The Antichrist and I
Nicole Oquendo's chapbook The Antichrist and I is the first fiction title we're publishing at Bone & Ink Press, and I can't imagine a better start to our foray into fiction. The short fictions found here are both tender and violent, and will leave you with sympathy for the devil--and with empathy for those who, like the narrator, turn toward him in times of crisis.
You’re crazy, the teacher said. The class laughed,
and so did she, appearing to grow taller while they clapped. And you still believe in dragons. That night, again: the strike of a match, the rocking back and
forth, the crying out.
I hear the sound of my voice, distant, floating above
Every knock was followed by a consequence.
Michael holds me from behind while I shake on the carpet. He smooths down my hair and whispers,
almost inaudible. In this moment, so many wrists
shatter into fragments of bone.
-from The Antichrist Drops a Mug on Our Kitchen Floor
Praise for The Antichrist and I
The Antichrist and I is a dirge, a paean to the salvation that can only be found in the jaws of a tiger, or the eyes of a shark. It’s about pain and love, and how the two can rarely be separated, and it’s about the magic we weave every day to keep going. It skirts the line between prose poetry and something not-yet-defined. Perhaps the Antichrist might know the name.
—Joshua Begley, author, staff reviewer for The Fandom Post
Bodies, shivers of romance, promises that are all endings even if they feel like beginnings, Nicole Oquendo’s The Antichrist and I gives us those vital glimpses into the shaking that happens when we re-frame the intentionality of this world. The blood rises and falls with each breath we take, but to risk exposing that elemental plasma to our modern construction can only lead to the terrifying now, and “what it’s like to be found, here, when we are about to lose so much.” This book takes the fear of closeness and of sharing closeness with another, and elevates that tumbledown into an epic in such a short amount of time that it took a minute for my own skin to release that tightly-held pulse after I finished reading it.
—Darren C. Demaree, author of thirteen collections of poetry, most recently So Clearly Beautiful