oh, you thought this was a date?!
112 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: June 2022
- Published: June 2022
Appalachian genderqueer punk writer C. Russell Price's first full-length poetry collection is a somatic grimoire exploring desire, gender, and sexuality in multiverse littered with flowers and product placement. Part pop culture bubblegum lip smack, part battle cry, this collection asks, What is radical vengeance, and does true survivorship from sexual trauma exist only in fantasy, or is it an attainable reality?
Price's cinematic approach to language and scene is on full display, as well as their dark humor and resilience. Within these pages, the surreal is familiar and grief is a national pastime. If the end is near, who among us would not put on Fleetwood Mac? Who would not clean up their eyeliner just a smidge? This collection pulses with the beat that follows destruction (whether human or natural), the moment the jaw unhinges. These poems are not for pearl clutchers. They are for those who have already felt their private apocalypse.
“Apocalypse as the shock of trauma and round-the-clock aftershocks. As inextinguishable sexhood. As transgression on the dictionary, sowing it with the embodied experience of the holy ‘I.’ Apocalypse: renaming it Carl. Collaring it with a soundtrack. Handcrafting rituals that sustain us past doomsday. C. Russell Price has written an explicit tour guide, a turquoise spill, an embrace of the flyover. Has forged a towering self. An icon. Has named names. Has seeded the land with toxic honeysuckle. It smells so sweet.” —Diane Seuss, author of frank: sonnets
“Against complacency or complicity, C. Russell Price offers us doomsday armor in a constellation of longing—an escape route through rage, ritual, soundtrack formed by grief. These are horny poems of damnation, daring us to breathe into all the broken possibilities.” —Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The Freezer Door
“Gworl, C. Russell Price hasn’t simply made poems, but a Persephonean song cycle (‘I won’t make love without music; I have to keep count’) that shows us hell and names the one who brought us there (‘how well he knew / the way to hurt’). Fine, I’ll call this a book, but it’s also a queer jazz fugue in which Price gathers all the ugly notes to fashion a stunning rendition where they ‘sing / lines [they] never loved / the first go round.’” —Tommye Blount, author of Fantasia for the Man in Blue
“These poems are not here to comfort us, to sand down our splinters, to be ‘all positive self-talk / in a lynching country.’ These poems are here to dance, fuck, dream, rage, witness, call out, and survive. C. Russell Price is a singular poet—a singular, startling, unapologetic, unforgettable voice—and oh, you thought this was a date?! is a book we need now.” —Maggie Smith, author of Goldenrod: Poems
“If the world is meant to end, a love poem will not save it, and yet, C. Russell Price’s astonishing debut makes me feel otherwise. What will save us if not love? Often my favorite books make me want to write, but Price’s work makes me want to live—eagerly, feverishly, like tomorrow may not come, but I so, so want it to. C. Russell Price’s budding legacy is one of gorgeous prosody, hungry love, fierce empathy, and unfettered hope despite it all—you will know Price by the blue petals left in their wake. You will be better for it.” —Kayleb Rae Candrilli, author of Water I Won’t Touch