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The Mobius Strip Club of Grief

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  352 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Möbius Strip Club of Grief is a collection of poems that take place in a burlesque purgatory where the living pay—dearly, with both money and conscience—to watch the dead perform scandalous acts otherwise unseen: “$20 for five minutes. I’ll hold your hand in my own,” one ghost says. “I’ll tell you you were good to me.” Like Dante before her, Stone positions herself as ...more
Paperback, 90 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Tin House Books
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  352 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Gabriel Congdon
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
FUCK YOU


is the subtext of these poem. I’m psyched to scream about them.

Here’s some blood on the page.

Here’s a severed head that’ll answer well-worded questions.

Finally, some fierce-ass American poetry, some savage guts. These poems don’t give a goddamn grape whether you like them or not. They’re not written with us in mind.

The reason these poems were written is because there’s a gold orb around the world and amazing shit like this evanescence’s into it and throughout all time some people susta
...more
Dan
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You have to show a scar to the bouncer to get in - any scar will do. And you have to tell a story about your mother. Something she suffered through. But once you’re in, you’re in forever.

Wow. What a book of poetry. I stood in a bookstore for an hour reading this (before getting a copy!). I didn't want to take a break to sit down, I just wanted to keep reading until I consumed all of the poems in this collection. I've read a lot of poetry this year, and this book may be the most memorable. Th
...more
Mary Rose
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
You can’t just write a poem about having a spiritual awakening while watching an episode of Supernatural and think I won’t call you out on it!

In all seriousness, there’s nothing poetic in here. It’s just ugly.
Alana
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
"Dear, old flesh and blood,
these days I
would not reconginze
your face
hidden in the ground
but for the sound of thunder,
the tremor of spring rain."


I struggled through much of this book, and kept seeking more concise and more *feeling* language. Sometimes, I found it.
...more
Mark
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Solid collection of poetry.
Annie
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Darkly comic and resonant -- a book full of evocative, weird, ticklish poems on loss. Imagines a seedy underworld where the dead swing around stripper poles and give lap dances to their living, mourning guests.

Bianca Stone has a vivid imagination, and is able to effortlessly pull off tricks like turning simple biological facts into poetry (see "Honeybee"). My other favorites were "Elegy with a Swear Word," "Math," and "Retreating Knights and Riderless Horses: Or Poem With Another Poem Halfway T
...more
Jaime
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Although Bianca Stone wrote The Möbius Strip Club of Grief before fourth-wave feminism picked up the “Me Too” tagline, the book’s publication and my reading of it landed smack in the middle of all the news stories in which empowered and angry women demanded (once again) an end to rape culture. Right when I struggled to place myself in the discourse—I had worried the language was more symbolic than paradigm-shifting—Bianca Stone’s newest collection of poetry entered my life. The Möbius Strip Club ...more
Sharif
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, contemporary
I've never read a poetry collection before where I enjoyed every poem in the collection as I have with The Mobius Strip Club of Grief. Stone's poems are boldly imaginative and "edgy" and sear themselves into my consciousness. What I enjoy most about the poems is that they reflect what I consider to be the full spectrum of human experience: which includes both the beauty and the so-called darkness of life. In humble opinion, contemporary poetry which doesn't do this is simply a disservice to huma ...more
Margaret Adams
Aug 17, 2019 added it
Shelves: poetry
As Gabe said, “I’d recommend these poems to anyone who feels the urge to headbutt books out of empathetic anger.”

(Thanks for the rec, Gabe.)

I feel like your rejection slips, collated in a folder. Outdated
science magazine
of inaccurate information—
I would love to “move on.” But I carry you around like a scar,
forgetting sometimes that it is even there
until I follow a stranger’s eye to it during a handshake.

-from Interior Designs

Watch me loving you forever, Mom, on this strip of land
we call grief
...more
Mariel
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2019, grief
This book is so good. Bianca Stone's poetry is surprising and weird and beautiful and ugly and conversational and lyrical and irreverent and many other contradictory adjectives. The MSCOG is a dark and strange place, and its function as setting and launch point is unbelievably good. I can't wait to read more of her work. ...more
Meg Gee
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this collection esp the first half when it revolved around this strip club and ideas of grief but later I felt the images took a backseat to abstractions and philosophy that I didn't find as compelling, but overall there are some poems that will stay with me. ...more
Zach Werbalowsky
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like a 3.75?
Alishba Ali
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sigh, I suppose this was the kind of anthology that I couldn't like even if I tried to.

Sure, there are a few pieces dedicated to grief, pain and many other things and I appreciate the rawness and brutality of emotions the way Stone presents them but there wasn't a lot to take away from these poems.

In the end, they didn't grab my attention as much as the title did.
...more
Lexi Nylander
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I loved this. My favorites were “Making Applesauce with My Dead Grandmother,” “Blue Jays,” and “Ones Who Got Away with It.”

