Friday, March 4, 2011

Froteztology by Marlon Ariyasinghe

Here is someone who thinks he is the 'bad boy' of poetry. From the title, from the third page onwards where Marlon says:

Write you bastards

Write till your ink runs dry

Write till 'they' lock you up

Write till your fingers are severed

When your ink runs dry,

Write with blood

you know you are going to be reading some powerful stuff. Or rather you hope that you would be. But then you turn the page and find the introduction written by Vihanga (whose books I have reviewed previously) who is all praise for Marlon, then goes on to describe his poetry as those with 'appreciable venom' and of course I am suspicious. What am I going to find beyond - poems with a huge chip on their shoulder or a true poetical commentary on the times of our day.

What you get is a mix. Some excellent poems like: I is wanting to Frotezt and I'm a Racist among others and some not so good poems like: Colombota kiri apita thaamath kekiri, where he just takes my poet goddess Vivimarie down. Surely you didnt think you could say things against Vivimarie and hope you get away with it in this blog!

But seriously, Marlon has oodles of talent but you will only find it after he has chipped away at the big block on his shoulder. Now this is what I can summarise from the poems, not having seeing the dude, or know anything else about him - Here is a guy who is angry with the world. He is angry that others can speak English better than he can, that they are more in the limelight than he is, that they are more successful than he is, that he epitomises village which is good and his enemy is the city, that he can't pronounce f and others can, that kekiri is just not as good as kiri, that if you are not in his circle of friends you are no good. That he thinks the universities (which one though - Colombo or Peradeniya, I suspect Pera coz of the Vihanga association) are the pits (Deconstructing post-structuralist farts/In our very own faculty of arts). And finally to top the whole thing, he came from Australia! Refer back cover. No shit! I is conpused! So is he the real thing or aint he?
Ok Marlon has all these grouses but what dude is he doing about it hiding it in a book? I think Marlon's poetry is most effective performed rather than read, perhaps that right dose of venom doesn't quite come out through the pages unless it is spouted at these literary gatherings. And to make it worse the bad boy merely comes out as complaining. But the overall verdict is here is a poet to watch, buy the book, as usual Sri Serendipity does nice graphics. No candy floss here, instead it is hard candy, but candy all the same, I say. Make your own mind up and as usual, since this is a buddy of Vihanga, I bet I will get slammed for this review. Bring it on boys :)


  1. really enjoyed reading this :)

    i dont agree with "epitomises village which is good and that he can't pronounce f and others can"

    the p f thing is a whole different thing read this and you'll get it

    a fan of vivi? really ?


  2. was the part about being a fan of vivi's supposed to be sarcastic?

  3. poet goddess?? seriously??

  4. Anyone know the 2010 gratiaen shortlist?

  5. well marlon seems to be fat, it is said in the review by rathindra kuruwita in lakbimanews which reviewed the book in the same lines as you did.

  6. How vivimarie is knowing if Marlon is fat or not aney, I asking her and she told she had not even seen him. nice sounding book ah. must to buy.

  7. Lol. AWESOME comment :D Woot woot!!

  8. how come no new reviews from egghead?? seriously!! vihanga.

  9. The rathindra kuruwita who wrote Chuck the Dragon and is so afraid that people will find out and he will be put in prison, awww. Read the Fat Boy's book recently, it is not bad at all.

  10. another review soon please? =)