In Fancy Beasts, the author of Hallelujah Blackout and Mosquito takes on California, the 2008 election, plastic surgery, Larry Craig, wildfires, Wal-Mart, and rampant commercialism in short, the modern American media culture, which provides obscene foil for his personal legacies of violence and violation. This pivotal book captures the turning point in a life of abuse, in which the recovering victim/perpetrator puzzles through the paradigm of son-to-husband-to-father. Frenetic, hilarious, and fearless, these poems are a workout vigorous and raw. Yet they are also composed and controlled, pared down and sculpted, with a disarming narrative simplicity and directness. Even when dealing with toxic content, the point of view is always genuine and trustworthy. This stunning achievement marks Alex Lemon’s best work yet.