Jesse Nissim’s first book, Day cracks between the bones of the foot (a finalist for the National Poetry Series), is forthcoming from Furniture Press Books. She is also the author of the chapbooks: Nesting Instinct (Nous-Zot 2014), Day cracks between the bones of the foot (Furniture Press Books 2013),SELF NAMED BODY (Finishing Line Press 2012), and Alphabet for M (Dancing Girl Press 2007). Her poems and reviews have recently appeared in Barrow Street, H-NGM-N, HTML Giant, New American Writing, La Petite Zine, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Shampoo Poetry and Spoon River Poetry Review. A recipient of grants from the Ragdale Foundation and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, she is currently a Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Syracuse University.
Jesse Nissim’s Black Radish title Where They Would Never Be Invited was published April 2016 and is available from SPD.
Advance praise for Where They Would Never Be Invited
Jesse Nissim writes: “I am freely quoting a fantasy for less. / I call it a capitalism of the low roof, it is located / along the river with the continual pay per view.” Jesse Nissim’s poems burn with a hard, gemlike flame; they call on us to become better and better and seeing and thinking and feeling. “I heard the suburbs found likable our business. / I dream of persons and pets. A family of staircases / measures space.” How to be alone (how to be most alive), how to be with others (how to be most alive). Her poems inspire us to create emotion fused with analysis fused with despair fused with hope fused with power: “What notoriously American fashion is back in power / as neighboring roofs drift coolly down shore? / Retreat from the secret money / root hospitality in a boat.” Where they would never be invited is a superb book. — Joseph Lease
The uncanny architecture of the three long poems that make up Jesse Nissim’s Where they would never be invited is in itself elegiac and moving. And elegy, here, “sieving morality from myth / in filmy layers” is complicated. As age-old longings to make a home have become “a famous scene of captivity,” is it we who are culpable? Have we come to inhabit our desires as if squatters in a devastation we cannot afford to own? Yet, Nissim’s voice never falters in its tender attention to our “tilted” dreams and “translucent illusions” born in capitalism’s centrifuge. And, yes, page by page, stunningly, the poems eviscerate American capitalism—even as lawn chairs, bathtubs, fences, backyards, and wall paint are spun and lifted up in compassionate articulation until they form a “single logic,” which like a dream, “hunts the internal.” And, not just the internal, but the eternal as well, for as Nissim tells us, “the real broken transaction is darkness.” — Barbara Tomash