Carleen Tibbetts is the author of several chapbooks including to exosk(elle), the last sugar (Zoo Cake 2015) and DATACLYSM.jpg (Radioactive Cloud, 2018). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Erase the Patriarchy, The Offending Adam, jubilat, Deluge, TAGVVERK, Reality Beach, Forklift Ohio, Sink Review, and many other publications. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.
“This book is something else pretending to be a book. The something else is not conceptual and not lyric and not documentary and not not those things, either. ‘[T]his book is an intimacy.’ This book is (leaking) the digital world. This book is digital interfaces as selves. This book is a study in coolness—but not a vulgar sort of study and not any exclusive/limited sort of coolness, nothing you’ve ever heard of before. This book is against about; it’s also about the Internet. It’s trolling Capitalism and sub-tweeting (imo) Ginsberg/consumer data/Romanticism/lifestyle/Amazon/clickbait (and this book knows they’re all the same and doesn’t need to name names for you to know just what kind of critique is happening here), and it is, of course, viscerally disgusted with trolling and tweeting and clicking. But this book has a ‘you’ and that ‘you’ is alive (a Tibbetts-style Cronenberg-esque body inside of a ‘goldfronded viscosity’).
And since the book contains a ‘you,’ even as it gapes in horror at the mere possibility of containment, it also contends with desire as dictated by Capital. And since the ‘you’ is interfacing and cool and every single body all at once, all of which/whom have been ‘muted hearts spectralnestled/ in the somewhen’ of being a face in front of a goddamned screen, it must roll its eyes at “the unmyth of cutting/ you out of you.” It must cry, and be a lonely body in this utterly horrible and alienating world, and also play at detachment—turn on some Bauhaus and carry on in the ‘metastability epoch’ that is our time. And anyway our time is just a lie. ‘[L]o the bitchfilthed/ malaise monstered loose.’ Lo the endlessly eliding bits of information, words nestled into other words, all these selves interfacing, ‘outfit-repeat syndrome,’ ‘a necrotic moon,’ ‘parabolic velvet,’ a ‘myopathic face,’ bodies fucking in Drone Boning (I had to look it up and it’s NSFW).
And while this book would never stoop to the level of mere epiphany or petty declaration, ultimately, it’s true, what the book says: ‘to human is to wander/ in the psychotropics/ of tender wonder.’ And the reading of it prompts exactly that experience.”
–Olivia Cronk, author of Skin Horse (Action Books, 2012)
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by Carleen Tibbetts