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Troy S

    "I will take you to inner unseen worlds." After a small period of acclamation I recognized these poems as maximal unrestrained micro-thesis' by a mad genius in sparse but tempestuous vocabulary. There are awesome claims of Earth being analogous to a black hole, that our gravity is the same force that sucks celestial bodies into the depths of those spacious abysses. Many poems reminded me of Holbein, where beyond the politics, the art, the music, the black, the white, the bodies, there is death. "I will take you to inner unseen worlds." After a small period of acclamation I recognized these poems as maximal unrestrained micro-thesis' by a mad genius in sparse but tempestuous vocabulary. There are awesome claims of Earth being analogous to a black hole, that our gravity is the same force that sucks celestial bodies into the depths of those spacious abysses. Many poems reminded me of Holbein, where beyond the politics, the art, the music, the black, the white, the bodies, there is death. Except Sun Ra finds something even further beyond that- the stars. Death is a manifestation of space, and death on a macrocosmic level is closer than ever. A recurring image in these poems is that big red button that with so little stimulation can send the whole world into flames, and back into stardust. But fuck the earthman anyways, man. Space is the place.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    The second book from the new imprint Kicks, which features retro cover designs and seems, from its initial offerings, to focus on urban themes. To cut to the quick: How does Sun Ra stack up as a poet? His usual themes are here--peace, hate, human divisiveness, a yearning for better world--and one could easily imagine many of these poems either being sung by Ra's band or chanted over his music. The notes with the book tell us that some of poems here were transcribed from spoken performances, now The second book from the new imprint Kicks, which features retro cover designs and seems, from its initial offerings, to focus on urban themes. To cut to the quick: How does Sun Ra stack up as a poet? His usual themes are here--peace, hate, human divisiveness, a yearning for better world--and one could easily imagine many of these poems either being sung by Ra's band or chanted over his music. The notes with the book tell us that some of poems here were transcribed from spoken performances, now available on record (from Norton Records, Kicks Books parent). Ra's poems remind me of Bukowski's--straight talk, lines you can easily hear someone speaking to you. Lines cutting to the marrow of the issue, eschewing sentimentality, rainbows, and unicorns. Elements common cultivated in traditional Western poetry aren't here: rhyme, scansion, rhetorical tropes, a knowledge of lexicography, etc. Bukowski's poems don't have them, either. Instead, the treasure here is the directness of the work, the knowledge that you can come to the work without a key, and it will still open and speak to you.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Sun Ra is better known as a musician, his avant garde jazz part of the Afro American cultural and intellectual 60s revolution, Amiri Baraka writes of his shows in Harlem, far out clothes, amazing sounds. I love it all in theory, turns out I quite like the music though I have to be in the right kind of mood. I like the poetry too, more than the music I think though I am sure that is just my own preference for words and the way they mean more to me than sounds. For Sun Ra, of course, it was more Sun Ra is better known as a musician, his avant garde jazz part of the Afro American cultural and intellectual 60s revolution, Amiri Baraka writes of his shows in Harlem, far out clothes, amazing sounds. I love it all in theory, turns out I quite like the music though I have to be in the right kind of mood. I like the poetry too, more than the music I think though I am sure that is just my own preference for words and the way they mean more to me than sounds. For Sun Ra, of course, it was more about the sounds, and the music angels & demons my music sings of the discipline of depths and darkness of space as matter and matter of outer space as tone, and it relates--reaches through the void to stars beyond the places of thought--worlds without names This comes through very strongly in some of his poems that play with words and repetition. But I found this collection so poignant and deep, along with far out and strange -- but the point is that this earth, this humanity is so messed up, that anything true and real and good must come from elsewhere. Sun Ra insists that he is from another planet, some solar system far away from this world of death and hate. Impossible to critique such a rejection and method of coming to terms with yourself and this world's realities. I don't know any others that actually work when this rings true: I am strange I am strange I have a potent degree of love that is so unwise in one world that it is wisdom in another I am strange I no longer have respect for hate for I am stronger than hate I am contemptuous of both those who hate and those who destroy I am not a part of the world which hates and the world which destroys and I know the feeling that comes late at night sometimes when you just think that change is impossible, that the awfulness is immutable the damneded air around the earth circles the infinity of the damneded air the damneded inheritance of the earth are the same vibrations it ever was we need new air we need air that vibrates with the sound of another kind of mind we need the beam of the future to strike the earth like the lightening and the power of a thunderbolt in order that the dying embers of the past should suddenly be extinct and I know the desire to laugh in the face of despair and claim victory at the end of it all opposing forces I never resisted them they think I did it was only pretense desires I projected to them were my non-resistant weapon shield of defense I did not desire what they thought I desired neither now nor ever then non-resistance became my resistance my resistance is my non-resistance do they challenge? I have already won the victory I can imagine finding comfort in the death's bottom line blessed be the dehydrated brain uncompromising annihilations death is greater than life blessed be the name of death for in its hands is perfect equality for every man damn these skins and creeds and stupid beliefs that separated the millions of tribes of men blessed be the bones that lie bleached in the sand, the skeleton that hangs dancing in the wind blessed be the dehydrated brain that can no longer persecute and think evil thoughts or perpetrate or perpetuate evil deeds blessed be these for in the lack of life or where there's not life there's no pain and misery I feel all these things having just fought for a better world, I don't know what it's like for a black kid born in 1914 and growing up in Alabama. Some little girls dream they're actually princesses switched at birth, Sun Ra dreamed he came from somewhere far away, and turned that into a social critique and a powerful way of looking at America from the outside. It is not a pretty sight. I am not sure the ramifications of a better place existing in another solar system, far far away, but there is always hope in a vision of something better.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I want to stand on a mountain and wave this book around and yell and scream and tell everyone to read it! Sun Ra takes what we don't see or believe, and weaves together open feeling with imagination. Who's to say it isn't real? I want to live in Sun Ra's world, in Sun Ra's mind, but maybe I already do. Maybe I'm just closing myself off to the wonders that already exist. Maybe we all are. He is just a disciple, sent here to remind us of all of these chimerical and scientific rhythms of nature, I want to stand on a mountain and wave this book around and yell and scream and tell everyone to read it! Sun Ra takes what we don't see or believe, and weaves together open feeling with imagination. Who's to say it isn't real? I want to live in Sun Ra's world, in Sun Ra's mind, but maybe I already do. Maybe I'm just closing myself off to the wonders that already exist. Maybe we all are. He is just a disciple, sent here to remind us of all of these chimerical and scientific rhythms of nature, music, living, love, art... I took so many notes from this book, that if I was to share all of them here, there would be no point in you reading it yourself. Instead, I'll share one poem, which does no justice at all. "other planes of life" they cannot seem to accept me because I'm not supposed to be real they think that they're the only real they think that their way of life is the only life thus, instead of a friendly handshake or mutual recognition not caring to understand that I really am I and that I'm truly being and cosmically alive if they would rise above their wisdom they could see me as I am and they would understand that there are other planes of life greater than the plane they know all around them are other ways to greater wisdom but with eyes shut and ears closed they listen to their inner voices within their recorded voices of their abolished god of the past

