Jay Gao, TRAVESTY58: Lake Poems
In Jay Gao's new pamphlet, ‘virtual ghosts’ reconfigure inert, recently shed skin to create an opaque shelter. For whom? Questions of home and touch co-mingled, for me, to generate a poetics both bodily and with-held. From whom? Thinking is private. ‘EMPTIED. BACKSPACE’. Yes. Like that.
— Bhanu Kapil
Jay Gao shreds the received text of the I Ching, smashes hegemonic translations with new procedures, pollutes nostalgia with corrupted files. TRAVESTY58 is meta data take over, a machine rereading with an oracular bent. The poet as mechanical Turk finds affinity with other lowly devices: printers, electric toothbrushes, and surveillance cameras. White is excretion, excess, scum. The page is toxic, melted, but also polished, varnished. Finding joy in the de-familiar, these poems harness the critical forces of detritus and refusal.
— J. R. Carpenter
About the author:
Jay Gao is the author of Imperium (2022), forthcoming from Carcanet Press, as well as the poetry pamphlets, TRAVESTY58 (2022), Katabasis (2020), and Wedding Beasts (2019). He is a Contributing Editor for The White Review. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, he is currently studying for an MFA at Brown University.