The Death of Pringle by Justin Katko
98 pages, 7x9, w/ CD, $20
Written from 2007 to 2008, Justin Katko's libretto "The Death of Pringle" tells the story of a group of evil scientists (The Mother Fuckers), whose plan to digitally convert Southern California's Salton Sea into Washington DC's Sonny Bono Memorial Park is foiled by a triad of song-hero poets, led by an epistemonical Pringle. With an original musical composition that is programmed, played, and sung by the author, "The Death of Pringle" is supplemented by visual and textual marginalia, as well as extended "Notes and Fragments" which sketch out the greater narrative universe of which the libretto is just one part ("The Death of Pringle" being the the first book of a prematurely cancelled six-book epic entitled "The Dope on the Arch of the Dust"). The cast includes such players as the oblivious People (featuring Larry and Popular Lou-Ellen), Sony Bono, Bonito Sonic, The Big Mermaid, Exviiideao, The Imperial Lab Daughter, Petrol Pedra, Viola Ted and of course, Newt Gingrich. "FUCKING HELL! WE'RE GONNA LOSE!"
THE DEATH OF PRINGLE is a journey through the imperial/scientific/infinitely-manipulative matrix of virtual power: the cynical wager against which poetry is the only language capable of going further and faster. And can it move! Labile switching, epic and farce, Shelley and punk, intellect and sewer. PRINGLE is a poem/opera with soundtrack (CD included) and visual accompaniment (some marvelous stuff). Sheer guts.
— William Rowe
This is struck thought. No text as transparent has ever existed. THE DEATH OF PRINGLE is the sound of your philosophy inside you, leaving, without you. This is a nice story.
— Rod Smith
Rarely does a poet tackle a plotline so charismatically—and with such swagger! Justin Katko's epic THE DEATH OF PRINGLE—a project years in the making—takes poetry to task in this delightfully hyphy ode.
— Sara Wintz
* A corresponding British Edition w/ full-colour insides has been published by Veer Books, London.