Feverish and oracular, Ronald Palmer fuses the terror of the body with the kaleidoscopic beauty of dreams in Brother Nervosa. Palmer writes: ‘Dear virus / arriving pregnant with vengeance / I am your foreign witness.’ And bear witness these poems do: to illness, anxiety, love and desire, the threat of one body being with another. The lovechild of Jean Genet and Arthur Rimbaud, Palmer offers us a bold and spectacular dreamscape that bears more than a small resemblance to our current time.
—C. DALE YOUNG
In Brother Nervosa, Palmer asks: What is the sound of my gender? Indeed, such questions of gender, sexuality, and queerness form the backbone of this new collection. Palmer continues to explore tensions between poetry, theater, and film. The poems read as phantasmagoria, featuring simultaneously real and imagined experiences. Ron Palmer’s poems fascinate the reader because the poet deftly creates in his lyrics an experience and a logic of their own: I score the boys in the music of longing. These are deeply felt poems of love, loss and fascination with the mystery and terror of our contemporary world.
— PETER NICKOWITZ
Ron Palmer’s highly anticipated second poetry collection Brother Nervosa moves at the speed
of intergenerational trauma, virus mutation, and gender at its most fluid. These poems read like virtuoso fever dreams traveling through time. Brother Nervosa grieves for the unacknowledged violence of the past alongside the freedom of a younger self moving through a personal landscape not yet transformed by a career in big pharma. Even as Palmer rages against the unfreedoms that define queer life under capitalism, Brother Nervosa savors the luxe emotional contours of long-term love and the feral forms of public life that escape capture, raccoons and coyotes just at the edge of sight.
— STEPHANIE YOUNG