Peach Picks: What to Read This Week

by / Jan. 18, 2017 12am EST


Last Friday on Peach we featured “7a.m. in Buffalo” by Ben Brindise. Brindise’s poem has hungry breath and is consumed by the salt and cold air of Western, NY. Particularly notable in cutting lines like, “The flames would eat up the rust on the side of my car/and in my dying moments/I’d think about some weird metaphor for the collapse of the steel industry/Going out on some narrative my location has always bolted me to.”

Yesterday, Richard Ostrander’s “Emoji Face with Tears of Joy” restructured modern forms of communication and brands into the feelings we can’t quite put into words, “Your eyes crinkle like Rice Crispies. A snare drum overhead, it is raining now.” 


OK (novel)
by KOOL A.D.
Sorry House, 250 pages

The long-awaited debut novel from Victor “Kool A.D.” Vazquez is a hyper-modern stream of hope, braggadocio, and fantasy. The novel concerns the narrator’s day-to-day life as he falls in love, becomes a parent, and finds himself drifting both out of the country and out of reality altogether. OK is hilarious, and at times feels like a series of jokes you’ve half-remembered from a dream. But the book also touches on some more weighted subject matter, including contemporary parenthood and the Muslim faith in modern America.


WILDLIVES (poetry)
by Sarah Jean Alexander
Big Lucks, 79 pages

Back in October Sarah Jean Alexander published a prose poem called “How the Night Ends Is What Really Matters” on Peach. Alexander’s penchant for self-assured honesty is crystallized in the opening lines of the poem, during which a conversation concerning crushes on fictitious characters prompts her to admit, “Phil from Rugrats, and the silence that follows feels like a punishment.”

The same sort of bluntly beautiful exposure of the inner self is present, line after line, in Alexander’s debut collection, WILDLIVES. A series of poetry and prose vignettes, WILDLIVES explores intimacy and the ways it can mysteriously draw people closer, while simultaneously pushing them apart. “Violent Knight,” one of the collection’s absolutely devastating must-reads, concerns a perceived far future for a young couple, “You will kiss the top of my head and say, I love your broken hair follicles. You will joke about them, saying, Oh I think I found one! and we will both laugh, because while permanent hair loss after four years of on-and-off chemotherapy treatments isn’t guaranteed, we will have been prepared after the first two.” WILDLIVES is a book you’ll keep on your bedside table for a long time, like a gentle alarm clock.

“Peach Picks” is a new column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo, New York. For inquiries, contact Rachelle at