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

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.

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.


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

Don't Look

You must ask yourself, "what runs throught Billy Corgan's head when he thinks?" It's THAT insane!!! :)


It was great to see Mr Corgan step out of the shadows of his music.

Lorena Walker

I LOVE LOVE Billy Corgan. He is my favorite songwriter and musician. I think maybe Corgan was trying to hard to be like a "poet," you know the ones who get famous for writing poems about a red wheelbarrow and forgetting to be himself when he wrote. It sounds nothing like I expected. It is nothing like his lyrics-deep, beautiful and yet you can still find yourself somewhere in the meanings.


I basically bought this book just so that I could meet Billy Corgan at a book signing. I was quite poor at the time, and man, poetry books are expensive. Worth it though.


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.

Christina knox

list of words is the gem of this, the way he manages to get ah shucks in there... midwesterners... as you might guess, this is fucking terrible.

Jennifer Nedimyer

More widely known as the singer from The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan's Blinking with Fists proves that his talent is not restricted to performance in vocals. This collection of lyrical poetry deals with a wide range of issues, from love to hate and back again--plus, of course, a nature poem or two to emphasis the healing power of the natural world. His carefully crafted insights into our world make him a must-read for aspiring poets or readers of poetry. It challenged me on my previous thoughts about the line distinguishing lyrics and poetry—apparently, they can be one in the same, for some artists!


I'll probably finish or never finish- it's poetry, so it's easy to pick up, put down, and pick up again. I find Billy Corgan interesting, so if you're a fan then read it.


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.


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 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.


No. Ok? Just don't. Really, it's cool. You were/are in a kickass band, and that's enough, isn't it? Why masquerade as a poet. It doesn't really work for musicians. Not really even for Jim Morrison. You make my soul blink with fists, guy.

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