ISBN 978-1-956005-94-3 194 pages $18.00
Announcing the Finalists for the 2022 Big Other Book Award for Fiction!
If Poetry is a language event, then John Schertzer’s Second Nature is a language banquet. Never quite sure where the poet will lead us next, or what kind of narrator I will have, or do I trust? We are in a land where the death of a page will live again, and some objects don’t have shadows. In his poem “Two Rocks” Schertzer writes “Brain synergy eats fire” then this book is synergy and we are fire walkers reading it. The book has fantastic section breaks which add to the non arc arc . In Plan for a Broken Bowl, we have poems Diagram A-Z, in the section titled Second Nature the “Meandathral Warrior Priestess” poems that dare I saw are “the heartcomb,” and also set us up for the delightful surprise at the end of the book “Joseph Beuys in Jerusalem”. This book is a treasure map and we don’t always know if the map is reliable, but we find interesting discoveries along the way. Schertzer’s Second Nature is a book I will read again knowing each time experiencing it will be new. John cleverly writes, “the natural associations are often unnatural” which here is Second Nature.
Soraya Shalforoosh, author of This Version of Earth
A “nervous-wreck machine” dives in the language (noise, paint, object logic) of the surreal calamities that shape our present mind-states, knowing there is no escape from the realities we are bound to. Schertzer grinds and loops through a variety of systems for dissecting, abstracting, bending, and rendering the apparatuses of our constructed worlds, selves, and environments as the “never ceasing rain of experience” continues to pile up around us. Beneath this heap of physical and sensate material, these poems seek to unearth the intimacies and connective tissue that lie at the root of our shared lives.
Jonathan Thirkield, author of The Waker’s Corridor: Poems
(Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets)
John Schertzer lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and fellow poet, Kathleen E Krause, their evil genius sons, Liam and Declan, and their dog Rex. His poetry, fictions and hybrid pieces have appeared in a number of journals, including Big Other, Inverted Syntax, Danse Macabre, The Germ, American Letters & Commentary, LIT, Shampoo Poetry and others. He has taught poetry workshops at The New School in New York City, and edited the criticism section of 2 issues of LIT.