COCOA AND NOTHING by Colin Herd and Maria Sledmere
120 x 120mm, 404 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, 2023
This is a big book. It’s inside and out. It’s peace. Were you ever encouraged by anyone, even your greatest love to go on and on about flavors, food personalities. I think this is that friendship, two poets joining at the mouth to free themselves in a kind of a blaze of total orality. I want to lie in it. I love it cause I’m with it by the way. — Eileen Myles
I know sex is good but have you ever tried combining poetry and chocolate? Even better, make it squared! Cocoa and Nothing is the culmination of a season of relay between what Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities called “the chocolate sprites”, inhabited here by Colin Herd and Maria Sledmere, fuelled by toothache, training and their favourite brand of iconic confectionary. Each poem is named after a variety of Ritter Sport and crystallises obsessively around the vibe affinity of each flavour. A poem can be a body image or a slice of portal. Documenting the nutty bits of daily existence — from academic burnout to boxing, trash, gossip and the family whatsapp — this is an ambitious assortment of lyrical gems, crispy confessions, devotion to grans and mischievous epistles. It’s both a love book and burn book of the general nourishment that is poetry itself — portable nutrition fit for all of life’s marathons.