Battling Demons

It’s funny. A couple days ago, Facebook reminded me (in my personal account) that, four years ago, I’d posted a photo taken during assembly of our then-latest chapbook. Which was actually Clown Machine by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens.

We hadn’t planned on Jennifer’s next Grey Book Press chapbook coming out now, almost four years exactly after Clown Machine. Of course, the Coronavirus (and the vagaries of web-hosting issues) had other plans. But, now, we are back with a bang . . . Jennifer’s latest chapbook, The Female Citizens from Sunshine Nation Face off with Light Sucking Demons.

This was the first manuscript I chose during our open reading last Fall, immediately drawn to the bizarre-o mythology in its pages. I asked Jennifer to describe it for us. “The female identified fighters and ‘Hybrids’ must behead ink-filled demons who just want to steal the warriors’ warmth, or essence: what makes them tick. The demons have hidden third eyes and a thing for office supplies. In this alternate universe where the POD thinks it’s in control and maybe keeping citizens safe, characters still kiss in stairwells and wear Beatles tee shirts. Female Citizen #1 writes letters to Rory, who is slowly changing for the worse. There might be a few more moons visible but nothing beats a sharp sword. Will the Female Citizens preserve their livelihood, their creative power amongst the chaotic violence and future Priuses? Will they mingle with Shamans who evolve, and ‘zing,’ and listen to jazz records and live to tell about it?” Jennifer has created a world and brought a war to her poetry, because, guess what . . . we know this war.

From “Moth Mouths or Why She Hoped to Zing”:

“Z. moth mouthed an electrical message,
a riding lawnmower teaser

sliced into ribbons in the grass.
Suddenly purple kohlrabi grew.

She loved his soft and hard mouth
his chisel and drum

music notes intertwined about his brain fizz.”

What a way for us to make our return. Thanks, Jennifer!

Copies available on the Titles page.

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