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Rhyheim: a porn poem by Vikram Kolmannskog

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Rhyheim: A Porn Poem is a beautiful book of eroticism, of desire and of the longing for intimacy. The book-length poem can be read as a devotional to the gay porn star Rhyheim Shabazz. The speaker, a queer-of-colour poet in a majority white and straight Norway, finds support, inspiration, and excitement in Rhyheim's porn. It is clear in Vikram Kolmannskog’s writing that pornography is rooted within bodies that have histories, that are themselves sites of cultural, economic, racial, and gendered identities and experiences. The poem goes beyond this, however, as Vikram weaves together porn and poetry, the sensual and the spiritual, inviting us to be both turned on and touch compassion and wisdom.

 

PRAISE for Rhyheim: A Porn Poem

Vikram Kolmannskog understands the syntax of the spiritual and the sensual, and this devotional to Rhyheim Shabazz is spellbinding. Kolmannskog remains a rare talent.

— Diriye Osman, The Butterfly Jungle

 

Rhyheim: A Porn Poem imagines the sexual exploits of the pornstar-cum-speaker through an imagined triptych. Race, power, and intercourse titillate as the reader rushes to the climax, pulling back onto the edge of total release. We learn to savour the forms this poem takes through its progression from the basal into transforming into ‘A brilliant black fucking song.’

— Rajiv Mohabir, Whale Aria

 

Rhyheim: A Porn Poem aims to achieve nothing less than the total healing of everyone on the planet through the miracle of mindful, empathetic sex: ‘Lucas slowly takes / Some of the cock / In his mouth / Smoke spreads / Earth, fire, pine.’ Over and over, Rhyheim: A Porn Poem does what a porn scene can’t, and what most poems about art wouldn’t even dare to, which is to articulate how the planes of reality criss-cross in the imagination. Through careful yet casual word music, this book shows that what we do when we reach into our pants, alone, can in fact become what we need when we resurface in the wide world where ‘the moon and the sun’ are ‘right here.’ If you get turned on while reading this book, that is a good thing. You might just get closer on your journey to be ‘Fucking as effortlessly / As a butterfly flaps its wings / Participating in all sorts of amazing things.’

— Nathaniel Rosenthalis, The Leniad

 

ABOUT Vikram Kolmannskog:

Vikram Kolmannskog (b. 1980) is a writer, psychotherapist, and professor of gestalt psychotherapy. He has a mixed heritage with a Norwegian father and a mother born in Kenya to Gujarati parents. He lives outside Oslo together with his husband Daniel.

www.Vikram.no

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