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Marcelijus Martinaitis:

(translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Sruoginis)

Mr. Cogito (Vol. IX, # 1, 1993)
PO Box 66124
Portland OR, 97266


These poems are all focused on one "Kukutis," who is a quasi-mythical person representing a broad sense of cultural identity that is often described as missing or ineffable. Given Lithuania's recent history, the political/social resonance of this is clear and is at times quite explicit. Most of these poems, however, are also filled with a surrealistic beauty: "All these years I haven't eaten anything--/ the mine explosions scattered my insides/ all over the branches/ and made a mouth harmonica out of my teeth" (from "Kukutis' Application to Receive Temporary Relief Aid"). The book is introduced by the author. It is a pleasure to encounter this work, and in a translation that reads well in English.--John M. Bennett

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #4,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press