Jared Schickling / The Paranoid Reader: Essays 2006-2012 / $14.99
6″ x 9″ / 120 pp / ISBN 978-1-940092-03-4
The essays in The Paranoid Reader are essays in the truest sense. As Seyhan Erözçelik is quoted here as writing, “A shard is peeling from you, what’s unfolding on the road is it.” To let that shard unfold … according to its own necessities … which may well also be ours … But why paranoid? It’s the ground state of the 21st century, it’s in the, no, it is the air. To quote: “The mountainside of ponderosa went up and, whether prepared or not, was prepared for a great conflagration which, one day, would ruin all it ‘had’ built without / / knowing or expecting it, a painful shower (one can only assume) to finally hatch the predestinated, biologically programmed, though by no means guaranteed, seeds of the future it otherwise had / / to disperse / to the diets of sparrows and rabbits …” It’s as if that same fire burnt thru these texts. Since this is a blurb, I should probably just say read this book, you’ll be glad you did, and so on. But what do I know? Will you be glad? I don’t know. I read it and I was.
Jared Schickling’s The Paranoid Reader taps into and exposes the pressure points of contemporary poetry. The ideation presented here is volatile and super smart. With great energy and impact Schickling goes about problematizing the modes and motifs that flare up along the corridors of meaning making. This live wire interrogation opposed comfort zones that come with conformity and acquiescence. You may not agree—you will be deeply stirred.