Bright Stupid Confetti by Gary J. Shipley [OUT NOW!]
Reading these poems, I have the constant feeling of having to catch up to their speaker. He strides ahead of me and beckons with his head. Comparisons are made, often to astronomy, climatology, genetics, computing, medicine, animal studies, but Shipley has already leapt over the fences of the metaphors. These prose poems have the elegance of both scientific proofs and the Goldberg Variations. They offer no answers but the wry humor of their own making and unmaking. As Laozi taught, and Shipley demonstrates again and again, the way that can be communicated is not the way, but still we wish to communicate.
—Jee Leong Koh, author of Connor & Seal
In its form, tropes, tone, and intensity, Bright Stupid Confetti joins a nightray of decadent prose running from Baudelaire to José Antonio Ramos Sucre to Johannes Göransson. This volume explores the hope/fear that the body can discover more of itself, and that the voice uttered in the chasm of one’s own bodily dream-terrain may pronounce an infernal logic to blot out the sun. “The sound of yourself: that storm of barbed wire.” A book to curl up with.
—Joyelle McSweeney, author of The Red Bird and Flet
For all its formal beauty and gut-wrenching images, what I find most fascinating about Gary J Shipley’s writing is its perpetual endeavor to penetrate the impenetrable, which is to me the very definition of tautology—and of obsession. There is a kind of concentrated narrativity in these pure ruminations that I relish. If there really is something beyond the language, it has to be either pointless, or bizarre. And that’s all part of the game. Nonsenseness is not senselessness. Read any of Shipley’s work, and you’ll get it.
—Róbert Gál, author of Agnomia and Naked Thoughts
Gazing at Shipley’s book, you might ask: what kind of genetic variant material is this? Is it torture-torn? Is it Martian friendly? Is it beauty dressed like microgravity or permafrost or burqa? Perhaps everything Shipley writes is a type of Ethiopian digitalized wolf: remote-controlled, ferocious, savagely fierce. His blocks of prose move like wolves hunting in packs, pursuing cloning and animal instincts for demonstrative gut bacteria or survival, seeking to 3D print pointlessness on one sheet of text that could be called your soul. Shipley prunes our eyesight where a million epileptic trees of perceptions sprout. Perhaps he has written a book for the sleep-tortured, for three cats, for fog, for global warming, for a whale in an embryo, for your genetic abnormality, for your favorite nosebleed, for your rice paddies, for your death fixation, for your immunosuppressants, for your cephalopodic crocodile, or just simply for you because you love the genetic material of language so much or perhaps to give you what you deserve the most: “temporal indigestion.”
-Vi Khi Nao, author of Fish in Exile and Sheep Machine