Wednesday, April 25, 7pm
There’s a new ‘sheriff on / Clue Street’ here to show us what’s ‘behind the luxury desks of Twit Street.’ Justin Jamail’s debut collection is dedicated to ‘my fathers,’ and you can sense the benign influence of such major New York School figures as Kenneth Koch and Paul Violi in Jamail’s exclamatory poems that celebrate motion and surprise, observe the ‘restless traffic,’ and pause for a negroni in Singapore before invoking the ‘god of business travel’ and planting ‘familiar beans in unfamiliar gardens.’ In one of the poems, Jamail likens himself to ‘an heir with live parents.’ This book is worthy of its legacy.
Earlier this century, a team of archaeologists from the University of Texas discovered the remains of a formerly unknown civilization on the site of an abandoned office park in the suburbs of Houston. Among the few artifacts present was a collection of fragments from what appears to be a much longer, more substantive text, a document characterized by one scholar as ‘part creation myth and part owner’s manual, party hymnal and part scratch-off lottery ticket.’ Is Justin Jamail familiar with this document? Is he privy to the complete version? Is he somehow responsible for its authorship? These are all questions Exchangeable Bonds asks but which Jamail, despite a series of emails and phone calls, refuses to answer. –Carson Cistulli
Justin Jamail is the Deputy General Counsel of The Metropolitan Opera, and was a mergers and acquisitions attorney based in the Tokyo office of Morrison&Foerster LLP for 5 years. He studied poetry at Columbia University and the UMasss Amherst MFA program. He grew up in Houston, TX and now lives in Montclair, NJ.
Justin Jamail, Exchangeable Bonds