The website of writer & artist Dan McNeil


Kenji Siratori | 2004
18th February, 2021
Back to previous page

Smart-d: a cut-up bastardisation – the cybernetic car repair manual as written by William S Burroughs.

This is Kenji Siratori.

Smart-d: at first glance apparently unreadable. Later, I found myself three-quarters through the book, immersed in a cut up, back broken prose style that gently asked me to consider the traditional story structure as being, well, traditional.

Certainly, Smart-d is an immense challenge. But to focus on the text as a means of building a coherent narrative is a mistake. Far better to see smart d as a furious image, but an image that’s painted in Times New Roman. With its relentless _underscores, (parentheses), CAPITALS and


~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ++++ +++ =,

Smart-d takes a chainsaw to your crappy DFS sofa, preventing you from getting comfortable, smug and blasé. Of course, it’s not all hard work: individual sentences such as “Our scream cancels the soul-machine of the road” and “The replication of love in the sea of a gene” are nothing less than poetry. Only a dullard could (nay, would) ignore the temporal shift that a certain species of art (be it text, music or the visual) can initiate: that clawing creature emerging from your cortex, slithering down your spinal cord and transmogrifying into mercury as it settles into your lower intestine.

But (I hear you scream) what’s it all about?

“Biological DNA deranged mechanisms boy/girl gimmick fluid mechanism insanity blue of the sky relentless artificial sun brain of a dog.”

One truth is, I really don’t know what Smart-d is about. Another truth is, I really don’t mind…

© Dan McNeil 2005
[This review first appeared in Whispers of Wickedness]