Civilization Makes Me Lonely
Author: Jennifer Nelson
Publisher: Ahsahta Press (2017)
Winner of the 2016 Sawtooth Prize
The poems in Nelson's Civilization Makes Me Lonely present a plethora of resistances to normalization. The resistances are anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti- misogynist; they include fantasies of subverting surveillance technology and big-data algorithms; and sometimes they rely on breakdowns of communication into sonic mimicry, as in a series of poems gibbered by the "Sleeper" agent. Grief about failed escape attempts yields not to optimism about any future, but rather to a reorganization of history as permanently open to multiple meanings. Nelson, an art historian, believes in "art's power to reform bad archives."
"This book is wicked. Who knew that poetry could frack the totality?"