Queen Mob’s Tea House posted my rapturous review of MADCAP, the third full-length poetry collection by Jessie Janeshek which will be published this month by Stalking Horse Press.
Jessie Janeshek’s MADCAP (Stalking Horse Press, 2019) is a poetry collection with the soul of a surreal neo-noir film directed by David Lynch and starring Mae West as the hard-boiled detective. It’s a mystery wrapped in faux fur, wandering through a jagged and smoky past like it’s a hall of mercury-glass mirrors. It seeks clues to answer haunting existential questions about the eternal entanglement of beauty and violence. To track down leads, it conducts seances with the spirits of Old Hollywood starlets, their voices phasing in & out like staticky radio waves on West Virginia mountain roads, their sentences cut up & reassembled by the ghost of William S. Burroughs.
Read the full review at Queen Mob’s Tea House
The recursion-obsessed journal ➰➰➰ (or “Many Loops”) just launched its 2nd issue and it’s even more mind-blowing than I could’ve expected. And I’m proud that it includes “Groundhog Days & Russian Dolls,” a thing I wrote about time-loops, simulation theory, mental health, Natasha Lyonne, and more…
It’s not exactly breaking news that we may well be living in a computer simulation. If the number of computer-simulated worlds that’ve been created is increasing exponentially toward infinity, so the logic goes, we’re probably already inside one.
But just because a scenario is highly probable doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept as reality. I get it. I have a hard time accepting this idea myself. The logic seems retroactive. Besides, reality usually feels too real to be fake, even when it feels too fake to be real.
Of course, logic can be illogical in a simulation. In a simulation, time can flow in all kinds of directions. And if fake reality were the only kind of reality we’ve ever known, how would we tell the difference between real reality and fake reality—if there even was a difference?
Click here to read the whole thing on Many Loops’ website…
I’m very happy to see another kind & thoughtful review of BADMOTORFLAPPER, this time by Harley Claes over at Angelical Ravings. Some phrases she uses include:
…homage to decadent womanhood, with surrealist style…written both eloquently and at times humorously…an entire cornucopia of sentimental remembrance…
[read the entire review here]
I am enormously flattered that Jessie Janeshek, my favorite living poet, really grokked my debut poetry collection BADMOTORFLAPPER, & wrote a very kind review of it, which you can read in full on the instagram feed of Really Serious Literature.
I’ve talked about conceptual aspects of the collection; O’Brien’s craft is also strong. I love their flexibility with and careful use of form to suit both the aura of the flapper in question and the song that she’s paired with…
My debut poetry EP, BADMOTORFLAPPER, is now on sale! It’s a 10-track collection of poems I wrote as tributes to some of my favorite women of the 1920s + music of the 1990s. Some of these poems have been previously published in places like Yes, Poetry and Rag Queen Periodical, but some are exclusive to this little booklet.
Print Copies are $4US via PayPal (shipping in US only)
Digital (PDF) copies are $2US via PayPal
- DOROTHY PARKER will have her revenge on Manhattan
- GRETA GARBO behind the counter in a small town
- Sometimes ZELDA FITZGERALD gives the creeps herself
- JOSEPHINE BAKER ain’t nuthing ta fuck wit
- CLARA BOW is in your face but you can’t grab her
- THEDA BARA with butterfly wings
- LUPE VELEZ is a hot spitfire fit to burn
- Got them Down-in-a-hole BESSIE SMITH Blues
- ANNA MAY WONG’s gonna break this rusty cage
- Last Dance with LULU BROOKS
Today marks the launch of Many Loops, a fascinating new online publication obsessed with recursion. It includes “Buddy Holly,” which is a thing I wrote in 2018 about my nostalgia for Weezer’s 1994 video “Buddy Holly,” which was nostalgic for the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days,” which was nostalgic for the 1950s. It’s pretty much the most Joe O’Brien thing I’ve written to date.
This is something I’ve been writing called “Buddy Holly,” but it’s not really about the late preppy-nerdy rockabilly musician with the thick-framed glasses. It’s about a music video for a fuzzy-yet-sleek new wavy power-pop song called “Buddy Holly,” which isn’t really about the musician Buddy Holly either, it’s about how the song’s singer, Rivers Cuomo, resembles Buddy Holly.
This is something I’m writing in the year 2018, looking back affectionately and obsessively upon a music video I fell in love with when it first aired in 1994. Directed by eventual Oscar-winner Spike Jonze, the video features Weezer, a pop-rock band formed in the 1990s, playing their song “Buddy Holly” as if they were characters on Happy Days, a fondly-remembered sitcom from the 1970s that looked back warmly on American life in the 1950s.
This is about 2010s nostalgia for 1990s nostalgia for 1970s nostalgia for the 1950s. Nostalgia kinda like those Russian Nesting Dolls, or matryoshka.
[read the whole thing here]
So often I feel like I’m tightrope-walking above a gator-filled swamp while the world keeps chucking rotten watermelons at me, but these Flapperhouse readings make me feel all swaddled and warm. Like a birdhouse in my soul, you might say.
We’re having our 25th (!!!) one of these tomorrow night to launch our Fall issue, and there’ll be poetry & music & voodoo & telepathic football-playing dogs & on top of all that we’ll be raising funds to help immigrant families in need of legal assistance.
If you’ll be in the NYC area, feel free to swing by. I’ll be your little glowing friend, your blue canary in the outlet by the light switch, watching over you, filibustering vigilantly…