Next Analog Broadcast is the latest pocket-sized poetry collection from Sunnyoutside press from Buffalo and just as Charlie McGettrick’s excellent Everything Else We Must Endure was different from Micah Ling’s Sweetgrass, so this is different again. Where McGettrick ploughs an interesting English take on the Beats that seems to marry Bukowski or Kerouac with the music of The Vaselines, and Ling espouses a sort of pastoral muse that brings to mind the works of Annie Proulx or Thomas McGuane, Fasano is more contemporary (even as what he writes about, what he pines for, seemingly, is an irretrievable past that – whisper it – may not even have truly existed to begin with).
Opening with ‘Last Analog Broadcast’, which sticks a flag deep in the sand on ‘June 12, 2009’ when ‘Old TV is put to sleep’, claiming:
The signal stops.
The stories continue.
The collection then circles about, looking backwards, as in ‘Manual’ where he recalls days when:
Weathermen were fortune tellers.
Cocaine wasn’t considered addictive and cigarettes cost less than a buck.
Rock’n’roll used to ooze and skip out of twelve inches of wax, 8-tracks and cassette tapes.
And forward to a woozy now, where ‘It’s Saturday or maybe Tuesday’, and:
Nothing says success like a spray-on tan and a smile that goes ‘ding’.
You sense Fasano, like, say, Seth, isn’t too big a fan of the modern world:
When all the stuff they have isn’t enough stuff they stop, point and spend. The quick credit cards. The foot traffic and jerky chaos of this slow bustle. The violence of nothing important.
Certainly Fasano’s backward looking eye is endlessly entertaining. Whether it’s the tale of the day when he and his brother were kids (‘I was a monkey and my twin brother was a pirate in the school play’), or the wry tale of how he liked to buy sodas from the machine by the porn shop (‘The woman I was dating at the time didn’t believe that I went to the porn shop for sodas’), there are gems tucked away in here that warrant the odd reread or two. Where Fasano is less successful, oddly enough, is in writing about his life as the front of a band. Take the poem ‘J Snodgrass’ as an example:
Three weeks on tour
Napping away miles
Which feels a little lazy and cast off and in need of more careful arrangement. But the majority of the collection is interesting and thoughtful and filled with enough insight to warrant purchase.
Any Cop?: Not quite on a par with the McGettrick or the Ling but still worth a peruse.