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CUNTIONARY/ Repent at Your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell) by Benjamin L. Perez

Price: $16.00

CUNTIONARY/ Repent at Your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell) Benjamin L. Perez BlazeVOX [books]

 From its title onward, Ben Perez’s fast, fresh fore(word)play aims to say “what oft was thought but ne’er so [politically uncorrectly] expressed.” This book is bound to ruffle some feathers—not for the faint of heart, denizens of “official verse culture” are hereby advised to enter at your own risk.

— Stephen Ratcliffe

‘Perez the Writer’ endures by literature’s power to gather more to it than mere ‘schemes’ upon which narration might go to sleep. Wakefulness and the broken, fragmentary nature of sign making systems—indeed there is no system at work here other than the force of gravity which has only been explained by one scientific equation—is pursued with the seriousness of ‘sema-antics’. The soul here articulates a larger defining moment of human and animal and vegetative time. Creationism: a delineation of the cosmic as opposed to the purely rational ‘whole’ upon which vanity exists as rote abandonment, as disembodied appropriations of ‘knowing’.

With Cuntionary Ben Perez continues forward thru the ‘adamant’ and I cannot help but see him as leading a way out of Babylonia. His is a literature as an initiate order and outcome of penetration. Evagination—that precisely which the language arts have lacked because of the domination of allegorical defenses or rote substitutions for our real memories—Perez offers and leads by this example. These arabesques of books ‘in the gross’ (this one being of similar tumescence to The Evil Queen) witness the lower and the higher, body and soul oppositions not by forfeiting the fruits of those supposed contrary intellects to the objectively pure…Rather, his method is an ur-search for—and actual discovery of—the mask in masquerade.

— Tod Thilleman


You’ve read the Dicktionary—now try the Cuntionary. It’s short, straightforward, and gets right to the cunt of things. In this phallocentric world even the word, cunt, is absent from Microsoft Word’s spelling dictionary, but cock is in spell check and so is dick and any number of pet names for male genitalia. The effect of this book is jarring. It’s at once shocking, amusing, and thought provoking. Take for example, orthocunt: adhering to established cunt doctrine. It’s not only amusing but causes one to wonder what a real orthocunty might look like. Alongside the Cuntionary is another book, Repent at Your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell). It reads like a religious text, a primer for children with nursery rhymes and sayings, except they are mostly twisted and disturbing, “Rape in blue—Heart’s run through. Rape in white—Heart burns bright…” I loved the Proverbs of Hell where humans are divided into three categories: The Sensualist, The Slacker, and The Skeptic. It gives one faith to have such attention lavished on the slackers. I found Perez’s retelling of the story Lilith in the Appendix a pleasure to read, and a fitting tale to end the book with. As I say now, it was the “icing on the cunt.”

— Sarah Anne Cox



Benjamin L. Perez teaches U.S. History and American Literature at Expression College for Digital Arts. He earned his BA in Religious Studies at UC Berkeley and went on to complete advanced degrees in Folklore at UCLA and American History at UC Davis. Perez’s poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in various academic and popular print and online publications, including Watchword, Sacramento News and Review (SN&R), Cricket Online Review (COR), and Ishmael Reed’s Konch. In 2005, Spuyten Duyvil published his experimental and transgressive work, The Evil Queen: A Pornolexicology, which made Dennis Cooper’s top-10 list for that year. His main literary influences are the Oulipo movement, biblical and Koranic exegesis, and his dyslexia, which is quite severe. In 2007, Perez completed his MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College; in that same year he won the Mary Merritt Henry Prize for Best Group of Poems. He is always adding yet another “final touch” to his “bi-textual” work: CUNTIONARY/Repent at Your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell).

Book Information:

· Paperback: 50 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 9781935402640

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