  5. 5 out of 5

    Peter Landau

    THIS PLANET IS DOOMED is a great title, one that we can all get behind, and it’s about time someone came out and said it. Not just someone, but Sun Ra. Little did I know that he had been writing poetry since he was nine years old, almost as long as he has been composing music. This collection of recently unearth work by the man from Saturn is a journey through time and space, dimensions unfamiliar, for we are like the fish asking what’s water. We need Sun Ra to tell us what we before now didn’t THIS PLANET IS DOOMED is a great title, one that we can all get behind, and it’s about time someone came out and said it. Not just someone, but Sun Ra. Little did I know that he had been writing poetry since he was nine years old, almost as long as he has been composing music. This collection of recently unearth work by the man from Saturn is a journey through time and space, dimensions unfamiliar, for we are like the fish asking what’s water. We need Sun Ra to tell us what we before now didn’t know so we can know what we don’t already.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Astonishing... sure half the time i didn't follow but my consciousness isn't that developed... what i could follow was hyperconcious synesthetic space waves of pure multimusical cosmic light notably the earth is a hole in space i am strange the outer darkness science of change the cosmic eyes the past is a dream the universe is endless the government of death light from other worlds

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Sun Ra is the stuff of legend, and this collection (at times) works best as cosmo-futurist beat poetry. Unfortunately at worst it can start to feel formulaic and redundant. That said, even after it started to wear thin, certain poems could still transcend the very formula to resonate again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    Best to read this before sleep for strange dreams.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Anne

    Sun Ra's poetry is excellent! Definitely a recommended read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    I agree with another review on here that points out that while some of these poems hit hard, working in a trance-like mode, discussing cosmic content, other ones feel ineffectively repetitive.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim Ivy

    Anything by Sun Ra is a great read, so the only reason this got 4 stars from me is that it is a short read and was over too soon. I did have the extreme pleasure of purchasing the limited edition version from the fine folks at Norton that comes with the Sun Ra medallion and ribbon bookmark as well as the Sun Ra-ish hat!!!! A gift that will keep on giving. Trying to get it all to fit back into the custom box it came in, however, took some time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joana

    is reality less true than dreams since dreams spring from calls we thought in rebellion

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dana Jerman

    I wanted this to be better overall. Ra does get some killer lines in, tho'. The copy I have from Kicks Books in Brooklyn printed one poem twice.

  14. 4 out of 5

    gdg

    Very glad to have read this. I'm sure to return to it. Very inspiring! Thank you Sun Ra!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Carbery

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Sophie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rose Nobleza

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reagan Richmond

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  23. 5 out of 5

    M

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Castillo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

  27. 5 out of 5

    Skip Heller

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  30. 4 out of 5

    João Gil

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