Peach Picks: Liz Bowen, Dear David
Sugarblood by Liz Bowen
Metatron Press / 2017 / poetry
Out earlier this year from Metatron’s Spring catalog was Liz Bowen’s electrifying debut collection of poetry, Sugarblood. The poems in Sugarblood fray the cords that tie us to our ideas of humanness and animality. By counterpoising the tactile textures of wires and guts against sharp moments of tenderness, Bowen explores the ways in which a body can both fail and celebrate itself; in “( ( ) ),” she writes, “somewhere is a cup of blood and you don’t relate … i want to be outside with you / i want to carry you into my body / like an adolescence.” Bowen’s debut is a portrait of insatiable contrasts: desire and need, sex and survival, harm and frenzy. In the opening poem, “ethics of rude,” she writes, “people are afraid of being animals / the distinguishable churn / of a body alive / people are afraid of eating the flesh / of their sisters / and they do it anyway / but call it something else.” Urgent and wild, Sugarblood is an unforgettable book that is unafraid of taking on that something else.
Dear David by Adam Ellis @moby_dickhead
Twitter / ongoing / fiction? / memoir? / you decide
If you’re on Twitter and haven’t recently seen a meme about Dear David, who are you even following? Dear David is an ongoing tweet thread by Twitter user Adam Ellis (@moby_dickhead), in which Ellis reports on the paranormal activity that he’s been witnessing in his apartment for the last few months. The story stars David, a little boy who has been haunting Ellis’s dreaming and waking lives, and who is presumably seeking revenge on whatever—or whoever—caused his death. Whether or not Ellis is inventing the experience is beside the point; his mastery of suspense aligns him with some of today’s great horror writers and has made Dear David an exciting alternative to scary movie season. But what interests me most about Dear David is how innovative the use of form is; given Twitter’s retweet and @ reply features, Ellis can tailor future installments of his epic based on audience response. Readers directly engage with the writer, as well as one another, sharing predictions and theories and possibly influencing the route Ellis takes the narrative. The last we heard of Ellis was September 22, and we probably won’t hear from him for another couple weeks. He’s abroad in Japan, and left us with the worry that David might follow.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquiries, contact the editors at email@example.com.