Gimme Something to Read – Tales from Nantucket by Pete Inc.


Ah, high literary culture. Who doesn’t love it? The crisp smell of leatherbound books, the soft creak of an uncracked spine, the feeling of superiority over those idiots who just don’t get poetry, you know?

This may be an unpopular statement, but here goes: I actually like poetry. Thanks to my largely useless English degree, I was exposed to a lot of it and have spent more hours than I’d care to mention decrypting whatever T.S. Eliot was farting out while high on opium, or whatever [citation needed].

Imagine my surprise, then, when learning that Neurosis visual collaborator Pete Inc. had both completed and published a collection of original poetry. “This will be a match made in heaven,” I declared to myself, wrong beyond the pathetic capacity of mere words to convey. The first sign was that the book was titled Tales from Nantucket. It shouldn’t take a Master’s in English lit to tell you that yes, this dude wrote a book of fucking limericks. As if the existence of Dropkick Murphys wasn’t enough of a stain on the collective Irish conscience.

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Quite literally the only positive attribute of this book is that the promo came with this sick Neurosis live video from 1996. Go ahead and take a look, it’s the last bit of enjoyment you’ll get from here on out.

While we’re on the subject of the promo materials, they describe Tales from Nantucket as follows: “Sarcastic, funny, dark, and poignant.” Poignant (adjective): evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret. This, friends, is truth in advertising. I truly regret reading this absolute dogshit.

Tales from Nantucket is a collection of white, #resistance, boomer-dad F-tier shitposting. Not a single limerick made me so much as snort in amusement. How will I laugh tomorrow when I can’t even smirk at a shitty limerick today?

I have to assume that Pete Inc. settled on limericks because his publisher wouldn’t accept meme templates from Imgflip or just “Orange man bad” written on a cocktail napkin. Even still, that none of these poems ends with a guy wanting to fuck his own ear is the least of the literary offenses Pete Inc. has committed.

No amount of description can prepare the reader for the sheer mass of cringe that awaits. Every topic beloved of the guys who used to respond to Donald Trump’s tweets with “How dare you, sir!!” is present here: Dr. Fauci, Trump being orange and having a small penis, Trump sucking Putin’s dick, Mitch McConnell being a turtle and/or sucking Putin’s dick, Mike Pence being secretly gay, Melania being alternately a scheming shrew and a moron bought at auction, etc. etc.

If you haven’t been glued to Facebook or Twitter for the last five years, the content of these poems must be completely incomprehensible. An example will illustrate what I mean. There’s a poem in here about the fly that landed on Pence’s head during the vice-presidential debate. Naturally, the poem appears over a frame from the Vincent Price version of The Fly, because the concept of subtlety was killed in a drive-by shooting during the creation of this book. Nobody in five years will remember what the “fly incident” was or why it was worth writing a poem about. Future generations will not only have nothing to gain from this book, they won’t have any idea what it’s talking about.

Not only did I waste precious moments of my life reading over 100 pages of this bullshit, I think this book actively shortened my life. Not only will I never read this book again, I’m now strongly considering never reading anything again.

Bork, you’re thinking to yourself, obviously this dude’s limericks have the staying power of a wet turd. But surely the visual art is where he shines! Well, constant reader, wonder no longer: the art fucking sucks too.

Defining the visual style of Tales from Nantucket is impossible, primarily because there is no constant theme, organizing principle, or even font. The front cover looks like an idiot on 8kun trying an inane parody of Neckbeard Deathcamp without the subtlety. There are drawings of dicks on bathroom walls that involved more apparent effort than what passes for art in this book.

It’s worth focusing on the rear cover for a moment, because it’s nothing short of baffling. It shows a clumsily photoshopped Donald Trump golfing in front of dead Holocaust victims, both of which are in front of the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant. Based on the layout, it looks like Trump is driving Titleists at the power plant. I have thought about that image for several hours. Its meaning still escapes me entirely. What the fuck does nuclear power have to do with anything? The picture misses the mark so badly that images of stacked dead bodies fail to make any impression at all.

Did Pete Inc. go about writing limericks specifically to diminish the memory of the sacred dead? We may never get a straight answer, but the available evidence all points to yes.

The Toilet used to have semi-regular MS Paint album cover contests, all of which featured both greater visual skill and more dedication to craft than what’s on display here. A bored third grader could put together 100 pages of “art” at this level with a few hours of free time and a pirated copy of photoshop.

There isn’t a single poem in this monstrosity that wouldn’t have been equally effective as text on a blank page. Come to think of it, this entire book would have worked better as 100 blank pages. Please take a moment to let that statement sink in. A guy who made his bones doing visual art for Neurosis created over 100 images, all of which would have been better had they never been made. This guy’s closest competitor in the art realm is a ream of blank paper.

Trees died to produce this garbage. Publishing even one hard copy of this fucking tome actively worsened our species’ ability to survive the coming climate crisis. Like so much milquetoast American liberalism, this book pretends that merely hating Trump is equivalent to actually making any kind of difference. There are a thousand things Pete Inc. could have done to improve his community, and instead he chose to make bad poems and found someone dumb enough to put them in print.

This book qualifies as a war crime and Pete Inc. should be tried in the Hague. May God have mercy on his soul.

Pete Inc.’s Tales from Nantucket is out now. If for some reason you hate yourself enough to buy a copy, you can do so here.

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