Ironist, Critic, Poet, Nietzschean, Anarch. Friend of H.L. Mencken, Charles Fort and relative of Spinoza. Published in periodicals ranging from the radical anarchist Liberty, to the mainstream Life, his work is now mostly lost and forgotten save a mention every decade or so by scholars or writers who have stumbled across him.
This volume contains the known poetry of Benjamin DeCasseres (1873-1945) outside of his ANATHEMA! Litanies of Negation. 129 poems in verse and prose, collected from two published volumes (The Shadow-Eater and Black Suns) and culled from dozens of periodicals over the first half of the 20th century.
The Shadow-Eater destroyed my critical sense and begun its reconstruction.
Benjamin DeCasseres (is) the Pontius Pilate of America.
—H. L. Mencken
DeCasseres is the most savage, the most independent but often the most paradoxical and sometimes the most poetically obscure that I know.
—Remy de Gourmont
There is something Titanic in the way DeCasseres hurls his words at the universe… This merciless rebel who threatens the throne of God.
The man who wrote The Shadow-Eater has been at Gethsemane and Armageddon.
—El Diario (Mexico City)
The philosophy of The Shadow-Eater will Outlast time itself.
—The Poetry Journal
Your essays are the poetry of utter philosophy… I have had the time of my life with all the magnificent stuff you sent me.
There is but one Benjamin DeCasseres. And he is perhaps the one living wonder of the literary world. It is fortunate that such an one must be born, that he cannot be made; especially that he cannot be imitated, for if every one wrote like DeCasseres readers would go mad. That he can keep in any semblance of thought-order such whirls of words is something to marvel at. Yet to read him once, twice, is to experience the greatest mental exhilaration.
—New York Times
No such poetry since Les Fleurs du Mal of Baudelaire.
—Carlo de Fornaro
He occupies a niche that is all his own and asks space to stand for no other man.