David S. Pointer

Sinister Splashplay

3.5 pulses

In 2007, local poet and author of multiple chapbooks David S. Pointer entered a surgical technology program, which undoubtedly added a distinct clinical touch to the works of Sinister Splashplay—as well as some not necessarily subtle sexual and macabre tones that often hint at sadism.

Described as a “literary semi-post-apocalyptic steampunk nightmare,” it’s absolutely true that the poems are sometimes nightmarish, sometimes seemingly set in a post-apocalyptic world, and they are also adventurous, foreboding and erotic in their evocation, with a musical quality in the syntax.

The tongue enjoys the feel of describing the ghosts in “Air Trackers”:
Sometimes they
take a floatation bath
figuring out how to
kill us all on the way
to bone dust mountain;

or the fate of some unfortunate character for which “Miss Splattitude” was named:
She’ll end unzen an
elongated stain
under a hearse’s
heavy exhaust,”

or vapor tails fishtailing fantastic in “All for Song.”

There are guitars, ships, embalming, diesel fuel, lights, dancing, pirates, planets, petroleum, napalm, Marie Antoinette one time and alcohol coloring in a futuristic, science fiction world. For all the clinical-speak and often celestial imagery, the language of Sinister Splashplay is not academic, mechanical or remote, but very familiar, and very sensual. This steampunk motif is only a vehicle and a setting that accentuates the slight but deeply humanistic glimmerings: the unearthly is likened to the earthly, creating a sort of other-dimension normalcy—even in a sci-fi world, there are still parties, beer and bands.

Uncomfortable imagery is medical, visual and simultaneously tangible—to ducts creating bowel blisters like fat red bullets bleeding out on “Overhead Monitors”—and Pointer uses italics and boldface to depict color, tone and sound effects on “Anti-Reservation Research.” The poems evoke all the colors of anger, sex, fear and enjoyment, splashing and oozing in black, silver and red.

Overall, the collection comes off like a weird fetishist’s dream, and it tastes wonderful to read.


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