“These extraordinary poems give us a good look at every aspect of life as we know it, with all of its beauty and human frailty exposed. Hilarious heartwarming poems, and some that may break your heart, each with a wonderful power all its own.”
–Carol Connolly, Saint Paul Poet Laureate
“KINK IN THE CHAIN is a poetry collection so powerful and vivid — yet subtle in all the right places — that I read it straight through in one sitting. Berriman’s sharp eye, sense of humor, and emotional honesty make this one of the best poetry collections I’ve read since Nickole Brown’s SISTER.”
— Laurie Lindeen, author of the memoir PETAL PUSHER
“Berriman’s poems are straight-talking us right from the title: Brutally Frank . . . Damn right they are, and stylistically they fall somewhere between Bukowski and Ginsberg and, in the short ones maybe myself. I read the whole damn book in a sitting, and I like that he writes fearlessly, unflinchingly, pulling no punches, and eliminating any purely connective punctuation or parts of speech: the last two lines of “Sam Shepard” are pure perfection. “Cinematographers” and “Where Will I Wear It?” are classics. The book could as easily have been titled simply Here’s What I Have To Say, and what he has to say is well said and well worth your time and money.”–Gerald Locklin, author of Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet and The Vampires Saved America
“There are times, when reading these poems, where one will slip through some sudden, invisible opening, and for a brief and blissful moment free fall inside the human soul.”
TD Mischke, Minnesota writer, musician, and radio talk show host.
“Berriman writes without pretension or artifice. He calls ’em as he sees ’em, and his poetry, like a cleaver, doesn’t just cut to the bone, it cuts right through it. This book traverses an array of subjects from trickle-down economics to sock folding, from Christ jamming Black Sabbath to Marcie going down on Peppermint Pattie. Berriman can be touching or raunchy, contemplative or pissed off, tender or violent. Read these poems and “taste his brain.”
— Matt Rasmussen, author of Black Aperture winner of the Walt Whitman Award, National Book Award Finalist
“In these poems Mark Berriman sees the small things. He writes the details – the hair on the nape of a lover’s neck, a child’s leg folded over a cat – like an old man watching and lost in past memories. But then he turns it about, and spits it out and makes demands of the world. Then he sounds like a young man full of frustration and swinging around to point a finger in your chest to punctuate a moment.” – Jack Sargeant, author of “Against Control – Essays on William S. Burroughs”
“Dancing in the boneyard / He is the man in the bunny / suit waving from the side / of the road.” These lines from a poem in Mark Berriman’s new collection, That Turned Ugly Fast, might well describe the poet himself. He twirls his subjects out and around in jitterbug language, taking on everything from corn syrup to the zipper merge. Sometimes he makes you laugh; sometimes he makes you cry. You won’t be bored, and don’t worry: it will be over too soon—almost before you know it.
–Joyce Sutphen, Poet Laureate, State of Minnesota
“While too much life passes without any acknowledgement of the exaltation that makes it worth slogging through, Kink in the Chain is a feast of blood, sex, and work — and imprisonment of all sorts — that makes mini-miracles out of minutia. Poetry this frank and funny “cuts you up,” as Berriman puts it, and his in particular leaves lasting scars on the hung-over stubble of our souls.”
— Jim Walsh, columnist, songwriter, and author of The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting: An Oral History
“We stand on the brink at the ending of time. Time was, Time is, Time will be no more.
And it’s The Big Bang Epiphany in the gap between thought and image voices streams
racing whispering through our blood pleading through our bones strange activities of
our nerves the unconscious life of our minds a tetrameter of iambs marching shouting
Voices Without Restraint alchemically transmutative symbol decipherment The Book
as Sacred Elixir Manger du Livre Eat The Book and I eat THAT TURNED UGLY FAST
by Mark Berriman the poet who is writing the apocalypse and I am never the same again.”
–Ron Whitehead, I Refuse I Will Not Bow Down I am Tapping My Own Phone
I Will Never Give Up poet