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Blinking with Fists: Poems Paperback – March 21, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The frontman and lyricist for the Smashing Pumpkins—whose alternative-rock hits soared through millions of radios in the mid-1990s—enters the arena of the written word with this passionate, if rarely subtle, debut. Corgan has also worked in Chicago-area theater and in spoken-word performance, and his free verse often shows the directness associated with those venues, as well as the oddities fans of his lyrics will know: "The way/ You look/ At me/ Makes me/ Lonely/ Grinding tears/ Behind a mask/ Made of/ Abalone," begins "The Sun of Flowers." Hope, dreams and erotic excitement are frequent themes, while nautical or seaside settings predominate: "the most eternal sun-drenched kiss," Corgan exclaims, "is locked in my mind as something I won’t miss/ Or even try to remember." Other work may resonate with fans, yet strike even them as vague, even amateurish: "Whatever was needed will find its way home/ Delivered with riches and prayers full of soul." The title, with its intimations of a frustrated child, may be the best thing about this collection, and its most appropriate introduction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Never just the spectator, Corgan transforms his world into the palpable lyrical beauty of the heartbreak of one who cannot turn away, allowing us to get as close as we dare without blinking. (J. T. LeRoy, author of Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition edition (March 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571211704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571211708
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to listen to the Smashing Pumpkins, and not be struck by former frontman Billy Corgan's unique writing -- often his songs sounded like poetry set to music. Now he really is a poet. "Blinking With Fists," his first book of poetry, is a stunning, wrenching look at Corgan's ever-expanding talents.

Corgan was known for plumbing the depths of his own feelings in his songs. Now he does the same for his poetry. His poems are gritty and jagged, but they shine through as examinations of his emotions: his loves, losses, loneliness, past regrets, and sometimes his hopes. He makes you feel thoughtful, isolated, on a dark street where dogs are barking, and the world seems to be winding down.

Billy Corgan rose to prominence during the grunge era of Nirvana in the early nineties, as frontman/writer/vocalist of the Smashing Pumpkins. Later, he was the frontman of the sadly short-lived Zwan. But with "Blinking With Fists," (and the novel Corgan is reportedly working on), he shows that he's not just a musician. He gets to take the evocative, eerie writing that he did in the Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan, and turn that writing into something purer.

What's even better, free-form poetry allows Corgan to be less restricted in his writing. In "Blinking," he doesn't have to form his poetry so that it will fit with music. But it still is very lyrical and beautiful, full of strange images and melancholy atmosphere. It takes a little while to really sink in -- but boy, is it worth it when it does.

Billy Corgan has apparently left his band days behind him. But his debut publication, "Blinking With Fists," is a breathtaking collection of poetry that bodes well for his solo career. Highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on August 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's painful to say anything less than glowing things about this book, since I'm a major fan of the music Corgan and the other members of Smashing Pumpkins released, but I always also knew that when you got right down to it, much of what sounded so great as part of a song, made little real sense when read devoid of music. (For instance, "1979" one of the finest songs of the 90's, what do those words truly mean if you analyze them?) That's most of the problem here. I kept thinking how set to music much of Corgan's free verse would have taken wing, but on its own...it was lacking: even empty. There are some good pieces here in Blinking with Fists but I hope Billy concentrates more on music in the future, since that's where his talent--genius I'll go so far as to say--really lies. Sorry, Billy.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Wagner on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been a big Billy/Smashing Pumpkins fan for years. I always considered him a lyrical genius.

When I received this book, I read through most of it and then put it on my shelf where it has remained.

I am extremely disappointed in this book. What happened to his brilliance and the profound words? What happened to evoking emotion in the reader(listener)?

I recommend you check this book out at the library before purchasing it. I love Billy but this book is not good.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By SweetTooth on October 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful first book from Billy Corgan. I did not know what to expect when reading it, but as I went through the pages and let the poems sink in, I found it to be written straight from the heart. The subject matter is complex and can be interpreted at great depth. The enjoyment comes from taking your own meaning from the ideas that Billy presents here. I wish that all readers will take the time to pick up this book, whether you are a fan of Billy Corgan or not. As an artist and a visionary, Billy brings great beauty and intuition to his art and invites us to look deeper than what we are used to seeing and feeling.
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23 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Rufus Follet on September 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I would like to know how many of these "poems" Billy Corgan submitted to literary quarterlies over the years? How many of them have been previously published? How many rejection notes did he receive? Actually, I'm pretty sure the answer to all of these questions is "none." Corgan used to have a way with song lyrics; they were not the most brilliant lyrics, but more often than not, they worked well with the music he made. "I used to be a little boy, so old in my shoes" is not a brilliant line. But in the context of "Disarm," it's a nice little nugget of mid-'90s alternarock juxtaposition. Somewhere after Adore, however, everything went wrong in Corgan's brain. His head swelled to the size of the universe and so did his narcissistic God complex. This book only proves what his detractors have been saying for years. It's an atrocity of literarture and should never have seen the light of day. Someone needs to start telling Billy Corgan "no" before he does further damage to his already diminished artistic reputation. Blinking With Fists is recommended only for masochistic fans too blind in their devotion to give this book the critical bashing it so clearly deserves.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Liquid_Peppermint on September 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A long-time fan of all of Corgan's endeavors, I have looked forward with great anticipation to this poetry book. After receiving it and devoting a full day to assimilating it, I have come to the conclusion that he needs to stick with his day job. I personally could have chosen 128 words from the dictionary and titled them "bunch of words." But could I have had it published? No, I don't think so. In spite of what I've seen from other reviewers, I do not feel that these poems relayed the imagination and the color that is so rampant in Corgan's music. So Billy, I love you, but stick with your day job.
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