It’s beautiful to watch lines of poetry surprise and delight that narrow and expand the reader’s perspective, while being self-aware and self-assured ... The reader is thrust into the ever-changing world where the speaker has so many different ways to admit that his emotions are varied and difficult to pigeonhole ... Regardless, Leidner makes grand, cinematic gestures that are relentlessly amusing, because he juxtaposes the merging of simile and metaphor with everyday, domestic acts ... Leidner’s comedic tone is effective in both long and short poems because of his puncturing acknowledgment of the real world and punctual timing. Whether a poem is reimagining Albert Einstein’s biography, or if World War II was fought 'entirely by karate chop'...the reader will most likely experience comedic irony, heartbreak and suave honesty ... These poems expand one’s perception of what a poem can be while reinforcing a lyric quality that is accessible and pleasantly addictive.
...Leidner doesn’t so much aim for Nietzsche as shoot for perpetual brain spasm, a sort of intellectual pleasure buzz built on the evolution of a comic theme over lines ... The simile that bonded you to pleasure is suddenly a dark kind of super glue, and your hands are hopelessly stuck to the book’s terrific cover image, also a collage by Leidner. You might feel a little sick after awhile, a kind of candy-coated gut rot, but that’s what the other poems are there for—and love ... Love saves Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me from becoming the sophisticate’s bitter Tweet fix, and in this regard Leidner takes his place beside comic poetry greats like Richard Brautigan and Ron Padgett.
This is Big Idea poetry in the entertaining, hilarious way Big Ideas should prove very hard to talk about ... These poems remind me most of writers like Alexander Pope and John Dryden of the Post Enlightenment; writers for whom logic is rationalization, a performance rather than treatise, a mind’s persistent twisting ... What feels really generous is how Mark’s poems align dimensionally: the list, the line, the tale ... these poems find the exact right stuff to be obsessed with.