“You have to show a scar to the bouncer to get in - any scar will do. And you have to tell a story about your mother. Something she suffered through. But once you’re in, you’re in forever.”

“I hold court all day on my own intellectual shortcomings. It doesn’t matter anymore.”

“The known universe is saying Fuck, softly into the unknown universe. It’s a very long winter. I can’t
...more
Joe Imwalle
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bianca Stone is my newest favorite poet. I found a poem of hers in The New Yorker and sought out more of her work. I bought this book and am glad I did. Her poems aren’t easily accessible like Mary Oliver or that sort of thing. They take work but, I find, they needn’t be worked at too much. You just need to stay alert while reading and let the various images and surreal visions parade and sashay through your mind. More sashaying than parading. Lines like...

A burning bush in the middle
of a transc
...more
Carl Waluconis
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Bianca Stone is shaking things up in this unified collection of her poems revolving around a macabre strip club where women regain power after death. The after-death experiences have a taste of Dante, but are original, intense experiences that all find their causes in the world in which we live. "For the masochist, nothing quite hurts like the truth." You will pay a price for entering this world:
our funerals are like poker games
in the back room
of the Möebius Strip Club of Grief.
The stakes are hi
...more
Margaryta
More acurrately a 3.5. I found the description of the collection to be a bit misleading - I had hoped that "The Mobius Strip Club of Grief" would, indeed, be like a feminist take on the scene of Aeneas descending into the underworld and was a bit disappointed by how little, or at least how indirectly, the club seemed to be mentioned. So that's my own fault for hoping for a more all-encompassing narrative and world-building approach. Stone deserves credit though for how well she wades in and out ...more
Luke Gorham
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2018
3.5ish. Appreciate the melancholia of the proceedings, and the thematics here of the headfirst dive into's life's suffering as armor against pain and catalyst for appreciation of joy. This passage from "The Fall" could well be a thesis for the collection: "What to do with this mind?/ Throw everything / into the fire and scream / into the internet / that there's nothing to do / but stand in the dark recesses / throwing a bright red dodge ball / against the bone facade / and fall in and out of lov ...more
Dripta
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this collection of poems we can hear a distinctively 21st century female voice - clear, loud yet calm; trying to connect with her predecessors, both ancestral and literary. A strange mood of macabre sadness permeates throughout the volume as the poet talks about soil and blood and milk and urine and flesh and flames.
In the two parts of this volume, the poet visits modern versions of inferno and purgatory. However, we only see some glimpses of paradise but that place seems too far to reach fro
...more
Nova Papasodora
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This collection explores ideas such as the physical vs. the intellectual, and the living dead vs. the living in a humanistic sense.

It's written fantastically and really struck home on certain poems. The atmosphere of the strip club is very well created and rather specific. I liked that a lot of the poems were seemingly placed in the same place as it gave the entire collection a sense of completion and oneness.

I highly recommend!
...more
L.
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
I can't even remember how long it's been since I last had a poetry book reach out and force its grubby fingers to into me so that I'd feel something reading its pages. Perhaps I have a niche for writing that is an unapologetic evisceration of words, and perhaps I have finally found an author capable of resonating with some greater part of my lizard brain. Either way, I think I'll be sticking around for a bit. ...more
Caroline
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Yeah, this was just a bit too weird and macabre for me. There were definitely some individual poems that I liked, but they were the less conceptual ones. I particularly loved "Self-Destruction Sequence" and its ending: "It's a kind of holy moment that unfills anger." There were aspects of Stone's style that I really enjoyed, but most of this was just too abstract for me.

...more
Emilie
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bianca Stone's tells of the fast and desperate passage of time. Of how that desperation leads us to sex, booze, making apple jam, or unburying the bones of a dead grandmother. She speaks to that theme in so many fresh ways that the reader is propelled forward to no certain end. It reads like rock 'n' roll. ...more
Charlie
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A uniquely depressing, biting, and humorous collection of poetry that uses the structure of the 'mobius strip club of grief,' the place where women (and specifically, sex workers) can exist beyond death and danger to renegotiate power structures away from the patriarchy. A fantastic collection qua collection, not just a series of poems but a whole universe to exist in. ...more
Olivia Rose
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bianca Stone delightfully fuses classical images and backdrops with the titled subject, grief-- a subject of reflection and inquiry so endlessly bold and deep that it never grows tired of consideration. I admire her stark, calculated wordage and lyrical poeticism that borderlines narrative, but felt the collection was lacking in something to cut me to my core in an unforgettable way.
Jill
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5? Part I is horribly macabre - or wonderfully so, depending on your sensibilities. Not really to my taste. I was about to put it down, but I’m happy I kept going. Part II is where the work shines for me.
André Habet
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite poetry books I've read so far this year. ...more
Heather
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Back cover copy is misleading.
Raechel
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: death, poetry
Smart, bitter, and funny.
Kathryn
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stunning artistry.
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