Jarod Roselló. Publishing Genius, $14.95 paperback (210p) ISBN: 978-0-9906020-4-0
In Sandra Beasley’s poem, “To the Lions,” the speaker exhorts the lions to find their true feral nature: “Time to stop lifting the wallet/ from the corpse’s pocket./ Time to gather your most/ fuckable queens.” At the end of the poem, she delivers one last command: “Stop this kitty kitty nonsense,/ this apologetic yawning./ Show us why your tongue/ is covered in hooks.” In the wake of Cecil the lion’s shooting by the now-internet-famous dentist, and the subsequent backlash against prioritizing animal deaths over human deaths (especially POC deaths), The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found fits in perfectly.
There are two parallel narratives in The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found: the text, which tells the story of a persistent wrong number, and the artwork, which tells the story of the Well-Dressed Bear’s persecution. Although seemingly separate, they occasionally merge within the artwork. The wrong number that rings, again and again, evokes Murakami while the menacing streets filled with hooded figures and helicopters beaming searchlights evoke a kind of noir/sci-fi mystery. Rosello does an excellent job in finding the strange in the ordinary and making the unfamiliar familiar.