• NERVE CURRICULUM by Manuel Paul López
  • NERVE CURRICULUM by Manuel Paul López
  • NERVE CURRICULUM by Manuel Paul López
  • NERVE CURRICULUM by Manuel Paul López

NERVE CURRICULUM by Manuel Paul López

152 x 203mm, 112 pages, black and white printing, softcover, perfect bound, 2023

In this remarkable book, lyric fabulist Manuel Paul López embeds parallel worlds that unite dreamtime and memory's "syllabus of smoke." Episodes relate the perils of youth and the absurdity of a "state-sanctioned self" amid the social fevers here and now, along with the exquisitely berserk stagecraft needed to mount a present-day rebellion of the senses. Parading across this federated horizon of possibility are a series of scene changes that emerge abruptly into telescopic view: Galaga arcades, panaderías, baseball fields, liquor stores, and kiosks by way of YouTube videos, gewgaw explosives, fire ants, and rosin bags. The breadth of experience connects Montevideo and El Salvador to Langley, Virginia, and California's Imperial County where the author's homeboy, Nestor–neighborhood peludo, sorcerer, artist-philosopher, and alter-ego–emerges as one of our great contemporary literary figures. Nerve Curriculum is the thrilling confirmation of a unique élan that can fuel the Latinx imagination. López accommodates us with ample poetic vitality and a surrealist regard for releasing personhood from having to "live perpetually on the verge of living."
– Roberto Tejada 

With this latest collection, Manuel Paul López solidifies his place as one of the most innovative writers of our time. Nerve Curriculum reaches beyond cultural tropes and played out storytelling in an attempt to invent its own form. Part script, part character study, it destroys familiarity, and forces us to "unwind the mind." In short scenes, experimental verse, and fragmented dialogue, the cacophony of voices is deconstructed down to the most elemental hum–the nectar that we all strive for as poets. By the end of the journey we find ourselves in a choral existence, a collective voice, a hive of piercing oneness that stays with us long after the final note. Paul López is a beast in the house of contemporary poetics.
– Tim Z. Hernandez, author of Some of the Light: New & Selected Poems

The world is too brutal, too absurd. Enter Manuel Paul López's Nerve Curriculum, a punk playbook for survival with such deep, ferocious love for the world and its inhabitants. López–with his own raw nerves exposed to the harsh edges of the local and planetary–shines as a poet, prose stylist, and tender guardian of all the human, non-human, and conceptual occupants herein–including the Sentients, the Bullets, the Looks, and Nestor. I love the quiet rebellion of Nestor, or rather, Nestor's wings, who calmly refuse to be apprehended by the LAPD swat team. And the wooden baseball bat, who "gave up a forest to live perpetually on the edge of living." And the festival of cows–the cow mystic, the cow orthodontist, the revolutionary cow. I swoon over the camaraderie of the Kiosks, a charming, hyperbole-prone trio stuck working an abandoned, post-apocalypse athletic stadium. The first performance of this book will take place inside the reader's mind. But then, it continues to sing into its own brilliant beyond. "Like that, I thought of nothing but salt. And the wild taste of self-preservation." We are led towards the re-education we sorely need. One poem points to the atrocities of a "tiny world," followed by a declaration: "If I could unseed the vast fields that mount the tiny flowers you gave me once to start this tiny novel all over again, I would." I would too. 
– Sawako Nakayasu 

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Regular price £17.00