USEREVIEW 113 (Capsule): Explodingly Yours
Explodingly Yours (Ghost City Press, 2023)
ISBN 978-1-7327347-8-4 | 48 pp | $10 USD | BUY Here
In Chen Chen’s latest chapbook, Explodingly Yours, which came out in January 2023 from Ghost City Press, Chen explores similar themes from his previous two books, but with a more explicit touch. The chapbook is erotic, ephemeral and formally innovative for Chen. As seen in his most recent release, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced An Emergency (BOA Editions, 2022) Chen experiments with couplets, free verse and shape poems in a way that feels new and exciting due to his eclectic word choices and witty word pairings, as well as pushing the content of his poems in a deeper, even more candid direction.
Explodingly Yours is a tender, loving chapbook — full of moments of queer sex, love and joy. Chen is not dwelling on the past as he has in other releases, trying to parse through experiences that have been painful. Rather, Chen is looking for moments of lightness, happiness and power. Chen uses humour and clever introspection to address deep emotional worries that we all wonder about, with his trademark juxtapositions adding a wittiness that make this forthcoming chapbook a delight to encounter and spend time with.
Chen interrogates and celebrates queer joy and humour, such as in quotes like this, from the poem ‘Better or Worcester’ (p. 18):
Your soup is hot & your butt
hotter. Someone will burn his or her
or your tongue on both. Your fiscal year
is already full of fiscal days.
You have all the reasons for some of your behavior.