Staff Picks (November 2018)
Omg, we love small press books! And these are some of our favorites. Now they can be some of your favorites too...if they aren't already. Be sure to check in every month for a new handful to add to your reading list...lists...so many lists.
All November 2018 Staff Picks 20% off
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This book reminded me that magical study is real and transmissible, that forms of attention get hold of energy and then forms of expression recommit that energy so you can get some of itit: energy that poetry and song can mine and conduct, energy that can get to us and get us to do stuff. Stuff like forge "The blind will to divine courage," stuff like "Find suckers, stake them, pit them against." This book is like "The last man / On earth singing the first / Song ever written." It's as wise as it is wild, a sensitive bucket. With a bucket, here's what you do:
Ketch with it the heart's
Water : fill with it what
Floweth out a heart […]
Blood in th kitchen
& blood in th hall,
Blood in th stanzas
Where th figures did fall.
Also, there's this thing about this book that I don't know how to tell you, but I can promise that the first poem and the last poem in this book are so unbelievably amazing that if you read them & the inbetween you'll get lucky to study the magic that happens to you.
It's been suggested that climate change along with global racial capitalism have already pushed many places into what we, in our relative comfort, would likely refer to as apocalypse. In this moment where the end is here and for some still imperceptible how does poetry respond? What will disaster poetics look like in the next 10 or 20 years?
Jerika Marchan's first book SWOLE brims with answers. Reconciling a catastrophe in the past tense (namely, New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina) as well as living under the threat of others (namely, other climate disasters, the ensuing disaster-capitalists and opportunists that pop up, and even the fact that the apocalypse never really means THE END).
The most startling discovery: after the end life goes on even through all the normal pain and this newer shit tinted water ("horrible all the water").
Memory, resistant like a virus
Hesitation is lacking
and I'm free here not as wide
but there is comfort
there the black road broken
down to the insides where the moisture seeps in
the way the street narrows to meet you
then melts away
Margaret Ronda's FOR HUNGER is where it's at. As the speaker must reconcile with forms of life including both the family and nonhuman, she calls into question the naturalness of everyday activity and invites us to weigh the comforts of familiarity against the sometimes deleterious effects of contemporary routine. The undercurrent of these poems reminds us not only of the smooth cadence of these routines, but of the discordance of indebtedness. This book is going to make you feel things, and is definitely worth craving.