The Operating System 2018
The poetry and prose in Ivy Johnson’s Born Again (The Operating System, 2018) beautifully dives into the ecstatic expression of religious experience. With its confessional style, this collection gives power to the female voice, rending open that which would be hidden behind closed doors. The work blends sensuality and spirituality, merging the grounded reality of existing a physical body in the world with a sense of worship, prayer, and spell casting.
I submerge my hands in ink and smear them across the wall
I cover my body in rich purple paint and rub against white paper
I place a sticker of the Virgin Mary on my bedroom window next to the fire escape
She hurts with the glow of blue frost
I race down the stairs to make snow angels in the dog-piss
Fill the silhouette of my body with marigolds
— from “Take a Moment to Gather Yourself”
Ivy Johnson is a poet and performance artist in Oakland, CA. Her book, As They Fall, is a collection of 110 notecards for aleatoric ritual and was published by Timeless, Infinite Light in 2013. She is co-founder of The Third Thing, an ecstatic feminist performance art duo. Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs published their self-titled chapbook, The Third Thing, in 2016. Her book Born Again came out with The Operating System in 2018. Her most recent chapbook, an excerpt from her current memoir project, came out with Sky Trail press and is called Precious Moments. If you’d like a copy, email her at [email protected]
Andrea Blythe is a co-host of the New Books in Poetry podcast. She is the author of Your Molten Heart / A Seed to Hatch (2018) a collection of erasure poems, and coauthor of Every Girl Becomes the Wolf (Finishing Line Press, 2018), a collaborative chapbook written with Laura Madeline Wiseman. She serves as an associate editor for Zoetic Press and is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Learn more at: www.andreablythe.com.