Chris Shipman and Brett Evans
162 pages: $15.00
I know what you’re thinking. More fabulous poetry. Eesh. Why? Because sometimes you have to do The Thing, whether you want to or not. The Thing for New Orleans children in the tailpipe of the 20th century and beyond, around carnival time, was to make a float out of a shoebox – a miniature participation in the general adult mirth swirling around.
This isn’t an origin story, although it would be interesting to know who (smarty teacher?) first flipped the box and propped the lid and showed the kids how. It would be like finding out who first used the phrase ‘hotdog down a hallway.’ Somewhere between a kid’s dream and the blue material suggested lies the –ness of monstery goodies within, we hope. There is a thing called the tit-Rex parade, started this last decade, which is the adult version of the kids’ shoebox building, which parades down the actual street on the Saturday before the Saturday before Mardi Gras, with police and bands (essential to being a ‘parade’ and not just ‘people walking down a street’) and tiny throws.
The T. Rex Parade is inspired by the parade, but has also broken chain and pull-string and is now off on its own. Any fans who have been following the storied careers of Shipman and Evans should consider any dashing poems to have been written by their bard of choice, and any clunkers to be from the pen of the other.
[Pronunciation Guide: ‘tit in these pages is short for the French ‘petit’ and should be understood as a diminutive and pronounced as ‘tee’]
Growls for T. Rex Parade
We know there are poets who never let the lines fly past without catching them. And we are grateful to such poets if we know what’s best for us. “I need this moment” floating as its own line says it all in this book where we are introduced to the strange celebration of traditions we want through the poems. The mystery of being people has many windows of investigation, THIS WINDOW IS AMAZING!! You have to love this. Don’t be an idiot, you know you have to love it!!
—CAConrad, author of ECODEVIANCE
Evans and Shipman are to words what Brancusi is to bronze: they elevate the medium, even as they raise the spirit. These poems shape existence, consisting of a game set of observations set to music, and shed light onto a New-World Bohemia with effortless charm. Read them and feel vital.
—Amber Qureshi, Revelator, Foot Soldier, Sometime Spy, Liberator of House Insects and International Gadabout
With The T. Rex Parade, Brett Evans & Christopher Shipmen have invented poetry noir. With its louche New Orleans “adult cartoon smile,” this book is the coolest at the poetry party. Not that it isn’t silly. Or serious. It reveals that poetry “is the orgasm that can’t be faked.” It’s irresistible to quote: “a bourbon-drunk bartender with hitchhiker eyes” and “the t-shirt I’ve worn for five days lazy-haunting the house.” Even better, most of the poems have the same title: If I send you to “in this box,” you have no idea which box has the goodies. Evans & Shipman are as much from (the twitchy, skidding, capsized) New Orleans as William Carlos Williams was from Rutherford, & what can I say that’s better than that?
—Elinor Nauen, author of So Late into the Night and My Marriage A to Z
Unpacking The T. Rex Parade is like attending (over and over again for eternity) the best surprise birthday party anyone has ever thrown you—so much fun, so much puzzlement, so much muchness and madness and blast. And all your friends are there, too—even the mean ones, even the empty ones, the monsters. These collaborative excavations of boxes boxes boxes (of T. Rexs and wildly un/wrapped presents) provide the blueprint for whole new worlds of badassery, the roar of celebration, the weird spirit of complete connectedness, a lifetime of pin-the-tail on the dinosaur.
—Matt Hart, author of Debacle Debacle
And thanks to Adam Marret and DIZZY KITTY MEDIA we have a short film about a book about a parade! Music by The Call Girls…