in which I take myself hostage is such a luminescent juxtaposition of the complexities of being a human being, existing in a world filled with mechanics and technology. With pungent, acrid emotions you can feel coming to life from a dark forest floor, Fuhrer’s words, paired with Androlowicz’s deep, enigmatic paintings, elicit feelings of loneliness. This collection of poems is rife with the irony of aching to fit in, and shunning the very concept. “I wonder if I dressed up my depression enough for his taste” Fuhrer deftly explores unique craftsmanship and stunning imagery to open the door to a dark place you’ve not seen before—the human heart.
Mela Blust, author of Skeleton Parade, and they found a woman’s body
Here is a poetics that swings between embodiment and disembodiment, stuttering and skipping its path over stepping stone pages as it articulates the panic and triumphs of living in a flesh that just won't always cooperate. The desperation at times is certainly real enough—"i cannot take / any more this living in this body"—and yet this body that writes itself into form insists upon repurposing itself in an act of testimony. Here, the body gets unbuttoned, upended, swallowed and washed away; breath gets shared, spores commingle. Teeth manifest into keypads, skulls into microprocessors projecting holograms. Language tongues its own skin and in the act opens ("op / ens"), engendering further passage. Even if the mouth that writes might at times be sealed with duct tape, within the body Shostokovich is playing, and god snuggles in the ribcage. As the body ingests itself, it claims a poetry out of skin. Erik Fuhrer's quiet, at times whispered lines are counterbalanced throughout with Kimberly Androlowicz's bold sweeps and sideways drips, foggy horizontals stretching across crimson clefts, and aerial impressions morphing into subterranean mappings. The washes and pigments convey strata, sediment commingling with clouds; her dramatic paintings offer a counterpoint to the torments and solitudes inside the poems. There is a bold confidence and certainty in the sea blue sweeps and coral pink blockings, the feathered textures and gauzy wipes, and it pairs well with the "committed tentativeness" of the text.
Derek Owens, author of Memory’s Wake
This book of poems is a horror film. It is a book in which the weird transformations, animate horror, and tender gore of Argento, Cronenberg, and Carpenter receive a horrible rebirth in language. Bodies invaded by flies, walls covered with cockroaches, spores that ache to sicken you proliferate within these pages, squarely sourced in the soil of the everyday. Read this book; insert these poems into your skin.
Ali Raz, co-author of Human Tetris
Erik Fuhrer (he/they) is the author of not human enough for the census (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019), every time you die (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), VOS (Yavanika Press, 2019), and At Root (Alien Buddha Press, 2020). He holds an MFA in poetry from The University of Notre Dame and will be completing his Ph.D. in creative writing this year from the University of Glasgow. He is from Long Island, New York, and currently resides in South Bend, IN where he teaches writing and gender studies courses.
Kimberly (she/her) is a visual artist who studied painting, set design, and puppetry at Bennington College and set design at Yale School of Drama. Working in acrylic and encaustic paints as well as digital art, she has previously provided the art for Erik Fuhrer's not human enough for the census (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019). Kimberly has had work featured online at Leopardskin and Limes and Hoot Review and has exhibited at The Heckscher Museum of Art and The B.J. Spoke Gallery in Huntington, New York as well as the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana.