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Turn Around, BRXGHT XYXS

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turn around, BRXGHT XYXS saunters into the reader’s mind like a super sly and seductive voice as ravenous as it is many: a younger-tagging self—Matarose—who "never comes home" declaring her love to some "evil woman of xanadu," and another, who leaves her with only a "Whistling/ Like a fist of the bank in wet/ Season lying through her teeth." Refracted through the lenses of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS saunters into the reader’s mind like a super sly and seductive voice as ravenous as it is many: a younger-tagging self—Matarose—who "never comes home" declaring her love to some "evil woman of xanadu," and another, who leaves her with only a "Whistling/ Like a fist of the bank in wet/ Season lying through her teeth." Refracted through the lenses of Latinidad, lost love and those "drug restaurants/ that serve only cobra lilies/ with a side of blackbirds/who wield spiked hammers," turn around, B R X G H T X Y X S takes its delight in the chase and not the catch, what is "all the dark side moonwalking after" an uncatchable "you.” turn around, BRXGHT XYXS will seduce you silly, purring lyrical excesses while Matarose "wears her sunglasses at night/ where exploding stars fall/ shock breakout bright." — J. Michael Martinez In turn around BRXGHT XYXS, Rosebud Ben-Oni opens by summoning Matarose—her alter-ego “muse on roller skates”—a wildly original voice that channels K-pop, hip hop, and the intersectional mestiza soul of the entire borough of Queens to create a sound-driven howling lyric paean—an ecstatic queer broken love-song that’s equal parts Bonnie Tyler and bible, Prince and prayer, and 100% pure desire. Ben-Oni’s poems conjure fierce feminist magic to create a simultaneous ode and lament of a book that reminds us we are the sum of all the parts of our selves: our roots and contradictory loves, all the things we’re born into and out of, the corporeal experiences we only sometimes choose—and she brings it all home with power, humor, grace, and lines like this: “This is my blood and this / my body this time / you won’t betray me / I am your kingdom come.” — Erika Meitner Mercy, these poems will reawaken a wilderness you swore you’d lost the map to. Ben-Oni is doing sacred work here, strutting across the asperous terrain of our modern world with a queer femme sovereignty that intoxicates and heals; at the center of each poem, a fragrant mosh pit. These are the ruthless texts we bitches deserve—poems that drive their readers into feral ascension—until the claws can’t be pulled back in. — Rachel McKibbens Rosebud Ben-Oni is an incomparable poet with a voice like no one else. Her poetic work hails from the crossroads of countries and culture, tongues and taboo. Ben-Oni's poetic work hails. At play is a potent poetics of vortices of word and act, love y Justicia. She speaks to Latinidad in “having hope/ in our pop-up whit of the world..../ to never having really left Jerusalem..../ To the hours we (make) horses between nightfall/ and war…” Turn around. BRXGHT XYXS in the house! — Lorna Dee Cervantes


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turn around, BRXGHT XYXS saunters into the reader’s mind like a super sly and seductive voice as ravenous as it is many: a younger-tagging self—Matarose—who "never comes home" declaring her love to some "evil woman of xanadu," and another, who leaves her with only a "Whistling/ Like a fist of the bank in wet/ Season lying through her teeth." Refracted through the lenses of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS saunters into the reader’s mind like a super sly and seductive voice as ravenous as it is many: a younger-tagging self—Matarose—who "never comes home" declaring her love to some "evil woman of xanadu," and another, who leaves her with only a "Whistling/ Like a fist of the bank in wet/ Season lying through her teeth." Refracted through the lenses of Latinidad, lost love and those "drug restaurants/ that serve only cobra lilies/ with a side of blackbirds/who wield spiked hammers," turn around, B R X G H T X Y X S takes its delight in the chase and not the catch, what is "all the dark side moonwalking after" an uncatchable "you.” turn around, BRXGHT XYXS will seduce you silly, purring lyrical excesses while Matarose "wears her sunglasses at night/ where exploding stars fall/ shock breakout bright." — J. Michael Martinez In turn around BRXGHT XYXS, Rosebud Ben-Oni opens by summoning Matarose—her alter-ego “muse on roller skates”—a wildly original voice that channels K-pop, hip hop, and the intersectional mestiza soul of the entire borough of Queens to create a sound-driven howling lyric paean—an ecstatic queer broken love-song that’s equal parts Bonnie Tyler and bible, Prince and prayer, and 100% pure desire. Ben-Oni’s poems conjure fierce feminist magic to create a simultaneous ode and lament of a book that reminds us we are the sum of all the parts of our selves: our roots and contradictory loves, all the things we’re born into and out of, the corporeal experiences we only sometimes choose—and she brings it all home with power, humor, grace, and lines like this: “This is my blood and this / my body this time / you won’t betray me / I am your kingdom come.” — Erika Meitner Mercy, these poems will reawaken a wilderness you swore you’d lost the map to. Ben-Oni is doing sacred work here, strutting across the asperous terrain of our modern world with a queer femme sovereignty that intoxicates and heals; at the center of each poem, a fragrant mosh pit. These are the ruthless texts we bitches deserve—poems that drive their readers into feral ascension—until the claws can’t be pulled back in. — Rachel McKibbens Rosebud Ben-Oni is an incomparable poet with a voice like no one else. Her poetic work hails from the crossroads of countries and culture, tongues and taboo. Ben-Oni's poetic work hails. At play is a potent poetics of vortices of word and act, love y Justicia. She speaks to Latinidad in “having hope/ in our pop-up whit of the world..../ to never having really left Jerusalem..../ To the hours we (make) horses between nightfall/ and war…” Turn around. BRXGHT XYXS in the house! — Lorna Dee Cervantes

