Jazzercise is a Language


Jazzercise is a Language

My second book, Jazzercise is a Language, is forthcoming in 2018 from The Operating System! Pre-order at a 1/3 discount here

Jazzercise is a Language is a long poem that wants to be a smiling, skinny white woman. Here are the leg warmers, head bands, sweat, chants, and two-steps of the 1980's dance aerobics craze, but decked with the baggage of race, pixelation, rituals, violence, and body horror. The women in a hardwood studio inside your TV are so neon it's blinding. But the voice of Judi Sheppard Missett, the muse of Jazzercise is a Language, will carry them along.


"The slinky style of Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett haunts this book of poems by Philadelphia-based wunderkind Gabriel Ojeda-Sague.  I had not thought I remembered Judi, but a few pages into the volume she returns to grip me again, her patented blend of syncopation, disco beat, showbiz honey with a drop of vinegar, sex appeal tease. She was commanding the whole world to work it. The demands of the social world on the body are Ojeda-Sague’s persistent theme: the shame and fear on which every exercise empire is built, the potential for subverting these tropes by paying attention to the once abjured vehicle of VCR Jazzercise tapes—its grain and pastel and stray pixels—the power and strength and endurance of being gay and of color in the middle of such a disco.  I had trouble imagining this book when he was describing it to me, but now that it’s in my hands, it reads as one of the absolute essentials of our moment in poetry."

-Kevin Killian

Pre-order at a 1/3 discount here