|Jake Marmer is a poet, performer, and educator. He is the author of The Neighbor Out of Sound (2018) and Jazz Talmud (2012), both published by the Sheep Meadow Press. His klez-jazz-poetry record Hermeneutic Stomp was released by the Blue Fringe Music in 2013. Jake is the contributing editor/ poetry critic for Tablet Magazine. Born in the provincial steppes of Ukraine, in a city which was renamed four times in the past 100 years, Jake considers himself a New Yorker, even though he lives in the Bay Area.
Cosmic Diaspora is Jake Marmer’s third collection of poems. It brings together fantasy, hard-boiled sci-fi, Jewish mysticism, experimental poetics, free jazz, and dark, deadpan humor....
Cosmic Diaspora is Jake Marmer's third collection of poems. It brings together fantasy, hard-boiled sci-fi, Jewish mysticism, experimental poetics, free jazz, and dark, deadpan humor. Born in the wild steppes of Ukraine, Marmer brings his immigrant experience into a cosmic, diasporic disorientation and attempts to imagine the deep future of myth, spirit, and language. In Cosmic Diaspora, you may also find more than hints of the Talmud, Midrash, and Zohar that allude to alternative realities, some of which exist alongside our own, while others are tangled within it—or are completely unrelated, made of pure Light or pure Text.
ADVANCE PRAISE for Cosmic Diaspora
“Cosmic Diaspora is a (literally) fantastic.... what? Book of poems/literary works? Notational record of an infinite number of possible post-poetic poetry performances? Series of QR-scanned music/spoken word performance videos? A hyper-Jewish post-Jewish science fiction fragment in talmudically-zoharically-inflected verse? Or all of the above. Jake’s language is deceptively off-handed yet precise, intelligent yet casual, prophetic yet comic. The eponymously titled opening suite is wise, weird, startling, and totally worth the price of admission, and the rest of the book, wildly different section to section, equals it. Curtain up! an artist strolls center stage.”
“Jake Marmer’s reflexive and visionary Cosmic Diaspora is a passionately rendered and timely exploration in verse of postmodern ritual and mutations. Marmer also takes a deep celebratory look into black holes, gravity, light years, and the cosmos. He also pays homage to some of his speculative heroes: Delany, Acker, Stein, and le Guin. And all the while Marmer hears the wisdom of the Talmud whispering in the background.”
“From ‘harm to harmony’ and back (and back again, in rapid, infinite oscillation), Jake Marmer’s new volume, Cosmic Diaspora, outlines, with wit and a keen sense of otherness, the existential anxiety at the heart of sentient human life—an anxiety that takes on a special poignancy in the words of geopolitically and otherwise historically traumatized diasporic poets:
you’re being disassembled
Through a series of fanciful sci-fi vignettes, a sort of ‘calligraphy of life’s post-script,’ Cosmic Diaspora explores the concept of diaspora not merely of ‘a people,’ but the contemporary experience of boundary-dissolution and dissemination of the individual-as-alien, giving the lie to the inside/outside, them/us, self/other binary around which ‘identity’ and its discontents are constructed. This is a rich, trenchant, and thoroughly enjoyable ‘record/ in conversation with its own mutation’—after all, ‘just because you were being extrapolated/doesn’t mean you weren’t having a ball.’ Treat yourself.”