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Little War Machine – M. Sarki

M (Mike) Sarki’s work started to appear in the latter part of The Quarterly’s life; like Cooper Esteban and Barton Allen, his quirky poetry was often give generous pages to breathe, with a great deal of white space as a typical Sarki poem was only a few lines and words, and this was long before the concept of text messaging and Twitter tweets.

Sarki has put out two books from what we can tell, Little War Machine, a 40-page chapbook, the second, from Ravenna Press, 2004.

Can one explain a Sarki poem?  Not easily.  It’s as if he is possessed by the ghosts of beckett and Warhol in their abstract absurdity, best read than explicated:


Then he gave her tentaclee

to a stranger.

How Alaskan


Tossing it

back into the tub




All of them weak. That strength

hidden in the

recollection they could


not get it. It is

beyond Delueze. And

what we must begin

with. The impulse to

intuit. a whip and a

lie, clear through.

Consider what  Lish has to say in his one page afterword:

Okay, so what do you think? Pretty rough on a person, no? …The man asks me for a word. I give the man a word, after or otherwise He is the stone mason, right? Whereas Lish is not even a leaflifter. Tell you what. Go back and try every damn one of them again. If they start to make sense, as in common or good, then they fail. But if you stay stumped, regard yourself as blessed.

Indeed! Onward!


One response »

  1. I don’t mind you commenting or discussing or being critical of my work, but I would ask you to fix all the typos, and present the poems correctly as they were written. One must put their best foot forward and you, my friend, do not. Let’s be professional here especially if this is supposed to be “literary”.


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