Chernoff’s I'M LIKE THE GREAT GRANDCHILD OF MARX & COCA-COLA (BUT NON-BINEY) pits the stock market, that chaotic and often esoteric meeting place for buyers and sellers, against the mixed blessing of consciousness, to ask which one is the better source of value over time. That there’s no definitive answer is precisely the point. Strewn with delectable lines and resonant moments of insight, the book captures the anxiety and oversaturation of existing in a world motivated by wealth in all its gluttonous, debased glory, without losing sight of the basic human needs underpinning its tireless pursuit. -Trevor Abes
From "SHIT SHOW AT THE FUCK FACTORY"
January 28th, 2021
Don’t go downstairs underneath the floorboards where the greeds fist each other’s needs like little fakeouts with a hundred here and a billion or two there, don’t go, don’t.
Spectate and inspect, respect and circumvent, let it be, let it all come crumbling let the let the let the roaming roam and the stony stone those billionaires to death. ...
A Video Tape Swaddled in Purple Wool, By Kevin Spenst
Visceral and fearless. The Last Thing I Will See Before I Die unflinchingly dissects its own body. Hegele slices cross-sections of past and present, pulls the meat apart before the reader and asks what it means to be seen. -Fawn Parker
Tadpoles, minnows, foals, and chameleons. These are some of the creatures that appear in Sydney Hegele's debut poetry chapbook, The Last Thing I Will See Before I Die, a collection that sings of rebirth and change through language and the act of naming—of becoming. Full of startling images and rushes of music, they write of the repercussions of violence as “rotting lunch / in a wet paper bag” while simultaneously inviting the reader into the closeness of bed, where love “lets us / rest.” Vibrant and unforgettable, these poems are a celebration of the act of (re)creation. -Jenny Berkel
"Vivian Li's chapbook is bursting with beauty and heartache. The poems are alert to history and to the present and what it means to want to "love the taste of the earth." Li contends with grief and loneliness but ultimately stands on the side of life. There is so much to be caressed by here—it's a miracle!" -Billy-Ray Belcourt
"Vivian (Xiao Wen) Li is the poet of the kissing touch, the bearhug breeze, the home that Love fashions from a house. Her poetry renders tenderness, humanity prodded to be humane, so that we can avoid the double-cross that can be border-crossings (as from China to Canada). She calls for community and unity and communion, knowing “we don’t have to be good / to be loved." Then, poignantly, she asks, “How many people have we lost / searching for this moment?" Oh yes, finding this announcement of Welcome, well, you are found." -George Elliott Clarke Author of Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir (Knopf Canada)
"Someday I Promise, I’ll Love You is an intimate series of correspondences “rich with inherited characters,” a chorus of voices calling across time and distance. These poems trace the marks, signs, imprints, and scars of a personal and cultural history, illuminating points of connection: beauty shimmers up from the yolk of an egg; a woman seeks out ancestral traditions; songs wind their way back to joy. From story, dream, memory, and improvisational marks on paper, Vivian Li composes an elegant, capacious collection." -Sheryda Warrener
From "Someday I Promise, I’ll Love You"
Xi, you are most beautiful when you forget
what beauty is. The dew is filled with sun
on days it remains still. Waterfalls, too,
carry with them the earth that must be moved.
Mother kings blue chrysanthemums with her fingers,
her nails tessellate stars into earthy loam
once called hope. Swanning into air, the night curls around her voice like a circlet--
somehow she can only sing silver. Your father rusts into