It's No Good Everything's Bad :: Stephanie Young


I can’t claim this is a translation of Kirill’s translation of Bukowski
or the way Bukowski appears in Kirill’s early poems as translated by Keith Gessen back into English as Bernadette Mayer

but I can suggest it

so friends! Hold the bloody sponge up! for all to see!

the bedpan they turned over and propped me up with for a pelvic exam because the room didn’t have a bed with stirrups
the fear a doctor would say there’s nothing wrong with you
you’re just constipated

something I’ve been told before sometimes that was true


Stephanie Young wrote It's No Good Everything's Bad, during a few pressured weeks that included ovarian cysts, ER visits, the women's gender strike, non profits arts fundraisers, and researching 1970s feminist health collectives. Taking as a jumping-off point the work of Russian poet Kirill Medvedev as it appears in It's No Good (a set of English translations by Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, and Bela Shayevich, published by our friends at Ugly Duckling Presse), Young's long poem meditates on gender, revolution, money, and the medical-industrial complex, pulsing, all along, with urgency, humor, and anger. She says of the book: "If someone else had not already written a book called Seizing the Means of Reproduction, I would say this poem would like to seize the means of reproduction."



Stephanie Young lives and works in Oakland. Her books include Pet Sounds (forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2019), Ursula or UniversityPicture Palace, and Telling the Future Off. She edited the anthology Bay Poetics and with Juliana Spahr, A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism. Stephanie is a member of the Krupskaya small press publishing collective.