Poetry, chapbook, 32 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST is an exploration of love, self-discovery, and loneliness in a transitional phase of life. The poetry in this body of work captures the life of the author in realities both real and fabricated as she navigated the harshness of adult life alone for the first time in a major city. The 21 poems represent the 21 years of life lived prior to the creation of this chapbook, harnessing the emotional complexities of the author during a time that was simultaneously the end and the beginning, much like a complimentary breakfast.
Receiving one can come with a small sense of excitement, a meal you don’t need to pay extra for, one thing in the morning that doesn’t need a plan. Even so, the thing itself is, typically, more or less disappointing—the options are lackluster, the eggs cold, the fruit mushy, the waffle machine broken. Even still, there’s something to be said about the ease of a breakfast you don’t yourself need to make. The poems of COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST take this feeling and apply it to the experience of existing in a new, unfamiliar world that isn’t always what it looks like in photographs.
Jessalyn Johnson is a writer from Central Florida currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA from The New School’s Creative Writing Program in 2020. Her poetry and fiction is featured in publications such as Maudlin House, The Inquisitive Eater, and Ghost City Review, among others. When she isn’t writing, she can be found at the gym, painting, or drinking coffee. She is currently working on a novel.