Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books. Collected Poems & Stories of Matt Borkowski edited by Dave Roskos.
book collects most of what has survived of Matt Borkowski’s poetry. Along with his novel SCORPION, Old Blood for New Sacraments comprises his Legacy & Testament (intentional Francois Villon comparison). Matt was the Reincarnation of Shelley, a Hobo with a head full of Hart Crane, Herbert Marcuse & The Bible, and an (almost) all-seeing eye (cept for those blind-spots, which he wrote of beautifully). Luckily for us, he took notes. Sadly, he is no longer with us in the flesh. Matt died on April 15th, 2017 at the age of 65. He was “a pure product of America.” This book is an essential contribution to the Literature of Addiction, and to American Poetry in general. “Matt Borkowski is certanly the street, neighborhood, gin-mill, guy at the end of the bar, Van Gogh fire hydrant Shelley, Elvis as God in The King of Kings of Kings, United States, damp steel and steal cold of urbanity, phone booth, refrigerator filled with beer, poet. Look, poetry isn’t a rich kid’s fenced playground. Here’s your two eggs over easy, wheat toast, pork sausages and coffee, black. Good Morning.” — Michael Basinski, long-time curator of The Poetry/Rare Book Collection at SUNY/Buffalo. “
“Matt Borkowski is a poet of the highest order, an outsider who defies categorization. Joe Weil calls him a “great American crank.” One with the descriptive facility to expose the sad beaten mutated spirit & the pathos of long shot hope comprising the contradictory conditions of 20th Century Merica.” — Andy Clausen
“Matt Borkowski is neither a leftist nor a reactionary, neither a street poet nor an academic. He is a great American crank, in the best tradition of W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Charles Ives, Hubert Selby, Algren….someone truly outside the establishment, including the anti-establishment. Matt cannot be read in comfort by either the right or the left. He is an ontologist of the dispossessed, the fucked up and broken beyond all class distinctions and political lines.” — Joe Weil
“Matt Borkowski is a Romantic Poet in the truest sense of the word. His uncompromising vision is ultimately not sustainable for the long haul, but what a fucking ride he takes us on. Take heed; these words damn, cajole, prod, amuse, haunt and lay bare the soul. You’ll be a richer person for the read.” — Danny Shot, editor of LONG SHOT Magazine.
“This new, handsome book, with a fine Art cover by the author, mimicking Picasso’s illustration of Lysistrata, is a worthy tribute to the late poet. … One of the most effective techniques Borkowski utilizes is, placing poets and writers from the canon, in a modern context, such as Shelley working as a gas station attendant. The incongruity of the subject matter effectively creates an ironic sense of what life has become, of what is important and what is not. Even the poets are reduced to taking menial jobs by a society who does not value its artists. … Many of the other poems in the collection cover themes and ways of life, on and off the street as, the fiction does, to varying degrees of success. My favorite of these is the running late bus poem which feels to me like a modern existential parable for the ages.” — Alan Catlin, from a review in MISFIT