Dead On, In Spite of Everything


Dead Ringer
By Charles Borkuis (Blazevox Books, 2017)

The idea of the doppleganger, identity theft and mix up of characters has always played a big part in literature since early on. The piece that initially always comes to mind is Dostoyevsky's "The Double."

In Charles Borkhuis new book of poetry Dead Ringer, we get just that same awkward feeling of mixed and misplaced identity. It is fraught with biting satire, fierce statements of who we are and might or might not be, "that tiny voice again warbling help me, help me" while we/he wander(s) about the chaotic landscape with our/his "identity as the creation of others" as if "words and things were cut from the same suit." As "a lifetime of loose strings come to dance," "nodding in mirror-rhythm," and we never knowing "who's speaking and who's an echo." Borkhuis makes us realize that identity is never a sure thing, that "there is no there" and that life is "a sonata for flies," "an accident," "a tangle of events." "Inside the nothing there's the rest of us" so pick up this book, "roll over the words" and "watch the world squirm by" as you try to figure out who you are or who you are NOT. - Steve Dalachinsky

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Dalachinsky is a writer, poet, and jazz expert. He's released numerous collections of his poetry, including the PEN award winning The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse) and a 2008 collaboration with Matthew Shipp, Logos and Language: A Post-Jazz Metaphorical Dialogue (Rogueart).