Within the confines of the strikingly minimalistic book covers of Faber & Faber lives Riviere’s ultra relevant display of society’s ephemeral artifice. Love her or (more likely) hate her, Kim Kardashian is a cornerstone for all things now. With her own book recently released, in the form of a faux-art book, she represents, in so many ways, the aspects of society we haven’t quite grown comfortable with yet. Riviere’s collection has no doubt had a few sales attributed to its connection to the buxom business mogul, despite the collection having, largely, very little to do with it. Kim K exists as a symbol, but for this collection Riviere also uses the number of days Kim K was married to Chris Humphries (72) as a restriction for the number of poems contained within. Riviere is one of the most significant poets of the post-internet poetry movement, which relies on the randomised internet based sourcing of language and content.
This collection takes the reader through the artifice of life; found language sourced through Google searches intermingles with the signs of familiarity, creating a feeling of randomised connection and disconnection. With a range of varied poems, the subjects obscured, the words produce a pathway for connections. You sort of feel like you’re getting to the point, but the point is dodging you. Post-internet poetry plays with the artificial surfaces that the eminence of the internet generates; Riviere masters this, and hints to an oblique depth, while denying access. The basis of this duality is in fact very similar to my experience of the technology and language of the internet—I know there’s hardcore technology involved, but I understand very little of it. My own experiences are invited to the discussion through this disconnected randomised distortion the poetry plays with. In this way it is reminiscent of post-modern styles being entirely aware of its efforts, and doing it anyway.
For Riviere the process he undergoes to generate the work is incredibly essential to the product, yet his process is not promoted or discussed, for a magician never reveals his tricks. However, it also underpins so many important themes that run throughout the collection, products being one such essential concept. This collection is a really interesting one, which is both accessible and hyper-intellectual, so basically just your classic poetry collection, I suppose.
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