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Advanced Praise for turn around, BRXGHT XYXS

Cover Art: Michael Hafftka, “Close Up,” 2018

Cover Art: Michael Hafftka, “Close Up,” 2018

turn around, BRXGHT  XYXS saunters into the reader’s mind like a super sly and seductive voice as ravenous as it is many: a younger-tagging self—Matarose—who "never comes home" declaring her love to some "evil woman of xanadu," and another, who leaves her with only a "Whistling/ Like a fist of the bank in wet/ Season lying through her teeth." Refracted through the lenses of Latinidad, lost love and those "drug restaurants/ that serve only cobra lilies/ with a side of blackbirds/who wield spiked hammers," turn around, B R X G H T  X Y X S takes its delight in the chase and not the catch, what is "all the dark side moonwalking after" an uncatchable "you.” turn aroundBRXGHT XYXS will seduce you silly, purring lyrical excesses while Matarose "wears her sunglasses at night/ where exploding stars fall/ shock breakout bright." — J. Michael Martinez

 

In turn around BRXGHT XYXS, Rosebud Ben-Oni opens by summoning Matarose—her alter-ego “muse on roller skates”—a wildly original voice that channels K-pop, hip hop, and the intersectional mestiza soul of the entire borough of Queens to create a sound-driven howling lyric paean—an ecstatic queer broken love-song that’s equal parts Bonnie Tyler and bible, Prince and prayer, and 100% pure desire. Ben-Oni’s poems conjure fierce feminist magic to create a simultaneous ode and lament of a book that reminds us we are the sum of all the parts of our selves: our roots and contradictory loves, all the things we’re born into and out of, the corporeal experiences we only sometimes choose—and she brings it all home with power, humor, grace, and lines like this: “This is my blood and this / my body this time / you won’t betray me / I am your kingdom come.” — Erika Meitner 

 

Mercy, these poems will reawaken a wilderness you swore you’d lost the map to. Ben-Oni is doing sacred work here, strutting across the asperous terrain of our modern world with a queer femme sovereignty that intoxicates and heals; at the center of each poem, a fragrant mosh pit. These are the ruthless texts we bitches deserve—poems that drive their readers into feral ascension—until the claws can’t be pulled back in. — Rachel McKibbens

 

Rosebud Ben-Oni is an incomparable poet with a voice like no one else. Her poetic work hails from the crossroads of countries and culture, tongues and taboo. Ben-Oni's poetic work hails. At play is a potent poetics of vortices of word and act, love y Justicia. She speaks to Latinidad in “having hope/ in our pop-up whit of the world..../ to never having really left Jerusalem..../ To the hours we (make) horses between nightfall/ and war…” Turn around. BRXGHT XYXS in the house! — Lorna Dee Cervantes