About this book
In his first collection of poetry, novelist Kevin Killian views the horrors of the AIDS pandemic through a narrow prism, the films of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento.
Argento Series is structured like a horror film, populating deadpan reportage with badly drawn "characters" whose grisly deaths nevertheless come as an apocalyptic shock. For twenty years Killian's friends have been dying like flies—four flies on gray velvet, to borrow one of Argento's titles. And not only his friends, but millions of untold strangers, a catastrophe of such enormity that poetry itself gasps in its wake, deaf, blind, and speechless. Killian's poems are deceptively simple, quiet, and lyric, until the creaky melodrama of the giallo makes its entrance, screaming, like a virus—then the language shrieks and trembles. Argento Series is a testament to human suffering, a curse on the bureaucratic blindness that allows it to spread and grow, a call to political action unlike any other.
Kevin Killian's new book will takes its place alongside the other masterworks of San Francisco poetry, including Robert Duncan's The Opening of the Field
, John Wieners' The Hotel Wentley Poems
, and Jack Spicer's The Holy Grail