About this book
That Light Feeling Under Your Feet plunges headfirst into the surreal and slogging world of cruise ship workers. These masterfully crafted poems challenge perpetuating colonial and class relations, as well as the hedonistic lifestyle attributed to the employees of these floating resorts. Kayla Geitzler’s debut collection interprets isolation, alienation, racism, and assimilation into the margins as inevitable consequences for the seafaring workforce of the most profitable sector of the tourism industry.
Exploring the liminal space between labour and leisure, the poems in That Light Feeling Under Your Feet are at once buoyant and weighty, with language that cuts like a keel through the sea.
"In her formidable poetic debut, Kayla Geitzler navigates a world of 'unregulated overtime and tip skimming' aboard the cruise ship Saturnalia. No mere three-hour tour, That Light Feeling Under Your Feet is an unflinching portrait of life at sea, and the discrimination, racism, and misogyny inherent in the tourism industry. Darkly humorous and deftly realized, the poems in That Light Feeling Under Your Feet stick in the mind like 'endless leviathans' harnessing the controlled chaos of the word."
"Like a workaday Virgil, Kayla Geitzler takes us from the upper decks of rum cocktails, jackpot bingo, and conga lines into the underworkings of cruise ships — the sale-to-sail palliative powers of simulacrum, the trinket-exhausted ports, and the forced smiles of deck staff under a manager’s beady gaze. In poem after startling poem, Geitzler’s sustained meditation forces our attention back to this absurd microcosm, proving herself a provocative emissary to frantic mass tourism. These imperial floating wedding cakes, she insists, are always ready to blot out the sky, taking those on board with them."
“Armed with wit, an anthropologist’s curiosity and a gift-shop service job, Kayla Geitzler charts cruise ship life from below deck (way below) and behind the counter, navigating culturally specific hangover cures and avoiding the sexual advances of the Food and Beverage manager. If David Foster Wallace — with his compassion and writerly acumen — had worked on a cruise instead of taken a cruise, it might have looked like this.”
"It's an effective (and affective) look at the unglamorous behind-the-scenes of a (temporary) life at sea." full review
"Some of these poems seem to walk on water, on the froth from a swell where capital meets little human moments, an odd place full of sadness, humour and terror."