Gray Market

Gray Market

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Author: Krystal Languell

Publisher: 1913 Press (2016)

"In single cigarettes sold on a city sidewalk, in 'not for individual sale' samples of drugs or beauty products hawked on the Internet, a gray economy blossoms all around us rerouting traditional channels of production and distribution. Krystal Languell's poems outline how individuals thrive and fail such shadowy markets: 'When I was working 60 hours a week,' she writes, 'my dad seemed to like hearing about it.' In a personal accounting of employment histories, relationships, workplaces and homes ('The known spaces / that however fucked are familiar'), Languell records the colliding forces of economics, gender, and aesthetics. The vital poems in Gray Market reveal and rewire capitalism's circuits of shame and desire. 'I am basically begging for it,' Languell writes, 'but it is / the revolution not what you imagine I need.'"

–Susan Briante

"I am hooked on Languell's poetry. Her startling shifts among registers of language; her acute prosody, and her savage plainspokenness reveal not only a great poetic talent but a mind that inquiring people will want to keep close."

–Ann Starr