33 review for Turn Around, BRXGHT XYXS

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily Pérez

    Reviewed this amazing book for RHINO...here's an excerpt: Throughout, Ben-Oni’s speaker gallops forward. The last poem, “I Guess We’ll Have to Be Secretly in Love with Each Other & Leave It at That,” celebrates things that will never be: “oh the places we won’t go, // to not airbnbing / haciendas of airy / rooms & canopy beds,” and yet retains joy for what once was: “To hours we made horses between nightfall / & war.” Ben-Oni’s turbocharged collection teaches us not to fear the pain Reviewed this amazing book for RHINO...here's an excerpt: Throughout, Ben-Oni’s speaker gallops forward. The last poem, “I Guess We’ll Have to Be Secretly in Love with Each Other & Leave It at That,” celebrates things that will never be: “oh the places we won’t go, // to not airbnbing / haciendas of airy / rooms & canopy beds,” and yet retains joy for what once was: “To hours we made horses between nightfall / & war.” Ben-Oni’s turbocharged collection teaches us not to fear the pain of the past, even as that pain eclipses the heart. https://rhinopoetry.org/reviews/turn-...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Melnick

    I was so honored to review this book for Jewish Currents. Here is what I wrote: This suspension between worlds also features in Rosebud Ben-Oni’s phenomenal second collection, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS. Ben-Oni’s writing embraces Jewishness as it intersects with her Mexican and queer identities, resisting persistent limitations on mainstream Jewish narratives. Her poems reflect a diasporic kaleidoscope; they travel to Manhattan, Israel, Hong Kong, the Texas border, the Kentucky Derby, the moon. I was so honored to review this book for Jewish Currents. Here is what I wrote: This suspension between worlds also features in Rosebud Ben-Oni’s phenomenal second collection, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS. Ben-Oni’s writing embraces Jewishness as it intersects with her Mexican and queer identities, resisting persistent limitations on mainstream Jewish narratives. Her poems reflect a diasporic kaleidoscope; they travel to Manhattan, Israel, Hong Kong, the Texas border, the Kentucky Derby, the moon. Like the other books discussed here, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS wrestles with difficult subjects, in­cluding gun violence and abusive relationships. The propulsion and scope of Ben-Oni’s poems—engaging everything from biblical figures to ’80s music—give each word an exhilarating amount of power. In “All the Wild Beasts I Have Been,” Ben-Oni shines in her ability to write what feels like an ever-reverberating amount of meaning into each line, here illustrating the complexities of assimilation and interfaith marriage: I burned the fields I burned the wildflowers suddenly I prayed for forgiveness Kicked the door in All the doors in Jerusalem Now uncles now aunts now cousins Calling on my wedding day Why they ask can’t I understand They will not under any law Any sun Any surfacing Sanction my marriage Ben-Oni, like sax, Kaminsky, and Stone, reimagines a Jewish canon as she writes it. In “If Cain the Younger Sister,” she begins, “My brother is a whitewashed synagogue . . .” and later continues: He promised I was a complete Mensch and mother’s family too Ofrenda of flower, skull and bread. At ten he solved a dispute By reciting Kaddish On the Day of the Dead. My brother would bury me if he had to. turn around, BRXGHT XYXS audaciously owns its otherness, traveling the world—and the universe—without losing sight of the United States we now inhabit. Living and writing as an American Jew in the 21st century often feels frightening and isolating. But being in these poets’ company make it less so. As we together reshape the canon of Jewish poetry, we have the opportunity to remake it in the image of a wider Jewish community than has ever before been represented. In so doing, we can bring out not only new understandings of our community’s struggles, but also insight and beauty beyond anything we’ve ever known. The whole review is here: https://jewishcurrents.org/remaking-t...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Janet Rodriguez

    Informed by pop-culture, Turn Around, BRXGHT XYXS takes bold risks and does not disappoint with its beautiful language. Ben-Oni is continuing to find her rich and important voice on the poetry landscape.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jared Harel

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zoey Morris

  7. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  8. 4 out of 5

    M.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Savannah

  10. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zev

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Simeon Berry

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Horsman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adriana Martinez Figueroa

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leah Horlick

  17. 5 out of 5

    Malorie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yoni

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tara Betts

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Bianchi

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jihyun Yun

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alyazia

  25. 5 out of 5

    V.C. McCabe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ankenbrandt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daria Magdalena

  28. 4 out of 5

    Doug

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin Flanagan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Hendrixson

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Sunrain

  33. 5 out of 5

    Leticia

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