Andrew Demcak has the ability to enter forbidden rooms of dark thoughts with his uncensored erotic poetry, allowing the reader to nurture fantasy and physicality like few other poets. In response to the artist to whom this book is dedicated - Matthew Hittinger whose newly published NARCISSUS RESISTS is already drawing accolades from those who know his work as well as those discovering him - Demcak's five poem chapbook PINK NARCISSUS is a remarkably mature theme on a variation.
While Hittinger's Narcissus is in many ways a time travel exploration of the mythical Narcissus, placing him squarely in the challenges of a contemporary milieu, Demcak's PINK NARCICCUS (in part a dual response to Hittinger's poetic realization and the 1971 movie by the same name that according to Demcak may have been the first American Gay film) focuses on the sexual musings of this quixotic character. In these brief pages Demcak's Narcissus flickers in odd films that conjure sexual fantasies, as in #3:
'For example: he pictures one day being tried, exposed before a Roman
That wish-water postmark of a slave-boy.
Condemned by the fine bend of his cock.
Later, in a male harem, the next scene, his beaded phallus performs.
Heaven on location, otherworldly lighting.
Scrims settle over a public urinal.
His pubic hairs are plucked, guttural, in boredom.
Upright fingers in marble bas-relief, mortal mirrors.'
Demcak has approached Hittinger's superb work much the way music composers pay homage to colleagues, e.g. Brahms' 'Variations on a Theme by Haydn', Rachmaninov's 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini', among others. In doing so he enriches our experience with Hittinger's work while continuing to prove his own important standing as a poet unafraid to explore shrouded psyches. An excellent accomplishment and an exciting poetic response to a current colleague! And it is stunningly set off by the art of Didi Menendez who also published this fine work.