18 December 2011

Rambo Goes To Idaho

Scott Abels's first book, Rambo Goes To Idaho (Blazevox 2011) conflates the identity of film character John Rambo and editor-poet Scott Abels, oftentimes with humorous results. In the opening poem "Screenplay," we find "Rambo, checking his email" (9) and "drawing diagrams / of sex moves with his knife in the sand"(10), among other activities, while he pursues an MFA at Boise State University. Later, we discover that Rambo "started a journal called Country Music" (Hey, just like Scott Abels). And so goes the collection: a quirky examination of self with poems that are "brutally / autobiographical" (19), all through the persona of a Hollywood-constructed action-hero who "is a product of the world" (9): the world and the individual as a singular farce.

And if that's not reason enough to read Abels's debut collection, check out the trailer for First Blood to really get your juices flowing:


  1. This sounds pretty epic--should I buy this? JA

  2. JA, see if the SA will do a trade w/ you, this way you can get the book and get your own work out there.

  3. I can't remember where, but I've read some of these poems somewhere and liked them...though for my $$$, Rambos 2 & 3 were a little more engaging for the average viewer like myself. -tm