Three Subjective/Objective Lists About Destruction Myth by Mathias Svalina

Four Reasons Why I Thought Destruction Myth by Mathias Svalina Would Be Really Good

1 Enthusiastic write-up on HTMLGiant 
2 The basic premise—44 creation myths followed by one “destruction myth”—is great. I love that no two myths overlap, and that most of them begin with a complicated and even familiar world already in place—there is no beginning, it’s all beginnings. I also love that most of the creations quickly wind up spiraling into apocalypses; as the publisher describes it: “This book attempts the world again and again, only to find that even the most ridiculous of creations contains the seeds of its own destruction.” 
3 Blurb from Anne Boyer, who knows what picante sauce is supposed to taste like (I thought) 
4 The first poem (see the link to the publisher above), which I still think is pretty excellent overall. The way something seemingly silly turns, without warning, into something kind of uncanny and then into something kind of profound; our universe as God’s attempt to escape from his own mortifying omnipresence; the inherent funniness of the name/attendant mental image of Larry Bird 

Three Reasons Why It Was Actually Pretty Disappointing 

1 Poems are made of words, not ideas, it says here. Svalina has a nasty habit of trying to write with ideas. The prose reads like prose; the poetry reads like prose 
2 Not all of those ideas are as good as he maybe wants them to be. The absurdist setups and quirky turns sometimes feel slightly contrived, and the philosophical punchlines can get downright trite. There’s a lot of “people escape from okay but dissatisfying situation only to (ironically!) find that they wish they were back in the situation they escaped from.” That sort of thing 
3 These lines from the still mostly excellent first poem should’ve tipped me off: 

     All the clubs shut down, no one
     could watch a Larry Bird dance without understanding
     that they danced like this, pursed lips, flagellum legs,
     arms like wild fire hoses.

That is a dude trying to “describe” something. I conclude that my aesthetic allows for no “description” in poetry. (That’s description in quotes, description without quotes can be good.) Worse, it’s a dude explaining his own joke, trying to convey the inherently funny mental image of Larry Bird, which he’s already done much more effectively by just writing “Larry Bird” 

Approximately Ten Reactions I Had to This Disappointment

1 Maybe I should read it again 
2 Read it again, it was even more disappointing 
3 Sense of uneasiness created by cognitive dissonance between my desire to like the book, because of all the things about it suggestive of things that I’d really like, and the fact that I actually didn’t like it 
4 Desire to write a negative review that would quantify all of the reasons that I didn’t like it, thus reassuring me about the boundaries of my taste and helping to resolve the cognitive dissonance 
5 Desire not to write a negative review because there are already too many opinions on the internet, it’s a pet peeve of mine 
6 More cognitive dissonance because of 4 and 5
7 Decision to write the review in this deconstructed form in the hopes of exploring the issues raised by 3 through 6, thus accomplishing 4 while sidestepping 5
8 A little bit more cognitive dissonance due to self-awareness about sidestepping 5
9 Nothing after 4 or so was actually a reaction to the book anymore, but actually reactions to my reactions to the book 
10 That probably means I should stop