In Skelley’s world everything and everyone is volcanic. Cities become backlots; celebrities become saviors. Sharp, always spectacular. One of my very favorite writers on the earth.” —Dennis Cooper
Exploring pop archetypes ancient to modern, INTERSTELLAR THEME PARK assembles decades of perverse verse and prose by the Los Angeles writer. It excerpts work from Monsters (Little Caesar Press) and Skelley’s “secretly legendary” novel Fear of Kathy Acker (Semiotext(e)). It adds music-history fiction on Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Led Zeppelin and the Beach Boys/Charlie Manson. And its thrill-ride poems and stories feature pop divas, punk epiphanies, cavemen, good acid, bad brains, adverse adverts, economic meltdowns, cosmology, cosmetology, the hallucinations of romance, Catholic sex, Disneyland, and Catholic sex at Disneyland.
Jack Skelley’s poems are mind-expanding, vision-inducing, orgasmic, psychedelic drugs, but their poetic beauty is no hallucination. His method: discovering the transcendent in the trivial, the mythic in the mundane. He is a Pop Gnostic who unearths the utopic desire just below the surface of our ultra-mediated culture, hoping to usher in ‘a Golden Age of pantheistic spasms.’ Like any realistic revolutionary, he demands the impossible – ‘I want a planet of toys … jihad of joys … a thick, chewy anarchy in a candy-colored shell.’ INTERSTELLAR THEME PARK is a funhouse that grants those kinds of wishes and more. Book your trip now!” —Elaine Equi, The Intangibles
“In Skelley’s world everything and everyone is volcanic. Cities become backlots; celebrities become saviors. Sharp, always spectacular. One of my very favorite writers on the earth.” —Dennis Cooper
“We need Jack Skelley’s work now more than ever. Jack's mind on the page helps parse our media-besotted, celebrity-drenched, digitized lives. Whether he's writing a kaleidoscopic erotic prayer to a brand of salad dressing, or making textual bedfellows of Wagner and Betty Rubble, or soulful insider anecdotes from the short life of Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, or musing tenderly on post-modern fatherhood, Skelley's ability to syncretize pop culture, history, product placement, Catholicism and beyond is a necessary wonder of the contemporary world.” —Amy Gerstler, An Index of Women
“Jack Skelley has been sifting through the detritus of our modern age for 40 years, decoding hidden truths buried deep within our pop icons, media obsessions, consumer culture(s) and other soft delights. As brilliant as the L.A. sun, a singular visionary.” —Lee Ranaldo, American musician, co-founder Sonic Youth
“William Blake warned us about the ‘mind-forg’d manacles’ that inhibit the imagination—if only he could be alive today to experience Jack Skelley’s writing as it breaks those manacles. Spanning four decades of Skelley’s fascination with (and suspicion of) America’s society of the spectacle, INTERSTELLAR THEME PARK: New and Selected Writing is a wild ride through the radiant debauchery of contemporary popular culture. Skelley’s irresistible poetry and prose take us on a tour of a cosmic, psychosexual playground that features, among others, a mock-epic mocking Elon Musk, a supplication to ‘Botox Jesus’ for the miracle of migraine relief, a Mary Wollstonecraft so ‘busy inventing goth’ that she bequeaths us punk rock, the distorted echo of Meat Puppets guitars heard in a lover’s gurgling stomach, twelve Lady Gagas performing ‘Lady Madonna’—in short, as Skelley writes, all ‘the levels / of paradise.’” —Tony Trigilio, Ghosts of the Upper Floor
“Jack Skelley’s INTERSTELLAR THEME PARK is a Monster. The gravitational pull of its linguistic and other intelligences is so strong, that it’s hard to get close without being sucked in. The television is always on and it’s always playing America’s game, channel switching audaciously through melopoeia, phanopoeia, logopoeia, and radiant space. Don’t read it unless you’ve got a ticket to ride through the luminous dimensions of its cosmic ra(n)ge.” —David E. James, Rock ‘N’ Film: Cinema’s Dance With Popular Music
“Despite my dislike of seeing my own name, you’re really a good writer – never what’s expected.” —Kathy Acker
Jack's Skelley's books include: Monsters (Little Caesar Press), Dennis Wilson and Charlie Manson (Fred & Barney Press), and Fear of Kathy Acker (Semiotext(e)). In addition to many magazines, blogs, etc, Jack's work is widely anthologized. Collections include: Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets (ed. Nicholas Christopher, Anchor Books), Sweet Nothings: An Anthology of Rock and Roll in American Poetry (ed. Jim Elledge, Indiana University Press), Coming Attractions (ed. Dennis Cooper, Little Caesar Press) and Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970 (ed. Andrei Codrescu, 4 Walls, 8 Windows). Jack is an award-winning journalist/editor with 40 years of publishing, from The Atlantic to Salon to Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the former Executive Editor and Associate Publisher of Los Angeles Downtown News. He was editor, publisher & designer of Barney: The Modern Stone-Age Magazine, featuring major artists and writers. And Jack is songwriter and guitarist for psychedelic surf band Lawndale (SST Records).