A challenging exploration of mental illness and disability from Governor General's Award winner Jacob Scheier.
Is This Scary? digs deep into internal landscapes of suffering, including depression and anxiety, chronic physical ailment, and rare neurological malady. With its many eccentric songs and odes to medications and medical procedures, this book is full of both levity and unapologetic lament. Pushing back against societal stigma, Is This Scary? unflinchingly addresses experiences of psychiatric institutionalization and suicidality, without either romanticizing or pathologizing them. Scheier rejects much of the mainstream cultural views of mental illness, subverting the biochemical model by emphasizing the radical subjectivity of mental suffering. While the poems render the difficulty of communicating pain to others, they defiantly celebrate its expression and evocation through visceral lyricism.
Scheier also challenges our culture's desire to be inspired by stories of "triumphing" over illness and disability. Nothing is overcome here, the journey from illness to wellness is one of narrative and aesthetic disruption. The perpetually incomplete search for self and home is ultimately at the heart of this book: along with being a person with disabilities, the poet-speaker identifies as a Diaspora-Jew, engaging exile as a chronic state of being that isn't intended to be resolved, but rather explored, expressed, and honored.
Ode to Prednisone
Herr Pill! You murder sleep.
Eugenicist Cortisol, re-make me-
ox-strong, moon-faced, onioned-skin.
Hugs are dangerous.
Performance-enhancing drug for poets-
you triple feelings. Elegies for the late train & spilled milk.
Anxiety is Everything.
Threatened by the light that brightens the dark.
Dread tolerates Ativan.
Faustian Chemical, you resurrect myths
like Lazarus. He was never the same.
I've been to that shore the dead clamour for.
Mysteries of Wrestling: Solved is a hysterical and informative look at the sports entertainment industry, brought to you by the hosts of Get in the Ring (GIR), the longest running professional wrestling radio show in history. With Sir Adam and the Phantom, you'll discover the truth about wrestling's deepest, darkest mysteries - but the hosts of gir are not alone.
They've enlisted the help of some of pro wrestling's biggest stars. With names like Steve Austin, Kamala (yes, he talks!), Chyna, Sid Vicious, and Bobby "the Brain" Heenan, there's a wealth of insider information from scores of wrestling legends all packed into one book. Mysteries of Wrestling: Solved digs into the extensive archives of gir's library, and pulls out classic interviews with some of wrestling's most beloved stars: the Rock, Bret "the Hitman" Hart, and Hulk Hogan are all here!
No turnbuckle has gone unsearched, no foreign object left behind, and no feelings spared as grapplers from all over the world have been tracked down to provide answers to wrestling's most disputed issues. Who was the toughest guy outside the ring? Did the Kliq really run wrestling? Just how much influence has Hulk Hogan exerted - in getting jobs for his buddies?
?Wrestling at the Chase is a fond, informative, amusing, and even poignant look at the who's who of professional wrestling and legendary St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick.
St. Louis was the capital, and Muchnick the ruler of professional wrestling, before Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment took over. What happened in St. Louis paved the way for today's multi-billion-dollar sports entertainment industry. The centrepiece of this magical operation was "Wrestling at the Chase," a television program which broadcast from 1959 to 1983 from the majestic Chase Hotel.
Larry Matysik was Muchnick's protégé and longtime announcer for the television show. With an insider's eye for detail and accuracy, he recalls funny and amazingly touching tales about the characters who created professional wrestling as we know it. Ric Flair, "King Kong" Brody, Dick "the Bruiser," the Von Erichs, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Pat O'Connor, Johnny Valentine, Dick Murdoch, Harley Race, Buddy Rogers, Jack Brisco, and Andre the Giant are all prominently featured. So is Muchnick himself, the Damon Runyan of wrestling, a man who helped mould the bizarre business of circus and sport. The savage twists of the politics of wrestling are on display as well, particularly the changes that rocked the mat world during the early '80s.
Both chronicle and confrontation, the poems of Jacob Scheier's debut work out and through notions of loss. As the death of a young man's mother instigates and informs these investigations, the realities of romantic failures become inextricably connected, and in the process More to Keep Us Warm maps the limitations, and breaking points, of the human heart. Questioning how and why we fall in and out of love becomes the collection's haunting refrain.
At the same time, Scheier's poems mourn the absence of both religious and cultural identity. Facing the painful and confusing losses of his life, the support of the only "tradition" the writer knows - an atheist, socialist upbringing - proves unsatisfying. In response, More to Keep Us Warm explores the formation of a new, complex sense of self as inherited belief systems fail. With humour, sardonic wit, and conversational charm, this search engages and struggles with Judeo-Christian tradition to become an intimate meditation on the nature of God in a secular world.