Bo burnham, if you don’t know, is a funny guy. Witty, clever, and quick, he is living proof that you can become a success from making youtube videos… sort of like Justin Bieber but… not.
Repeat stuff Justin Bieber, repeat it
I just finished reading “Egghead,” Bo’s new book of poetry, and I was pretty impressed. There are many themes that Bo takes on in this book, from absurd word play, to death, Bo Burnham looks at all of it through a tit filled and brilliantly crude lens.
Right now I want to look at two poems in particular. I plan on writing a more lengthy review that depicts some of the broader themes later. Right now I want to look at two of the more interesting poems from the book.
I found Jesus once.
He was in a diner eating hash browns.
He had one of those long booths all to himself.
He wasn’t being greedy or anything.
Place was pretty empty.
I watched him play the crane game on the way out-
The one with the metal claw and the cuddly mass grave.
He kept going for a rabbit in overalls.
The claw couldn’t lift it.
Eventually he gave up and left.
I tried for a bit.
The rabbit’s just to heavy.
I think whoever owns this thing
put an unmovable toy rabbit
in there just to fuck with everybody.
I like this poem for how obliquely it is approaches the metaphor Bo Burnham is making.
We see Jesus alone at a large table, who goes on to fail at a simple task of picking up a toy. In this poem Bo Burnham has humanized Jesus, which is odd because he started as a human anyways, and given physical attributes to his declining empire. The large empty booth and the failed attempt to get the toy, give the reader the image of a man who doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.
Modern day Christianity seems to be facing the same dilemma itself. Declining attendance, and a seemingly out of touch doctrine plagues the churches of all kinds. They are failing to connect to the modern world, much in the same way Jesus fails to properly connect with the rabbit.
But I feel that the unliftable nature of the rabbit is significant too. To me, it symbolizes the unknowable truth of reality. Even Jesus cannot know it, no one can lift the rabbit. Or maybe I am reading WAY to deeply into this!
I bought a box of wooden soldiers.
I bought them from the store.
And now a hundred tiny soldiers
guard my bedroom floor.
So if you’re a scary monster thing
who wants to go to war,
my bedroom door is open.
I’m not frightened anymore.
I choose this poem to talk about because of how sweetly it portrays the innocence of childhood fear.
The simplest solution to imaginary fears, is an imaginary solution. It shows a child who has proudly conquered their fears and in doing so gained the confidence to face them. It is not the presence of the soldiers that makes it alright to leave the door open, but rather it is the presence of mind to put them there in the first place that quells the fears.
I also found that this poem stuck out because it shows that Bo Burnham is capable of more than tit jokes. It gives his voice in the book a depth of character that would not be there if it was only a book of crude humor and shocking twist endings
I really hope that this poem came out of an anecdote from Bo Burnham’s life by the way.
Go buy Egghead
I would recommend this book to any fan of Bo Burnham’s. If you have not seen his new stand up special either, go watch it (link at the end). Although I warn you, it gets very artsy, which I loved, but not everyone is into that sort of humor.
PS. This is completely irrelevant but I found this Amazon review of his book that I thought was hilarious:
“I heard on a radio interview it was similar to Shel Silverstein— I wanted to give it to my grandson. Unfortunately, this has some very crude verses and illustrations. I want to throw it away.” – E. Weeks
what. (Bo Burnham FULL SHOW HD)