Magic Helicopter Press


by Jordan Stempleman

$10 + shipping

Order No, Not Today

4.75x7.125 | Perfectbound | 72 pg
ISBN: 978-0-9841406-3-3
April 2012


You wake up with your hopes for sprinklers that don't cost too much. Then you start your walking and thinking of what the first moonwalk cost us. There's the us, yes, whomever in your life you want to take over your long standing nights. You and the day and the us and the thinking all start together, and No, Not Today starts there over and over. Wise out of the side of the mouth, funny and pillow talking, these are daily delvings "clearly intimate and at home / in the country," impressed and terrified by the consistency of life and love. Reading the poems of Jordan Stempleman is like becoming your own trust fall partner.

Jordan Stempleman was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1977. He co-edits The Continental Review, teaches writing and literature at the Kansas City Art Institute, and curates A Common Sense Reading Series.

Cover art by Eric Yahnker


"With affectionate and funny familiarity, No, Not Today records the thinking that shapes days from within. Anxieties assert themselves, love insists on appearing, and meanwhile time and how we name it cycle onward. It’s like Jordan Stempleman himself decided to “each morning / wake up, look out at the world and sign hooray.” That cheer is not simple. It responds to darkness as well as light. Regardless, it heartens; reading this book I want to join in." — Heather Christle, author of What is Amazing

"No, Not Today operates through a lovely paradox of dailiness, where, as the title implies, there’s always some nagging existential deferral, some little lack finally large enough to make each Tuesday, Friday, Monday feel at once complete as a vessel of feeling, yet one forever seeking that 25th hour. Not then entirely unlike a poem, and so, the days here take on that plasticity demanded by conscripted time that’s always turned against us: “All there is left to do / is not call this the one occasion we have to know.” These endeared lyrics take the week, the month, the year and distress their order, gently, and with unprecedented care. They take place toward sometime when we’re “healed enough to let go of our hard habits / and loaded appearances.” One Saturday after another." — Dana Ward, author of This Can’t Be Life


"The scientists who study solidified pasts, the geologists, cheer, and Stempleman shares this enthusiasm. Stempleman’s writing is a physical phenomenon, drawing from science as much as the literary tradition." — Denise Low at the Kansas City Star

"Stempleman knows that our shared American consciousness is something he can rely on; there is, after all, something about each weekday that is recognizable, that gives it a certain ‘feeling.’ In this way, his work respects the instincts of his readers." — Edward Mullany at the New York Daily News

"Whether identifying beauty by what it’s not or by its ability to change—as a thought or a physical body—Stempleman keeps plenty busy stuffing his poems with the confetti, rice, and rain of life. Instead of a bending to a bearded god or some such deity, these poems urge the reader to submit to originality." — Mel Bosworth at the Outsider Writers Collective

"Stempleman’s poems strive to get off the page and into your life. Exhortative, colloquial little things, they want to get up and walk around your living room ... This, the moment you realize the lazy waves are taking you, the moment you start lying — this is the slippage I’m talking about, the moments of pure magic." — Simon Jacobs at the The Lit Pub


"Jordan Stempleman's poetry collection No, Not Today elegantly mixes the concrete with the existential as these poems explore our thoughts and how we perceive the time periods in which we have them." — Largehearted Boy

"No, Not Today, what I want you to know is this: I hope I was quiet enough for you to wreck all of my ideas about what 'inconsolable' means." — Chad Redden, mayor of NAP



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