Sale!

Nine Parts Water, One Part Bleach / Silas Maxwell Switzer

$7.50

Nine Parts Water, One Part Bleach

poems by

Silas Maxwell Switzer

~52 pages, $13 (+ shipping)

Projected Release Date: January/February, 2023

An Advance Sale Discount price of $7.50 (+ shipping) is available HERE prior to press time. This price is not available anywhere else or by check. The check price is $11.50/book (which includes shipping) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. 

PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.

Silas Maxwell Switzer is a musician, poet, and history student who’s dedicated to exploring and preserving the local queer history in Pittsburgh, PA, his lifelong home. In his effort to emulate the noble possum, Silas has recently taken to allowing himself to be coaxed out of his hiding spots by pieces of interesting trash, an interest which he calls “digital archiving.” You can find him on most websites, including Patreon and Bandcamp, as silasmaxwellswitzer.

Haunted by evanescence and absence, Silas Switzer unearths artifacts of the AIDS epidemic in this devastating debut collection. Resurrecting touchstones of queer culture in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Switzer is deft and restrained. His spare, striking language reconstructs history hidden under bridges and behind storefronts, while the intimacy of his poems damn the cold jargon of bureaucracy. This is not a book of remembering. This is a reliquary warning against the complacency of forgetting. ~Michele Battiste, author of Waiting for the Wreck to Burn

 

In Nine Parts Water, One Part Bleach Switzer captures Pittsburgh’s erased lives, loves, and landscapes with the ingenuity and integrity of poet— a poet who is also a street scholar, a digital archivist, a lyrical photojournalist, and psychic detective. Switzer exposes the ways social injustice metastasizes into environmental injustice. The names and images recovered here make the forgotten present. Every act of recovery in this compact, terrific collection is a call to action. ~Terrance Hayes

 

Nine Parts Water, One Part Bleach is a complex and piercing debut collection. In these poems, we see both history and present with unflinching clarity. Uncovering and documenting Pittsburgh’s local queer history, Switzer also opens our consciousness to the vast everywhere of queer erasure. Switzer calls us in to queer recovery, to queer history, and to a queer lyricism that feels like a beautiful, stubborn streetlight flickering in its insistence, its fracture, its undeniable grace. ~Stacey Waite, author of Butch Geography

i do this every day

wonder
whether my adamant dedication is worth its cost
whether i might live another day alone

count the steps to the kitchen
count the marks on my skin
compare the two, hope for the triumph
of the former so that i might live another day
alone

i do this every day
wonder
whether the adamant dedication is worth its cost
whether i might live another day alone

i do this every day
ask myself “which is going faster, your body or your mind?”
my mind responds, “your body” and it will not elaborate

i do this every day
count the steps to the kitchen
count the marks on my skin
compare the two, hope for the triumph

i do this every day
wonder
whether my relic is worth its cost
whether i might live another day.

 


 

The former four-story Pegasus bar, home to a yearly AIDS benefit from the mid 90s all the way until its closure in 2007. Today, the building is owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and is run as an art gallery, with no mention of its past occupants or the history it carries.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

too little, too late

researchers say:
sexual abstinence
researchers say:
first case that was neither
a homosexual nor a drug user
researchers say:
new drug trials, prevention
in early stages
the papers say:
66% budget cuts
the papers say:
13th local AIDS case confirmed
the papers say:
no way to die

we say:
love each other under highways in the
dark corners of the
dark corners of the
dark corners.
hold tight. decide now whether
living through this is worse
than death

 

SKU: 9Parts_2023 Categories: , , Tag: