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Ghost of Fashion, Poems by Lesley Jenike
Lesley Jenike’s wry, sardonic riffs on popular culture make Ghost of Fashion an invigorating read from beginning to end.
“Most first books slink into the room of the world abashedly, their every expression, a trendy, self-conscious acquiesce. How marvelous, then, to discover the work of Lesley Jenike. Ghost of Fashion high kicks down a crystal stair to center stage with all the savoir-faire of Cyd Charisse. Jenike builds for us an MGM musical zoo, but shorn of its escapist naivety, as if in Jenike's zoo, the MGM lion is out of its cage. I welcome this voice, full of jazz riffs and rightness, a voice that knows and knows how.”—Eliot Khalil Wilson, author of Saint of Letting Small Fish Go
“From the willful charm of movie musicals and assorted other film icons and incidents, with a solid dollop of myth, Lesley Jenike creates and addresses the numerous selves we contain, embody, disseminate: what we are made of. Heroine, victim, saviour, witness, siren, comedian, innocent or indifferent bystander: all shards of the whole, all making a play for identity. Her language charged with music and the argot of cultural memory, Jenike’s poems confront the reader with gravity and levity, experience and meditation: ‘I can be a plot twist, I can redo/and redo…’ she writes, exploring the character in freeze-frame and moving image, a purposefully bumpy ride that the reader will want to savor, rewind, replay.”—Patty Seyburn, author of Mechanical Cluster, Diasporadic, and co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry
“If Ghost of Fashion were a spectacle (and it is!), it would be a runway show-slash-religious revival, staged in a tent pitched outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In its star-spangled pages you’ll find the familiar turned un—plains and celebrities, ingénues and overdoses, swimming pools and gamblers, ‘Jesus and picnics’—driven by all-American rhythms: gospel-infused blues, jazzy dissonance, musicals and musicales. This is tough talk at a fever pitch, with a seeking, roiling crush on language, as in the poem ‘Calamity Jane,’ in which the speaker admits, ‘At the filling station I saw you / cock a nozzle into / the tank’s humble muzzle. // I love you.’ Get rocked and go steady with Lesley Jenike.”—Arielle Greenberg, author of My Kafka Century, Given, and editor of Court Green and Black Clock
“Lesley Jenike is simply the most exciting young poet writing. From this day forth no dinner party will be complete without talk of Lesley Jenike’s Ghost of Fashion. This is the real deal. Buy this book today.”— David St. John
Lesley Jenike is a native of Cincinnati, OH and received her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in 2008. Her poems have appeared in POOL, Court Green, Brooklyn Review, Gulf Coast, Sou'Wester, Verse, Alaska Quarterly Review, Forklift, Ohio, Washington Square, Crab Orchard Review, and others. She's currently Assistant Professor of English at Columbus College of Art and Design.
ISBN 978-1934999578, 92 pages, $18.00