by Nicole Oquendo
I’m a huge fan of Nicole Oquendo, & I have loved everything published by Bone & Ink Press. This collection is, like many of Oquendo’s chapbooks, a themed collection of hybrid work (I’ve taken to calling their work “proems” because they live in the liminal space between poetry, prose, & magic spell/invocation). The themes of their collections help the reader find a way into what fascination the subject holds — and makes space for the reader to examine it from every angle with the author. What is revealed may be delight or horror, sometimes both.
Here, what is examined is the character Michael (the Antichrist from the American Horror Story series, Apocalypse season). The work simply asks: what would it be like to fall in love with The Antichrist, knowing the ruin that lies ahead — and what if all the Antichrist wanted was to experience all the mundane pleasures we take for granted — like popsicles, or gently falling in love. In this collection, like in real life (that we often wish to ignore), pain & love are twined together, impossible to unknot — because loving a being (Antichrist or human) is a promise that only ends in death or ruin — and that’s the best-case scenario.
If you watched AHS Apocalypse & found yourself drawn to Michael (fuck yeah, the devil is HOT) — but more than that, you found yourself squirming at all the ways Michael felt like just a living being that was thrust into this world without any say in the matter, hurtling towards an ending they’d never agreed to — then you may enjoy this exploration of the humanity, love, and yes, even romance that can be found in the unlikeliest of places, or people.