I Will Get Up Off Of
Overthinking simple actions leads to overwhelming poems about what one can lean on if promised help doesn’t help
I Will Get Up Off Of is a book about trying to leave a chair. How does anyone ever leave a chair? There are so many muscles involved – so many tarot cards, coats, meds, McNuggets, and memes. In this book, poems are attempts and failures at movement as the speaker navigates her anxiety and depression in whatever way she can, looking for hope from social workers on Zoom, wellness influencers, and psychics alike. Eventually, the poems explode in frustration, splintering into various art forms as attempts at expression become more and more desperate. What is there to lean on when avenues promising help don’t help? Bell may want to #talk but does it want to listen? I Will Get Up Off Of explores the role art plays in survival and the hope that underlies every creative impulse.
"The voice of these poems moves like a magical fish trapped in a small square bowl, dazzlingly alive inside an almost annihilating constriction. These poems play a serious game in a tight space, caught in the looping limbo between intention — “I will…”, “I will…”, “I will…”— and action. Simina Banu’s skill and humour animate every line and gesture within this inventive drama that begins “(I will get up off of) this monobloc but I’ve been sentenced….” Sentenced to form and to language, Banu gives us a mind thinking its way toward freedom." – Damian Rogers, author of Dear Leader