“Dan Schapiro’s HOLEPLAY is a display case of colorful, florid, feverish pain, coming to us in reds and blues of regret, betrayal, deceit, pitiless humiliation, and boyfriend problems, all delivered with a lush and elegant pop sensibility.
The range entailed by all the phrases and pictures covers so many various feelings, calls us to fight for so many buried activisms, and makes it possible to experience so many ‘melismatic insomnias’ that, apparently, we were already living through.
Historical and sexual metaphors galore, a digression on an Arabic root, misshapen words and lines, ghostly pictures of phones and roads; the vertiginous and the right-here-in-front-of-you, the righteously expansive and the claustrophobic-comedic edge, the musical references and the real-life-story autopoiesis:
‘the work is cold::the cold in turn works ... just go, take my breath away.’ It makes you cry, it is elegiac, but extravagantly so.” - Zamaan Hashmi
“That “a Diva Always Gets Hurt” forms something of a backbone to Schapiro’s collection — a fifty-five page meditation on sex, the twinship of divadom and vulnerability, and life as an HIV+ person. Among the poems is a scattering of photos and xeroxed notes rendered in black and white. The scraps are occasionally obscure and difficult to connect, though such haziness is familiar to any reader who has reviewed a personal archive. And, like a personal archive, Holeplay’s memorabilia suggests the book’s origins are accretion, instinctual and organic, rather than the product of scrupulous curation...”
-- HOLEPLAY Full Stop review by Sohum Pal
Dan Schapiro is a disabled poet
living with HIV in New York.
HOLEPLAY, his first book, writes
through and about images and illness.
He is @gayforcommunism .