Peach Picks: What to Read This Week
Peach published Rosie Accola’s poem “My mom never let me go to warped tour” yesterday. It reminds us that rebellion, both personal and societal, is cyclical: “When I was 14, I wrote in my diary that I wanted friends to do ‘punk things with’/Tonight, I threw a party for everyone I love/I made cupcakes and tried to single-handedly fund Planned Parenthood with PBR Sales.” Accola’s words are relatable and high-spirited, but there is something much more urgent just below the surface, “When I do sleep/my fists are clenched.”
This same feeling was present in the poem we published last Friday by Jane Rohrer. Both “19” and “‘I wish the women would hurry up and take over’ — Leonard Cohen” present a place beyond defeat, the moment when you have to move past the loss and disappointment to reconfigure yourself as a strong and composed individual again. The latter poem finds a zenlike stillness in defeat, as Rohrer conjures death in the senseless seabound journey of a legion of crustaceans: “what a thing to be a crab,/to face sure painful death at every/instant, to not be/granted a slow &/graceful decline, to creep through life/defined by what murders you & who/decides to care about your plight.”
Natalie Shapero was a captivating reader last summer during the July installment of the Silo City Reading Series. Shapero stresses an economy of language in her work and readers will find themselves taken with the quietly tragic laughter along the edges of her poems—something not quite along the lines of gallows humor, more like a joke told to you by a resigned fireman as your house burns down. “I heard an accomplished scientist refer to the practice of autopsy/as questioning with a knife. He kissed me in a library.” The poems in No Object strive to communicate to the reader in a language of doomed playfulness, or perhaps more accurately, a playful sense of doom.
IN PRINT & ON PEACH
Ghost in the Club
Greg Zorko was the first writer to be published in Peach Mag and he also headlined our launch reading in August. Zorko’s debut collection, Ghost in the Club, is full of poems you’ll silently recite in the background of your everyday slog through the most mundane rituals that have been self-inflicted upon humans in the 21st century. “Watched a sped up video/of a sloth eating leaves/with dancehall music playing in the background/and felt/a crippling and physical/sense of jealousy.” All of Zorko’s poems carry this same air of mumbled wisdom and sadness, each of them like an offhandedly profound text message received from your bored best friend.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.