EITHER WAY I'M CELEBRATING
They’re saying irony is dead.
And for a few minutes I thought
I might die too—a woman
who would buy a fifth of liquor
and a pregnancy test just to see
the look on the clerk’s face.
It’s always strange to be born
before the cusp of some new age,
hanging onto nothing as if it were
Los Angeles. I remember glaring
through the windshield of the family
Pacer, watching a thirty-foot man
crack jokes on the screen.
My parents were laughing,
but I didn’t get the way something
huge and astonishing could be flat,
could not exist at all.
|Poetry/Comics | $16
Perfect-bound. 96 pp, 8.8 x 5.9 in.
Read reviews of EITHER WAY I'M CELEBRATING at the Faster Times and Pank Magazine.
ABOUT EITHER WAY I'M CELEBRATING
Whether a traditional lyric, a section-length love poem about cage fighting, or a collage of prose and fragments meditating on a haunted and haunting domestic architecture, the poems in Sommer Browning’s Either Way I’m Celebrating share the same DNA base pairs of humor and sentiment, skepticism and humanism; the source of their integrity is how Browning combines and recombines them. Complemented throughout by her sardonic comics, this collection stubbornly celebrates, if only our own absurdity.
In an interview for Drunkenboat, Sommer discusses the theme of relationships and the problem of communication in her comics:
"My inability to communicate well has destroyed my life over three thousand times. It’s made my mother cry, landed me in jail in urine soaked jeans, allowed me to fall in love with a street preacher, and given me walking pneumonia, among other diseases. However, recently, I communicated very well and got hitched to an amazing and burly poet. So it’s very confusing. I’m thinking about Waldo Jeffers right now. How he mailed himself in a box, a box sealed shut and virtually open proof, to surprise his girlfriend in the next state over. She, frustrated with wrangling with it, plunges a sheet metal cutter through the dang thing and beheaded Waldo. Lou Reed wrote that for an English class and I hope he got a C-."
Read the entire interview here.
Sometimes I think Sommer Browning is a James Wright for the basic cable generation, at others the gorgeously deformed lovechild of H.D. and Groucho Marx. What I mean is I cannot categorize these poems, and that’s the highest compliment I can give any poetry.
“All objections to progress,” writes Hans Blumenberg, “could come down to the fact that it hasn’t yet taken us far enough.” That’s philosophy—and it’s funny—but no one would ever level the same complaint at pain or laughter, this fine book’s subjects and two phenomena that can take human beings great distances almost immediately. Absolutely modern—but never resolutely maudlin—Sommer Browning doesn’t settle for making it new; rather, she lets it bleed and gets us there on time.
Well / I don’t know / Sommer / Browning’s new book / EITHER WAY I’M CELEBRATING / so different from mine / made me laugh /so it’s no sin / it made me see this place anew / it moved me in my air-shield / Sommer / your heart was open as this cup.
Sommer Browning writes poems, draws comics and tells jokes. She is the author of three chapbooks, most recently THE BOWLING (Greying Ghost, 2010) with Brandon Shimoda. Her poems and drawings have appeared in The New York Quarterly, Typo, Octopus, past simple, Free Verse, The Stranger and other places. With Julia Cohen she curates The Bad Shadow Affair, a reading series in Denver.
Read a poem here.