Cleveland State University Poetry Center

A Momentary Jokebook by Jayson Iwen

"I've never read anything quite like A Momentary Jokebook. It is wonderfully intelligent, terribly funny, thought provoking, often wise and always compelling. Think Milan Kundera meets South Park. What unifies this wide ranging work is Jayson Iwen's fresh approach to form and language, and his ability to surprise us and turn us on our heads."
-- Tom Barbash, author of The Last Good Chance

List Price: $15.95

 


 

from the book:
“Being in love is like . . .
Nicolae Ceausescu: Having all the blood in your body slowly replaced with another’s, through the ethereal hum of a transfusion machine.
Elena Ceausescu: Opening the eyelids of a dead child and looking inside.

. . .What is love?
Answer: It is not nearly as empty as the neighborhood is now, as the freshly re-shingled roof across the street, the black attic window beneath, or the night-hawk whistling its hunting song above. Not nearly as empty as the church steeple in its glaring night-gown of spotlight, or the windchimes on the porch next door, playing a song never heard before nor ever again . . . ”

 


 

In the tradition of such classics as Nabokov’s Pale Fire comes an absurdist literary puzzle, a distinctly 21st century fiction that manages to be both a metafictional romp through Ceausescu’s Romania, and a lyric meditation on brutality, desire and the search for redemption. Jayson Iwen’s A Momentary Jokebook is an exercise in contemporary myth-making, at once strange, comic, and terrifying.

“I’ve never read anything quite like A Momentary Jokebook. It is wonderfully intelligent, terribly funny, thought provoking, often wise and always compelling. Think Milan Kundera meets South Park. What unifies this wide ranging work is Jayson Iwen’s fresh approach to form and language, and his ability to surprise us and turn us on our heads.”
—Tom Barbash, author of The Last Good Chance

“The words of Iwen’s novella have angry sex with one another, climaxing in transcendent moments of laughter and love. His themes are our most fetishistic desires—to be both nurtured and do violence, to humiliate and be humiliated, to pervert history while singing our innocence. Such is the pathos of our uncertain age, and here is a marvelously crafted tragic-comic record of it.”
—Christopher Grimes, author of Public Works

About the Author:
Jason Iwen has lived in Guatemala, Ireland, Lebanon, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, where he currently writes for a medical software company. In 2005 he won the Emergency Press Book Contest for his long poem, “Six Trips in Two Directions.”