Retain Parts Destroy Parts

This quarter-sized B&W zine (self- described as “Poetry and Crap”), is a random collection of author Matt Abramson’s rants and musings. There’s definitely a poetic quality to some of his writing, with truthful lines like “and the quiet that you had welcomed gradually becomes louder than the noise you wanted gone.” And although it includes a few poems, I wouldn’t call this a poetry zine. Rather, these are pages of thoughts you might expect from a disillusioned twenty-something with a typewriter.

The zine does have a slightly immature flavour; marked by raw, somewhat clichéd sentiments and spotted with the word “Fuck.” There’s a lot of profanity in here, which lends a sharp edge to some phrases and trips up others. For instance, “Fucktard” is a terrible word and an awful way to end a poem.

What this zine has in raw, get-it- out emotion, it lacks in to developed thoughts. Matt briefly visits ideas of maturity, but he’s still camped out in his late twenties. In a moment of self- awareness, Matt even laments “before I know it I’m gonna be 30/ and still thinking like a 19-year-old/ son of a bitch.” The final two pages are a hard juxtaposition: “Quit Smoking” is a tidy and poignant reflection on foresight, while “In Conclusion” lives in the self- gratifying immediacy of now.

The piece “iTherapy” unfortunately stood out as particularly hypocritical: Matt complains about people posting their “dirty laundry” on blogs, while he himself is doing the same thing in zine form: His claims that “no one cares and no one wants to hear about it” negates the other 30 pages where he airs his own soiled linens. Most of his ideas resonated with themes of loneliness, doubt, and cynicism, but I kept wishing he’d write short stories instead of short poems to provide more detail.

This zine would be more interesting if Matt had taken a deeper exploration of his thoughts. There are a few good pieces in here, but I was left with the impression that I’ve seen it all before. (Rod Dickinson)

Zine, issue 8, Matt Abramson, retainthisdestroythat@gmail.com

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