Broetry: is it right for you?

BroetryBroetry by Brian McGackin
My rating: ★★★

If, say, I was the average college frat boy (I believe beer-binging, video gaming, girls, and sex go hand-in-hand with common frat-boy associations)—or even the ‘common’ dude or dudette—I might be more apt to relate to broetry. Or, in the very least, strangle my bro-bias long enough for it to temporarily check out, long enough for me to yank my brain out of snobville, and thus surrender what I appreciate about “regular poetry” (McGackin’s phrase, not mine). I questioned if I am one of those people: people who have their heads shoved so deep in book pages and Fringe plot twists that when the time comes to socialize with society’s norm, they emerge as awkward creatures who think the status bro-quo is far too idiotic and far less interesting than their natural habitat. Or, perhaps, I am a little too disapproving of the typical bro (I did admit to harboring a bias, okay).

Broetry is poetry that’s right for you.
Broetry is a literary chili cheeseburger.

I know, but I don’t like chili cheeseburgers—not even the literary kind. This has been a failed persuasion, McGackin, so go ahead: groan. What this boils down to, really, is that I am not part of the intended target audience. If this was instead titled, “I’m sorry I can’t hang out this weekend, but I have a busy schedule of doing nothing by myself: poems for the common introvert loner” or “Poems about Picard, his Enterprise, & other things to make you nerdgasm,” I might grow feelings of a deep, real love. I’d feel a connection between me and the book, but because I have little in common with Broetry’s content… Well, the hook is there yet no bait to draw me in, put simply. However. Broetry is—even after all I have said, you best believe it—amusing.

To pull a few examples from the book directly:

and I might not be an adult per se,
but I’m sure I’ll make it there someday.

—Kids Today

You’re only four years younger
than me, but at 2 a.m. when I’m online,
your website makes me feel like a creep
—Ode to Taylor Swift

1 weekend visiting your cousin’s state school + 1 girl
whose name you can’t remember + 1 one-night stand = 1
case of herpes
—College + Love – Love = College

There are, of course, other parts that pried my lips into a smile, such as a few spotted references/parodies of other (serious) literary works, the notion of Patrick Stewart ruling the word (via Enterprise), Arizona tea, frozen pizza, how every region on planet Earth is a disaster zone so you best liken to the idea of dying (“unless you find a way to escape / to somewhere less deadly, though it’s fairly / safe to assume you’ve got a good chance of / dying there, too”). I will not readily buy into that it’s-so-dumb-it’s-genius brouhaha, but Broetry may work for you when the need to read lighter material strikes.

Broetry is poetry that may (not) be right for you.
Broetry is a literary chili cheeseburger.
So: are you hungry? You won’t know if you like it until you try it.



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