On February 15, 2013, Gold Wake Press will be releasing The Diegesis, a poetry collaboration between myself and Joshua Young. The whole process of producing the book was pretty damn exciting, but I suppose that’s another story for another time. Let’s just say that it’s nice to have a creative friend in Josh around to make sure that I actually follow through on one of my projects.
Today, I just wanted to share the book design with you. Music played an interesting role in these poems. A lot of bars, moments where you’re not sure where the song stops and the memory begins. I think this cover captures that feeling, and the deep red reminds me how raw some of these memories can become.
I’ve attached text of the blurbs after the image, in case you can’t read them off the image very easily.
Let me know what you think of the cover or the blurbs in the comments below.
Want a preview of the book? Download our chapbook, “The Diegesis,” which represents the first 15 pages or so of the full-length collection.
Pre-order The Diegesis here.
Whether the alluring notes of its language or the crooning soundtrack of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, song is inescapable in The Diegesis. Chainsaws and gunshots are as plausible as the echoes of 80s night, and this polyphonic collision attends the still images and tracking shots that measure our interior worlds. Ghostly machinery and figures inhabit these deft poems, but those living are often no less haunting as they bridge past and present with stories found in celluloid or even dropped from the sky. Chas Hoppe and Joshua Young propose action that resides beneath the action: just when we think we’ve never seen a tattered silk so astonishing, its luminous wings emerge.
The lack of fear in Chas Hoppe and Joshua Young’s The Diegesis is apparent in the first line: “You want the past to mean everything.” This is book as confession, book as meta emotion, book as Hollywood film set. Footnotes litter the pages like empty clothes leading to a full bed. This is book as fire alarm, book as intimate conversations caught on tape, and we should feel grateful to be invited in. Take footnote number five: ‘i’m gonna be more famous than you even realize.’ But what Hoppe and Young don’t understand is that we do realize. How could we not? I read parts of The Diegesis out loud to my girlfriend. I said, “This book is kind of awesome,” but I should’ve edited that. I should’ve said, “This book is awesome.” I should’ve said, “It is currents. Often the electrical kind, always the human kind.”
Abundant with poetic moments, overheard voices, metaphoric implications of narrative and film, flourishes of image, The Diegesis is a book that arrests, makes you want go back, leaves you nostalgic and heartbroken for lost moments, obsolete objects. You wish to but cannot push rewind. The book is an exercise of splicing at its literary best and will make you wonder how Chas Hoppe and Joshua Young pulled off such a flawless performance in collaboration and poem-making. I loved being hit, unawares, time and time again, by the freshness of the language, how each poem contained, like a bonus track, a hidden surprise gift.