Poetry | $15 ($13 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 104 pp, 5.5 x 8 in.
Publication Date: 2011
Read Press Release (PDF)
gowanus atropolis attempts to reconcile the toxicity of the titular Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn and the east river in ‘Manahatta’ with the poet’s search for the pastoral in New York City. A queer elegy for when language might have been prior to thought, where the phrase becomes the thought, rather than the other way around—so that the dystopic might become, if not utopic, at least measurable / pleasurable, “melodious offal.”
COLLECTOR'S EDITION–SOLD OUT
Includes a copy of gowanus atropolis, signed and numbered by the author;
Plus a letterpress broadside print featuring a previously unpublished poem by Julian;
Printed in a limited run of 75 copies
"Aspirate all h's and brace to meet Sludgie, 'erstwhal' of the Gowanus, displaced echolocator through a lush verbal wildering of neologisms, hot archaisms, and barbed portmanteaus. Brolaski finds the 'herm' in 'hermunculae' and puts the 'gee' back in 'ambigenuity.' The tongue hasn't sounded this flexed and full since Chaucer lapped up Romance, but these damesirs sing instruction with their fishairs: one 'ynvents a grammatical order' so to 'speke englysshe/polymorphously.'" —RODNEY KOENEKE
"gowanus atropolis, it made me want to build a better blurb. A biggerish blur. Not an index, even if I could— “wots left of the ecosystem” sings. But—I don’t know what atropolis means—that’s ok, that’s what the poems said to me. It’s a place. gowanus atropolis: neighborhoods that came before, and inside, language, as it built itself, apart from itself, just as so many bodies, being neither one gender nor the opposite, give dictionaries the slip. Also places in New York, California, fleshy with fishes and asphalt, submerged yet audible histories. These poems don’t build a new dictionary so much as they create new forms of being intensely present to that which so often gets left out, which disappears as standard usage hardens us into place. The elisions. The middle. The sounds that move between persons and phones, in a cloud on the train, or the screen. Nonsense, too—that which confounds owners and upsets all contracts fills these lyrics with a mysterious energy. Everywhere I turn, “a buck in the corridor”, encounters I cannot reason or push or identify my way through. I stand still. A little giddy. Our eyes meet." —STEPHANIE YOUNG
"Once in a while there are poems which create entire fresh terrain. And I'm saying too that it's hard to come home from it, locator dials set anew. I'm jangling from the return, like the world had descended upon me so quickly through the poems it was some time before I realized I was still in one piece, and minted with a beautiful little scar. Julian's deviance is a hazard of poems which bend the muscle of light. I can hardly wait to share our extra strength when we've all read them!" —CACONRAD
Excerpt from gowanus atropolis:
the fish begin to speak queerly
something that never will happen before
alexander the great
girding the neck
au quelque crossroads
the libertine's lap
n the ganymede's hole
This book is funded in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Julian T. Brolaski is the author of the chapbooks Hellish Death Monsters (Spooky Press 2001), Letters to Hank Williams (True West Press 2003), The Daily Usonian (Atticus/Finch 2004), Madame Bovary’s Diary (Cy Press 2005) and A Buck in a Corridor (flynpyntar 2008). Brolaski's second full length book, Advice for Lovers, is forthcoming from City Lights in Spring 2012. Brolaski lives in Brooklyn where xe is an editor at Litmus Press, curates vaudeville shows and plays country music with The Invert Family Singers. New work is on the blog hermofwarsaw.