The Ways of the Monster

The Ways of the Monster

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Author: Jay Besemer

Publisher: The Operating System (2018)

Continuing and expanding the themes of Chelate, The Ways of the Monster takes us through the everyday performance of inhabiting bodies that complicate the social landscape. Unpacking the tightly condensed formal page of his previous books, Jay Besemer now moves with readers through and between the physical and imaginary aspects of the "everyday": an actual, experienced urban Chicago; a totally fantastical Los Angeles; absurd encounters too complex to be legible, or legibly verbalized. With the poet's customary sensory and linguistic saturation, The Ways of the Monster confronts violence with refusal and counters abjection with contagious self-mutation. This book is part of The Operating System's Kin(d) Books and Projects Imprint, which is devoted to transgender and nonbinary creative practitioners."This is a text about the problem of being and the problem of matter: what matters, but also how being is matter, and what that feels like, what it can mean. The body is here but in pieces, promises, refusals, apparitions. Sometimes you know it only because it's the thing that shifts. The I and the you can't be trusted to be who they say they are, who you expect them to be. There are bodies, animals, objects, ideas, cities, and spirits, and there's a wetness to everything. It keeps slipping away from you, and delivering you somewhere new, like a river in a dream."

–Johanna Hedva

"Jay Besemer's The Ways of the Monster provides us with poetic phenomenology of the interior and exterior, of minds surveying and essaying the world, embodied consciousnesses moving through and refiguring the surrounding landscapes. The monster here abides in the everyday, contingent, ephemeral, omnipresent: 'Alive, what motion is begun?'"

–John Keene