Blinking with Fists: Poems

ISBN: 0571211704
ISBN 13: 9780571211708
By: Billy Corgan

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About this book

The hit poetry collection from the creative force behind The Smashing Pumpkins Having risen to fame during the grunge era in the early nineties, Billy Corgan is among the most respected figures of the alternative rock world—a visionary artist who, more than a decade later, still commands a devoted following. Long admired for his evocative songwriting, Corgan embarks on a deeper exploration of literary terrain as a poet. Full of “the regretful melancholy of his music [and] the rhythmic, angular wordplay of his best Pumpkins lyrics” (Jeff Vrabel, Chicago Sun-Times), the poems in this collection form an imagistic journey through the intensely personal as Corgan throws into sharp relief issues of love, loss, identity, and loyalty. Crafted with a thoughtful and cadenced approach that shares the same allegiance to thunder and quiet found in his music, these writings further solidify Corgan’s place as the voice of a generation.

Reader's Thoughts


it's imperfection gives me room to try, and then, who am i to say it's not perfect. he pushes the shape of himself into existence, and pushes and pushes. thank god for billy corgan; he gives me the courage to keep writing and this book, as are his songs, are a big part of my journey into sound.


Not even the 10+ years I spent adoring Billy Corgan could save me from having a poor opinion of this book. It mostly reads like bad high school poetry that he wrote with a thesaurus next to his desk.


I've never classed myself as a huge fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, but what does appeal to me most on the albums I own is their lyrics and sense of storytelling within the songs.As such I was interested to see how Billy Corgan comes across on paper. And generally I think the answer is quite well.There were times when he seemed a bit overblown, and a spirituality is evident throughout which didnt appeal to me that much. But there are moments of striking skill with words and stunning and original images peppered throughout.I'm left wondering what he could do with the prose form...

Tyler Dykema

Laughably bad. People weren't kidding. I'm not that into poetry, I bought it because Billy Corgan, but even I know what's a good poem and what's not.


I love Billy's work, I really do, but the poems in this collection are so disappointing, especially because they could've been so much better. A lot of great ideas, a lot of great sounds, a lot of great images, but the poems really need a good edit to make them stronger. In a poem everything needs to be tight because of brevity, and the weak parts really drag down the rest of the poem, over and over again.I went to the poetry reading in Chicago, and one of these poems had a very powerful image, a short two line segment, that was cut from the poem before publication. Sadly.Billy's incredibly gifted, but without the music to back them up, the words in these poems more often than not don't manage to stand on their own. I'm not sure how much input Billy got from an editor or other poets before submitting these poems for publication, but they strike me as rather early drafts of what could've been great poems.


Not much of a review. Just wanted to -once again and again and ... - profess my unconditional love for William Patrick Corgan. He can do no wrong.


This book of poetry is written by Billy Corgan, who was the founder of the group Smashing Pumpkins. His words are a lot like his lyrics. He is a beautiful writer and lyricist.


i remembered, at the very first, this book is hard to find. i've tried searching around borders and local bookshops. finally my friend sent me one. i like words sayings from billy corgan; but honestly i prefer to his lyrics from the smashing pumpkins songs even better.


for such a great songwriter, you'd think he'd be adept at poetry

Ed Petersen

I had relatively high hopes for this collection. After all, I enjoy most of Corgan's music under the Smashing Pumpkins umbrella. However, reading this collection turned out to be a disappointing experience.I never paid too much attention to Corgan's lyrics, mainly because his thin, whiny voice is difficult to comprehend, but also because the overall *sound* of the song is often more important than what he's actually trying to say. Take "Siva" or "I Am One" for instance--they sound phenomenal but don't say a whole lot. "1979" is one of the few Pumpkins songs with the triumvirate of good plot, audible lyrics, and excellent hook.My warning flag should have been the publishing date: 2004, right after his "happy music" efforts with Zwan. That album was an enjoyable but odd departure from the normally appealingly bleak Pumpkins fare. It turns out that this shiny side of Corgan wormed its way into his non-music poetry too. You get titles like "The Poetry of My Heart", "The Sun of Flowers", and "A Twixt the Twine". Their content is just as irritatingly generic and abstract as their titles.Not all is lost. The "title" poem is darn good, and "See Saw Swam" is an intriguing exercise in language. "A Wax Seal" also strikes a chord, especially appealing in the lines "Apologies if I tripped that wire / The one attached to desire." But too often efforts like "Chiaroscuro" sound like lyrics to a never-released Pumpkins song and fall utterly flat on the page without Corgan's shimmering music to prop it up.I've written abstract poetry myself, so I know what it's like to try to convey some of these ideas successfully while still trying to be unique. But there just isn't enough here to merit serious reading.


I do love Billy's poetry, even if it doesn't make much sense. But he is one of my all time favorite song writers in the entire world.


I am as disappointed as everyone else. Love Corgan as a lyricist, but I think as a musician has tools of chord, rhythm and dissonance, so too does the learned poet. The words are there, but what about punctuation, spacing, etc, to tell the audience at what pace it is to be read, otherwise, like others said, it feels like a mess of amateur words.I borrowed this back from a friend I gave it to as a gift, and am happy she never read it. She isn't a fan of poetry and this wouldn't have been the right one to let her in on it.


I think I may have enjoyed reading Smashing Pumpkins lyrics more so than this book. But 1/2way through I read the interview in the new Rolling Stone mag, and a lot more of his musings seemed to connect after that. I may go back and give this one another try. Maybe with the SP playing quietly in the background..... ;)

Gene Wagendorf III

So, let me start by saying that I am a huge Smashing Pumpkins nerd. I've spent countless dollars and hours on just about everything Billy Corgan, no matter how obscure (or stupid) the project. I think the man is brilliant as a lyricist. When I heard he was working on a book of poetry, sure, I had a stiffy. Then I read the book and my dick went more limp than the prose.Seriously, all I have to say is that if I wrote those poems they'd never be published. Outside of about two pieces, Corgan seems totally out of his element. He stumbles awkwardly over language and either gets lost in his own rhythm or stuck in obscure and unsuccessful imagery.

Lisa Ziccardi

I could not even finish this book because reading it made me cringe and want to go ' Oh Billy' out loud to my self in a sad voice. I am a fan of his music both old and new, he does have talent there.But I honestly think that if he WASN'T Billy Corgan NO publisher would touch this book or give it a second thought. The poems did not rhyme, and sounded sophomoric and that they were the poorly put together thoughts of a angst ridden girl whose parents did not understand how deep and complicated she is. I really do feel bad about saying this, but I am not going to flatter or sugar coat because he is Billy Corgan. If anything he deserves honesty, and honestly I think he should stick to music. Sorry Billy.

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