Poetry. Taking formal and methodological inspiration from the speedcore, thrash-jazz "miniatures" of John Zorn's Naked City, the poems of TORTURE GARDEN: NAKED CITY PASTORELLES are dense, impacted crystals of reference and insinuation: Hegel to Hüsker Dü; Milton to Moorcock; a high-style restaurant on Edinburgh's Royal Mile to the Meadowlands; Ruskin to webcam S&M. These concentrated bursts of cynicism, rancor, and frustrated lyricism are not minima moralia for an electronic age, but literate squawks thrown at the screen of contemporaneity's faceless spectacle.
Mark Scroggins is a poet, biographer, and critic. He was born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany in the depths of the Cold War, and grew up in various places-Germany, upstate New York, California, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He now lives in Montclair (New Jersey) and Manhattan. Scroggins has written or edited three books on the poet Louis Zukofsky (including The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky) and a study of the English fantasy author Michael Moorcock. His essays and reviews have been collected in three volumes: Intricate Thicket: Reading Late Modernist Poetries, The Mathematical Sublime: Writing About Poetry, and Arcane Pleasures: On Poetry and Some Other Arts. He has edited a selection of the erotic writings of the Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. For the past seven years, Scroggins has been working on a long serial poem, Zion Offramp; the first fifty sections are being published by MadHat Press.