Join us for the release of Punch Drunk Press‘ second book of poetry, As For The Body by Blake Marcelle.
Copies of the book will be available to purchase for $15 at the event.
You can also purchase the book online here:
Blake Marcelle is a punk puppy, trans b-o-i with a working knowledge of multiple forms of whistling who puts the masc in mascara and has managed to shove fifty feet of love and rage into five feet of human body. They used to write only in iambic pentameter and read the dictionary for fun. Recently, they left the library, made friends, and started writing free-form feelsy junk. About one in five of blakes poems was written on their phone on a smoke break, about one in three is a platonic love poem about a chosen family member, and about one out of two has more similies than are really necessary. Blake’s first book, As for the body: annotations to an owner’s manual is forthcoming from punch drunk press. Most recently, their work has been featured in chinquapin literary magazine and on the Bombay gin’s radio hour. If you enjoy their poetry, you may also enjoy verbal fisticuffs, counting the divots in peach pits, calling dogs beefcake, and queering votive holders.
“Blake Marcelle’s poetry takes up the difficult task of cataloging the rages and forgivenesses of the body. With a furtive attention to detail, they explore a topography of personal and cultural memory, layering the sacred and the profane, the honest and the apocryphal, the wild and the ordinary, willing and inventing a new freedom. AS FOR THE BODY is a fearless, full-lunged, big-hearted debut.”
-Mindy Nettifee
AS FOR THE BODY: Annotation of an Owner’s Manual:
This text has a divine awareness of the tension of itself. The tension of what a body is vs. how it is perceived in private/public spheres. & this text is a rejection of that awareness—awareness as a type of labeling, a language that attempts to box or understand. Blake Marcelle does not ask the reader to understand, but to ask: can there be a belief system built of the body? Religion of the west forces us to extricate the body, throw it down a well to soak & swell with the sin of the underground, of the mother. What do we worship instead , when the body is left to rot? Some find the holy in substances that erode the body faster, like a storm surge against a fragile cliff. Some find our gaze not on the lord, but on the scraps cast on the perimeter of the churchyard. The remnants of beings deemed too angry or outrageous or in-between to attend ceremony. How does one escape without collapsing into the sea? Where can these beings go to worship their rusted edges? Blake creates a temple of the body as the body—diagraming the violence that occurs in the realization of body as commodity, to reclamation of body as possibility. Of infinite. As Blake writes, this is an unlearning. A “learning, / again and slowly/ with my hands, how to allow for the weather/ without clean socks. And half the dirty tea cups.”
-Shawnie Hamer


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