SAINT IBS, by Annie Lou Martin-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

SAINT IBS, by Annie Lou Martin

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Annie Lou Martin
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Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” -Romans 8:13. 

SAINT IBS is a gagged-up girlhood. A hot pink sampling of poems about sex, gender, illness, compulsion, kink, labor, and trauma, mostly played out in one of life’s most ritualistic and porous spaces: the bathroom.

SAINT IBS is an exploration of the relationship between the abject and divine. Like bathrooms, these poems are places to get dirty and to get clean, to find both respite and discomfort. They are places where the borders of the body break down, where symbolic categories such as self/other, alive/dead and public/private are violently disrupted. “The abject,” writes Julia Kristeva, is “edged with the sublime…for the sublime has no object either.”

SAINT IBS draws from a cross-genre, interdisciplinary practice with little use for concepts of mastery. These are “love poems for the weak / who serve a weak god.”

"Anthropologists say society resets itself in ritual, but sometimes you have to reset yourself in the bathroom. SAINT IBS is part origin story, part restroom confessional, and reading it, one thinks of a Gen-Z version of “Sordid Lives,” or “Midnight Cowboy,” if the boys were queer, and their hustles could reset society from its postures. SAINT IBS is a book with range, and certainly just the first publication of many to come from the open heart of this exciting new poet, Annie Lou Martin."

—Ben Fama, author of DEATHWISH (Newest York, 2019)

“Annie Lou’s SAINT IBS is oozing liquid into every corner of the tiled bathroom. It’s filled with images that I can feel on my skin. Sweat and blood and cum and the sun beating down on you. There is a real awareness of the body in these poems and I am grateful to Lou for positioning us inside the spaces we take for granted. This book is filled with eroticism, reflection, and want, told to us with great honesty of carnage and of the heart…every poem feels like eating a delicious dessert, or being brought back to a forgotten corner of the psyche. It left me teary eyed, nostalgic, charmed, and excited."

—Maya Martinez, author of HOLE PLAY (Wonder Press, 2023)

SAINT IBS transforms the boundary between the sacred and the profane into a permeable membrane through which sex, religion, and the body oscillate. In this masterful debut, Annie Lou Martin locates a thread between seemingly dichotomous concepts: public and private, feminine and masculine, girlhood and post-girlhood, work and pleasure, worship and de-sanctification, self-mutilation and self-creation. These poems are an exciting contribution to a growing body of literature that deals with queerness and the hustle of being a twenty-something who lives, loves, and works in New York."

—Ilyssa Forman, author of This Side of the River (Bottlecap Press, 2024)

"SAINT IBS is equal parts sensual and filthy. It quite literally drips and oozes with delicious imagery, self-deprecation, and eroticism. I found myself hung up on every single poem, barely catching my breath for the next and mentally lingering on what came before."

—Nico Bryan, author of Slow Devotion Slash Open (Bottlecap Press 2023)

"The poems in Annie Lou Martin's SAINT IBS fold the brain like a meatloaf. With their grit, delicacy, & precision in regard to the viscera of life, the word is a grout float to smooth the wrinkle of many garrote scars with a candied seal. If something has me by the neck, no matter how brief a book, be it caress, choke, chortle, or gag, you pay attention."

—Aristilde Kirby, author of Daisy & Catherine² (Auric Press, 2022)

Annie Lou Martin reads and writes in Brooklyn. They have hope in a future where scarcity is archaic. They believe that they will see a free Palestine in their lifetime.