Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Joy Of Missing Out - Ana Božičević (Birds, LLC)

Today's book of poetry:
Joy Of Missing Out.  Ana Božičević.  Birds, LLC.  Minneapolis, New York, Raleigh.  2017.

01 Jomo Front Cover


Like a river of dope
Your love came to me
A superstar--and even if celebrity is
The prostitute sister of love, its economy
Still strikes us both as true,
And so we do do the world's work. We adore.
Stars gossip with a look of love on the world's edge.
The overlooked, broken, the queer and dark--
All those Heathcliffy words
Relax into a
Sphere of unsafety--
Remember 'we were never meant
To survive'--
Her sex is the power and like
Literally my dildos have melted
From the heat 
Of that fire emoji


Ana Božičević is that poet you have been waiting for.  She's as dangerous as the last drink after last call.  Clever, pshaw, Ana is way ahead of the curve.  Božičević is as hard as man-made diamonds and from the Eva H.D. school of not two shits will be given for the consequences, if you can't keep up, it is not Ana's problem.

Today's book of poetry knows that I haven't quite put my finger on it but Ana Božičević writes poetry a little like some angry neo-punk Audrey Hepburn all hard edged and classy had taken over her id.  A suave and sassy, straight shootin' Patti Smith has the ego.  And the result is magic.

                                                        Put perfume on my soles
                                                        (I really do) and
                                                                   I'll Never Forget the Way You Said "Sabine"

Joy Of Missing Out splashes ice-water on your poetry sleepy-face.  Ana Božičević doesn't just entertain and challenge and delight -- she does it with pace.

2 Worlds

It doesn't matter if I feel loved
Maybe I can't and it doesn't

Matter if anyone
Gets a thing I say

All that matters is I should stay
And die only when it's time

But what if it's time.
In another world they're singing

My songs off of cereal boxes
In this one I'm alone


Our morning read was back to fireworks.  Kathryn, our Jr. Editor, was in full fledged full forced full tilt boogie mode today as it was her birthday.  We showered her with poetry books, the birthday gift of choice around these parts.  Kathryn passed Joy Of Missing Out around the room like it was birthday cake and everyone was getting a candle.  

Maggie, our new intern, stated unequivocally that Joy Of Missing Out was the book of poetry she'd most enjoyed since joining the Today's book of poetry team.  She felt that Božičević was speaking directly to her and that was a good, good thing.

Even Milo, our head tech, voiced an opinion out loud.  He said it was like Božičević had channelled Lynn Crosbie's grit and Sue Goyette's sand.  Today's book of poetry appreciated the comparisons to two of Canada's finest, couldn't disagree.


And even now
Even in the (I can't
Believe I'm saying
It) the Trump
Economy (not believing
Is my privilege) the greatest
Hurt is seeing
The back of someone
Who looks like you at the bar
Jet hair trans skin
But it's ok
This pain is how
I know
That love will win


Joy Of Missing Out fills Today's book of poetry with hope.  Božičević knows that the world is a silly place and only survivable with a good sense of humour.  She also knows that the world is a dangerous place where your heart could be taken prisoner at any moment.

Poetry like this makes us smile.  

Image result for ana bozicevic photo

Ana Božičević 

Ana Božičević, born in Croatia in 1977, is a poet, translator, teacher,and occasional singer. She is the author of Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009) and the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013). She is the recipient of the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from the Feminist Press, and the PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović, forthcoming from Phoneme Media. At the PhD Program in English at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York she studied New American poetics and alternative art schools and communities, and edited lectures by Diane di Prima for Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Ana has read, taught and performed at Art Basel, Bowery Poetry Club, Harvard, Naropa University, San Francisco State University Poetry Center, the Sorbonne, Third Man Records, University of Arizona Poetry Center, and The Watermill Center. She works and teaches poetry at BHQFU, New York’s freest art school.

Ana Božičević invents a new language of 21st century displacement: a displacement that occurs not just in space and in time but in heart, vision and mind. The poems in Joy of Missing Out range from Croatian farm fields and embroidered dresses to life spent online, emoji, chain stores and drugs. Always: emotion. No filter, she writes. Božičević is a master of the startling lyric: her poems transport, but they can also kick dirt in your face in the last line. Her casual poems are formidably informed and, also, great.
     -Chris Kraus

Auto-erotic (sunlit) pool life + "the funny softness at the deep end of the field" = Joy of Missing Out. Mid-ocean, is that sound of civilians being murdered, or is it Julie Andrews exclaiming in B minor on an Alpine piste? (Or meadow.) This book is full of switches. Pull the wrong one and there's no Europe. To put it another way, are there continents, cities and countrysides that, having left them, a person might never see again? Twenty-first Century 101: "Stupid pleasures" substitute in their entirety for a very real glacier, etc. I have loved Božičević's poetry for a long time, and it was a glamorous treat for me to be with it again. The extreme poetry that will never, precisely, return.
     -Bhanu Kapil

No matter what the radiant, brilliantly unbalanced work of Ana Božičević always feels right. She’s a bit of a colossus.
     -Eileen Myles

Ana Božičević 
Birds, LLC trailor for Joy Of Missing Out



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