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Much like his music, Eric Paul’s poems are sharp and strange and unafraid. When it comes to the honest thing, the unsentimental, the line that cuts the legs out from under the obvious, Paul is the real deal, a guy who, to paraphrase the man himself, can get some.
-Sam Lipsyte, author of Venus Drive, The Subject Steve, Home Land, and The Ask
It is a commonly uttered cliché that great works of art – literature especially,and poetry in particular – are said to stir the emotions, causing observers to both laugh and cry. But rare is the collection of verse that takes readers on an emotional roller coaster from ecstatic joy to heartfelt tears… and then leaves them puking over the railing. Reading Eric Paul’s I Offered Myself as the Sea is just such an experience. Paul is uniquely adept at evoking often cringe-worthy moments of discomfort. I consider that a compliment, as well as quite a feat. It is a skill that Paul has honed for years as frontman of the excellent art-punk bands Arab on Radar and The Chinese Stars. He cleverly captures the moments of pain, frustration, embarrassment, insecurity, and simple inanity that plague most of our lives. Granted, he typically employs absurd scenarios and gross-out humor to make his points – this is, after all, the man who used to perform under the pseudonym Mr. Pottymouth – but underneath the harsh language, trashy imagery, and descriptions of young boys peeing in lemonade is a sincerity and goodness that warms the heart. Indeed, Paul is unafraid to boldly address society’s most taboo subjects, most of all dirty thoughts and kinky sex (check out the title poem), but he is also just a guy looking for love and friendship in a fucked up world. Read IOMATS: you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and afterwards you’ll never be able to look at a bicycle the same way again.
-Andrew Bottomley, Publisher and Editor, Skyscraper Magazine
Simply put, Paul writes what many others wouldn’t dare, and, more notably, he processes and presents emotional information in a way that many of us cannot.
-Heather Lang, literary critic, The Literary Review
Providence’s own punk rock Bukowski. A sex damaged exploration that is inflammatory, brutally funny and self revealing. Leave a copy at your nearest kindergarten or church and watch the fun begin...
-Bob Otis, lyricist and singer of the band Drop Dead
Eric Paul writes pointed flash monologues in verse—compact poems that reach for the revelatory volta from the gutter—hardboiled Freudian telegrams. It’s a mechanique he’s been honing since his first non-pseudonymous book, I Offered Myself as the Sea. Paul’s poems justify their autohagiographical this-all-really-happen’d-&-it-happen’d-to-me stance by their insinuating radiance—by placing the reader at the center of a deceptively universal—mything—melodrama. The very best ones make the reader feel like she’s been held underwater to view a living Bosch painting and quickly restored to fresh air.