Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet is a best-selling collection of poetry. To be honest, the title pulled me in. I am not much for romantic poetry and I don’t read erotica, but something in this book seemed to hold promise. The range of poetry is wide, to say the least, from cutesy to something the other side of candied vulgarity. From serious to sophomoric. Somewhere in that mix, I found what I liked. At times there was the thrill of being outside my comfort zone yet still other times it was over the top. It is easy to see why this would be a best seller. There is something for everyone in this collection — from the meek to the overtly adventurous.
Some of the writing is inspired:
We kissed beneath the twisted trees,
our lips between the stars,
tiny ripples in a lake
this love, once lost,
Some a bit “punk”
Her perfume reminded me of freshly picked
flowers and sticky candy floss, mixed with
a gentle hint of debauchery
She was a curious girl,
who loved the smell
of old books,
and touching herself
under the covers.
“Fuck me like you hate me” she purred, her lips curled up into a
The collection certainly has range and a style dependent on the tone — from quality to the lowest common denominator. I liked perhaps 80% of what I read. It was not the subject matter that turned me off the other 20% but the method in which it was expressed. Faudet seemed to lower his writing style and quality when writing more primal and vulgar poems. It is like he turned from poet to a trashy romance novelist whenever he mentions panties. The socially acceptable is well written and at times beautiful. The more animal side of love, or lust, takes on a more sensational, shocking, and simplistic style of writing. I can’t tell if this is intentional or not, but it works. From an intellectual point of view, the writing pulls the reader in and periodically repulses him or her only to be pulled back in again. It is a repeating cycle through the collection where Faudet is playing with the reader or perhaps it is incidental. I am going to go with the former because it seems to tie the whole theme of relationships, vodka, loss, and renewal together very nicely.