Some books to keep your winter cozy - and your mind strange.
1. Dictionnaire Infernal - Mark Lamoureux & Chris McCreary (Empty Set Press, 2017)
This is a strange, witchy, spooky chapbook where Lamoureux and McCreary collaborated on the poems, often blending their own voices and personas together. It's at once serious but also full of jokes that will make you laugh twice. (We even published one of their poems here.)
2. Colony Collapse Metaphor - Philip Jenks (Fence Books, 2014)
The title itself suggests an apocalypse - and most of the book reads this way, as an end of the world/end of a moment. What's at stake? Everything. Jenks explores social, economic, religiosity, and authenticity. A poem:
seroquel, ardent neural raid.
"you are incorrigible, simply incorrigible."
reflections of a dying paper route.
or was it boy. that was my intention
when he was bested at the helm,
when he was blankets by daylight
and mouthing sections of biblic'
portion, oozing at mandible.
Take a certain someone, add gun
and some radiation. "treat street."
the Hatchers had one under couch
for special haunts. He grips dripping
without days without number, just
without sail, without border, dead
time circling, circling (ah) del'very!
3. Jazzercise Is a Language - Gabriel Ojeda-Sague (The Operating System, 2018)
This book is delightful, but also so conversational, it feels like you're having an inner monologue with yourself in the best way possible. The book mimics and centers around the dance, but also more than the dance, those who dance it - focusing on bodies, racial dynamics, sex, and the strange shame that seems to build itself into exercise routines.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (The Operating System, 2017), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), and Sexting Ghosts (Unknown Press, 2018). They are the editor of A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). Joanna received a MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, a managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM, as well as an instructor at Brooklyn Poets. Some of their writing has appeared in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, Apogee, Spork, The Feminist Wire, BUST, and elsewhere.