I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel is the first graphic chapbook from Bloof Books, and the fourth in the 2015 series, containing 25 full-color photographs, plus 2 supplementary text pieces by poet-artist Nikki Wallschlaeger.

Trifold design includes introductory text on front flap and inside cover. Another text piece is printed at the inside back cover. The full-color 28-page photo booklet is hand-sewn into the cover. Expands to 16.5 inches wide when fully opened.

A selfie-by-proxy sequence of sorts, each portrait of the Julia doll (Mattel, 1969–1970, after the television series starring Diahann Carrol) combines the ultra-condensed gravitational effect of Wallschlaeger’s poetry, the hyper-consumability of the internet meme, and a Warholian pop-art palette of color, repetition, and cultural reference.


Houses by Nikki Wallschlaeger

In my father’s house are many mansions,” Jesus promised. In her deftly-aimed, disarmingly poised debut,  Nikki Wallschlaeger leads us phrase by phrase through the many dim and brightly lit houses of our American psyche in this pitiless new century: “Hospitals. Lighted for end times. They run on glossy generators & backup generators, lights of all dreams.”  Her long lines push the phrases into tight proximities which are sometimes painful, sometimes grate up a little spark: “Neighbor, our hearts pumped blood in the same room, looking onto lakes that teenagers drown in.”  I admire the grave persistence of her vision, the precision of her eye and ear. Houses unflinchingly reports the extremity of contemporary existence and presents the “end times” as durational, as just something else to endure. “The bill, they say, is going through the house. Eventually we’ll have to get real.

-Joyelle McSweeney

Nikki Wallschlaeger is not afraid to watch the furniture break down like a body and then come together against a brick wall, someone or something pounding on the other side.  If origin is a myth, it is also endless practice:  “There’s always a big knife in the kitchen.”  “We’re using the past instead of letting it use us.”  As white civilization drags its history of ruin and pillage into the 21st century, Houses rebuilds ancestry as force rather than simply loss, wielding the eye of vulnerability buried inside each scar through a face-off with the present:  “They’re vague about what they want with their violence so I shot them.”  This is not a book you will supervise.  This is a book whose supervision pierces the mundane and extraordinary, transforming dispossession into wanderlust, mending the spell of ill inheritance.

–Lucas de Lima

You can also order the book here :

Nikki Receives Pushcart prize nomination for “Sable House” which first appeared in Verse Wisconsin’s final print issue. Chosen by Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman

Nikki Wallschlaeger & Meg Day Excerpts from 10/15/2014 Woodland Pattern Reading & A Conversation Between Them at THE CONVERSANT

Nikki on a panel about Poetry and Community with Kristin LaTour and Dasha Kelly at 2014 Wisconsin Festival Of Books  11/7/2014