by Alyssa Rorke New Brunswick, NJ, 2015 33 pages, stapled
As I tweeted a few weeks ago, Alyssa Rorke wins as the writer whose work I have the most of. I typically read a book or two by the same author and then move on to someone else (with the exceptions of Louise Erdrich and J.K. Rowling). But there's something about Rorke's voice that keeps me coming back. You know late at night, when you can't sleep, and you actually look at individual Twitter accounts instead of just checking in to see what shows up in your timeline? I'm the one visiting Rorke's Twitter, chuckling under my breath, holding back tears, tossing out favs like candy at a parade. Maybe no one else does this and now I sound creepy. But if you clicked through to her page, it was all worth it. "Bunkmate Eternal Sleepover" is half-sized perzine containing diary entries/nonfiction explorations, prose poems, micro essays, and other snippets of text exploring themes like work, the passage of time/growing up, music, the DIY/punk scene, and friendship. Rorke's writing is well-crafted and powerful, peppered with pop culture references (Gilmore Girls screenshots, America's Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond, Buffy, Blink 182) and illustrated with collages of found items and phone screenshots. She is also the curator of LETTERS FROM BUMMER CAMP PRESS distro. The center pages of the zine are filled with Rorke's selected tweets arranged into poem-like stanzas—and are absolutely not to be missed. My favorite page feels like it could simultaneously be a tweet, a short poem, or the epigraph to a bestseller:
"we are all growing up and dying to tell each other about it"