Jennifer Lagier Review of Scribblings of a Madman by Paul Tristram

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“Scribblings of a Madman”
Lit Fest Press / Festival of Language, 2015.
$17.95, 252 pages.
ISBN-13: 978-1943170098

The writings within this collection by Paul Tristram defy categorization—not poetry, not prose, but rantings reflecting the imperfect human condition expressed in a series of vignettes revealing the stumblings of society’s misfits: vivid, unpolished, imperfect, life’s crude losers.

In Born to be Used, the narrator exhorts,
“ …you can keep your dirty money; stick it up your greedy collective arses. Your lies are just verbal tampons plugging up the holes in this farce of a society…”

Within Do I Look Fucking Sci-Fi To You?, the author confronts his audience, “…I write about real things, like piss missing the toilet bowl, headaches on Sundays, women who can bring their periods on at will, the intricate shading of a black eye, fleas with drinking problems, the buzzing of a police scanner, how Prozac doesn’t work, hot wax on pink nipples, scratch marks on the back of my soul, peacock feathers dipped in bitterness and drying on a hot Summer Welsh pavement.”

In piece after piece, his language and characters assault and astound. This gritty collection reflects Tristram’s psychic, creative and emotional venting: brash, impolite, in-your-face. Other reviewers have referred to his writing as punk on a page. Fueled by drink, drugs, and crazy, it’s not for the faint of heart.