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Nightboat Books created a playlist • 6 days ago
"Pet Sounds is a long love poem written in and out of the collective of us. It truly has a surfing kind of energy, doesn’t get bunched up for long, even pleasantly gets a little specific and gross, but bobs again. Invariably she deals sharp and close because Stephanie’s seriously interested in a total ride through relationship and humanity, song, family and what else."
- Eileen Myles
"It is the power of the nothingness between us – call it love, or love songs – that is the center of all sensation and its interpretation. "
I present this playlist as a playlist to think, fight and fuck to. When I think of playlists there must be a well rounded approach. It must confront on all fronts. So that it make you a better lover, person and one that lives better amongst others. This helps to make one ready for the night of present and the dawn of the future. From many of the texts I share a personal connection to. Cecily is the first person to welcome me into her space in Vancouver and I always feels warmth and gratitude towards her because of this. Especially since I met her after a heartbroken bender of mine. John is always on my mind and makes the same tune as “Something about John Coltrane” but this “John” is my John that I picked up. There’s always something about that feels like the tickle of hair growing out of my scalp. I couldn’t be more in love. Reek is my forever comrade in arms. Probably the most important artist and militant of our generation because of how Reek fights for their friends. Raven is also the most important remnant of the Black anarchist tradition and has the quiet affect of a monk. The two former people I mentioned are leos, and the third one is too, Manuel. Manuel is the most sincere person I’ve met in awhile in the poetry world. I began to read their book “transtrender” and there’s been no turning back. Zaina, the last militant poet in the states. She puts so much passion into her relationships with organizing as she does poetry. Other texts, the only relationship I have to them is that they taught me something. So, I am sharing.
This collection by jayy dodd be a Black soundtrack remixing a questioning condition—be a pristine 16—bars: poplocking & unlocking all our imprisoned ignorance—be a praise song—blasphemous & righteous simultaneous—an altar—an alter ego—a negro narcissus blowing kisses at the mirror of their divine fineness—yes, lawd, these poems root us in the truth—sprout lovely—the opposite of wilt—they “flower in your hand”—bloom sonic in your ear like anti-anthem shading flamboyant & death-dropping to the pulse of its own parade. Amen.
-T'AI FREEDOM FORD
Who is Narcissus? If I thought I knew the answer to that question, I no longer do. Does jayy dodd’s THE BLACK CONDITION FT. NARCISSUS offer a mythology remixed, queered, Blackened, etc? For sure! jayy dodd inscribes and incarnates a dialectical desire for presence and a line of attack into “The Black Condition” as written by White Supremacy, faggotry as written by Hetero/Homo & Trans normativities, femininity as written by misogynoir, genius as written out of and against Black queer/trans/femme subjectivities. But far more than critical mirror or melancholy echo, dodd’s Narcissus emerges as generative principle, birthing the most vulnerable of possibilities, and deftly intimate, if joyously irreverent, critique. Their book is beautiful, voluptuous, daring and demanding of new shapes for becoming, loving and where necessary, destroying. jayy dodd is a genius and I will say that again.
If Amiri Baraka the poet, the pure technician, musician, chronicler of all that is black, blue, purple and lyric, were to metamorphosize and return as a blxk trans femme in spirit they would be jayy dodd. dodd’s poetry captures the magic and the ‘tude, the swing, swagger and tender hands of their experience. It’s an epic, a record, recording, A&B side, CD with bonus track, most importantly it is gospel bristling with raw and tender truths and yearning.
Andrea Abi-Karam’s debut poetry collection, EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019), takes on military exploitation of human and animal bodies, the scourge of bro culture, and the Uber-fication of urban space. Their forceful, often capslocked lines pursue a “poetry of directness” in opposition to the pervasive, unrippling “language of avoidance” that smooths over everyday potentials for confrontation. Employing repetition and polyvocality to move between contexts of contested embodiment, Abi-Karam gets at the problem of individual agency in global conflict and imperialism.
"We live in a country that has mastered the art of using our brains against us. I look to poets who comprehend this and employ new vocabularies and forms to emblazon paths—new neural hallways lead to threshold decisions about how to live our day to day lives. Andrea Abi-Karam has written a singular and imperative text landing on a way to acquire our maximum potential as rebel beings who can kill coercion dead so we can move together 'beyond this one type of experience,' perhaps the most threatening, and frightening, act we can take as beings."
Alice James Books created a playlist • a month ago
Verse is honored to share a preview of Ilyse Kusnetz's Angel Bones, out this week from Alice James Books. Of the collection, Mark Doty wrote, "In the face of her cancer diagnosis—'candle-bright spots in the marrow'—Ilyse Kusnetz’s sense of the fragility and impermanence of the world became an inescapable fact. In this second and final collection, the poet tries on every stance she can find toward her own mortality. Sometimes illness is a quotidian fact: 'My hair fell out, I learned to walk again./Before we knew, it was summer...' Sometimes the world she is leaving is radiant: 'wonder at the perfect Hebrew letters/imprinted on a green crab’s back...' What carries Kusnetz through, binding together what could have been the chaos of her last days, is love, the way she is held in her beloved’s care, the way she holds him firmly in her unwavering gaze. Angel Bones is a book of love poems, a testament to the way two lovers held strong until the end, and it leaves its readers more than saddened. We’re strengthened."