Winner of C.A. Conrad's
Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge
96 pgs, Cover by the author
$13.00 direct from Aerial/Edge
I've heard it said that poetry that uses the phrasal fragment can't have a coherent and strident politics. I've never believed it. But if for some reason you have, read Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge and be shown the way. This collection makes the lyric and socialist realist documentary look helpless in the face of neoliberalism. If there is, as many want to argue now, a poetry of globalization, Jules Boykoff is writing it and those looking for what poetry might look like post-Seattle will find this necessary reading.
The X and Y axes of "exploring life as it is (so as to 'deepen being')" and "scrambling life as it's been (to 'change it')" --debatably the most enduring aesthetic double quandary (and argument) of the previous century--make up the artistic coordinate plane by which Jules Boykoff dreams, thinks, and operates. In this collection of poetry, Boykoff unleashes a ribald criticality as a bald come on to liberation. Liberation shimmies. New stuff shakes out. Here's a poetic practice boldly moving beyond current centrist experimental poetries and their obsession with betweening and thereining. Bump all that! Give us the shake out. Give us a hand.
After reading Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge, I want to echo Tom Hayden's comment on the 1999 Seattle andi-WTO demonstrations: "I am glad to have lived long enough to see a new generation of rebels accomplish something bigger." Boykoff's inventive language -- "prophet/profit" -- reminds us that in the futures market we're all dressed in sheep's clothing. This book re-girds us for the fight.