Trash Panda, by Leza Cantoral
Leza has written some very good poems here, most of them themed after the titular Trash Panda — at once cute and lovable while also fierce and nasty. Many of these poems are sad or humorous or both at the same time, and, as other reviewers have pointed out, they’ve been written without a trace of poetic pretension. Apparently Trash Panda has no shame, either, as evinced by their inclusion of some poems from back in HIGH SCHOOL. I literally had to burn half the shit I wrote in COLLEGE it was so bad, so big bravas there! Of these early offerings, I especially enjoyed “Plastic Life”, transcending the banal teen angst to say some things many of us would still agree with in our middle age.
This book has it all — tears, laughter, masturbation for Satan; echos of Sylvia, Marilyn, and Jackie; pretty pics of the author (with and without her Trash Panda head); meditations on porn, poetry, and social media; and, as mentioned previously, Leza’s “TOP 5 MOST EMO HIGH SCHOOL POEMS”. It also has one of the most fitting copyright notices I’ve ever read in a book (“Don’t rip me off fuckface. I’ll find you & eat your face.”)
So, if you’ve never read anything by Leza before, do yourself a favor and pick this one up — the Trash Panda in your own heart will thank you.