Saturnalia Summers are All Work (And Some Play)

We hope you have all had a fabulous summer thus far! With so much going at Saturnalia, we figured it was time to check in: we have some upcoming events and new books to share with you. From our upcoming fall books, here is a taste from BOTH Hadara Bar Nadav’s The New Nudity and Sebastian Aguledo’s The Bosses. Once you soak them up, read on to find a review on Hadara’s previous work, and more about where we’ll be this summer/what’s coming up next!

[Hadara Bar Nadav]

A zombie is a head
with a hole in it.

Layers of plastic,
putty, and crust.

The mindless
must be sated.

Mottled men who will
always return

mouthing wet

You rise already
harmed and follow

my sad circle

as if dancing
on shattered legs.

Shoeless, toeless,
such tender absences.

You come to me

in linens and reds,

eternal, autumnal
with rust and wonder.

My servant, sublimate
and I am yours

(the hot death
we would give each other).

My dark ardor,
my dark augur.

Love to the very open-
mouthed end.

We are made of
so much hunger.



Political Animal
[Sebastian Aguledo]

This poem has no politics in it.
People cast their vote.
There is in it an elected official,
a Sheriff strutting
like a would-be cacique
through something like a new frontier.
He’s not the one in the news.
Though the off the record
small print benefice of office
and the invisible ink wrote
his ticket, there is of a piece.
I want him at his cinematic best
with Wyatt pull on boots,
a Stetson in a train yard
not there to scavenge evidence
meet an enemy or take bribes,
just scale him against late afternoon.
He is policing a county that’s like
the country’s paysage moralisé
with, on the one hand, boredom,
ammo rooms and anger,
on the other, nothing
at least during the working week:
three gateway Polo ranches
executives fly in for weekends
to hang out with a star or politician.
Ah, also the Mexicans that tend
and groom, stashed midway
between town and ranches.
He’ll keep their volume down
and the townspeople know it.
They like the good boy done good
yarn even if some heard otherwise,
that from honorable discharge
to damned near untouchable,
the trajectory might’ve had
more than a few sordid stops.
Someone makes him as the bouncer
who disappeared from the scene
downstate a few years ago.
A buddy of his has been heard tell
he drives the red head and the Thai
on his cruiser to the mansion
where they lezzy-up for senator
in town and he is capitalizing
on the overtime and the discretion,
is getting tips on what cheap
fallow lands state is eyeing
for its principal industry these days,
pop-up presidios everywhere.
There is a parable here somewhere,
though none of this might be true.
I want Sheriff  in the train yard
backlit amid old grass and fence,
so much the makeup of America
no hinterland, no back wood
empty maybe but with major
congressional sway and pawns
turned venture capitalists
from nothing and with nothing
but obsequiousness and guns.
Freeze-frame him till sun sets,
sunset can swallow him whole.


Praise for Telepathologies

“Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “How Do You Raise a Black Child?” is a poem for today and every other day. It’s brutal and hopeful, truthful and sad. And more important, the poem invites us to all the other raw, necessary, and commanding work in Charleston’s debut,Telepathologies.”- Michael Levan, American MicroReviews



New York Poetry Festival
On July 29th and 30th, Saturnalia Books will make their way to New York’s Annual Poetry Festival– AGAIN! The festival takes place on Governor’s Island and runs from 11am to 6pm– stop by to say hi and get your hands on new books!
Get Caught Up on Our Author Interviews
Need something to read this the summer? Visit our blog to catch up on our Author Interviews, including past interviews with poets Cortney Lamar Charleston, Robert Ostrom, and Sandra Simonds. Listen to the poets read some of their own work as well.