Natalie Zina Walschots sounds like a horny chemistry major making marginalia, with an equal lust for an uncommonly poetic use of English as for composing the nerdiest and therefore sexiest sounding erotica ever.
empirical data tells us to expect
extreme reactivity between certain metals
a tendency to corrode and tarnish
sudden loss of ions
some require intense energy to be separated from their
others become stronger reducing agents
no matter the insulation
the aqueous solution
this electrochemical connection is volatile
while both metals have the same cubic structure
those with greater electronegativity values
are always more reactive
Rob McClennan, reviewing the other Insomniac Press poetry launch this season, Marcus McCann’s The Hard Return, points out that Paul Vermeersch’s last gig as editor was with Insomniac before moving to work at Wolsak and Wynn. Although neither Walschots nor McCann are premiering their poetry, Vermeersch’s presence is felt in the mastered control of extremely styled language, especially when comparing the two books against other seasonal launches from other presses. In addition to Vermeersch’s special touch, Walschots thanks Christian Bök in her acknowledgements, who acts as a literary omen for scientific and frenchified language.
She’s like a more erotic Jaime Forsythe, with the same cool tone.
cures for baldness
the third largest pizza delivery chain in North America
weapons of mass destruction
Walschots has two list poems in Doom, and this is the first of the two. The format is the message: the grouping together of all these quotidian phrases—quotidian whether on the street, in the papers, or on the 11 o’clock news—conveys a sort of industrialized uselessness of society. The title implies the confounding psychology of Lex Luthor, in regards to his interests in industry and crime, the latter being useless for his success in the former, as the same psychology of the real world. Blackwater, the private military company founded in America, is easily imagined as a real-world outlet for LexCorp’s hegemony. But Walschots focusses on a translation of the comic book world into the scientific and erotic world.
your entanglement, comrade,
heightens my value
болту́н — нахо́дка для шпио́на
your suckers interrogate
beak sharp as bottle cap
a knack for reconnaissance
scars gouge your shell
like an enraged mollusc
tendrils choke out
you embrace the toxic
wallow in inky sludge
seven-eyed, you tickle
my tentacle throat
you take everything
The Russian phrase in this poem could be an allusion to a specific situation in the Marvel universe or simply Omega Red’s KGB background. Walschots covers the linguisic territory of Nabokov; the Slavic tongue in the presence of her French and English makes a truly entertaining miryachit of the poetess, prone to epilepsy from double entendres. “A chatterbox is a treasure for a spy.” Walschots is the espionne of language. Only in Russian’s syntax does she impart this wisdom; a verbless phrase divided by a hyphen being a sentence structure that is entirely common to Russian, but seems so much more brusque to the anglophone or francophone eye.
Following this poem is the second list poem of the book. Walshots being the erotic writer that she is, this poem can be seen as a finale or climax, poetically or sexually, although whom it throws a Freudian light on is questionable.
black hole burst
grey goo scenario
vacuum metastability event
abrupt reposition of the Earth’s axis
massive flood basalt or supervolcano
nuclear, chemical or biological armageddon