Adeena Karasick is a one-woman semantic explosion. She writes in the spirit of verbal play and experiment and RIOT out of Gertrude Stein and bpNichol, among others (spoken word, rap, Black Mountain). And how can you NOT like a poem that admits its own “unraveling” and bills itself as an “asterisk taker” and contains lines like “oh, just lick its/ ideological infrastructure” and dances between contemporary cultural filigree and theoretical/philosophical references (“ontic gap”)? See below, a video of Adeena reading from the beginning of the poem. The images scattered through the poem were made in collaboration with Blaine Speigel. The whole poem, called “This Poem,” will be published as a book this fall by the great and storied Vancouver publisher Talonbooks.
Adeena Karasick is an internationally acclaimed and award winning poet, media-artist and author of seven books of poetry and poetic theory: Amuse Bouche: Tasty Treats for the Mouth (Talonbooks 2009), The House That Hijack Built (Talonbooks, 2004), The Arugula Fugues (Zasterle Press, 2001), Dyssemia Sleaze (Talonbooks, Spring 2000), Genrecide (Talonbooks, 1996), Mêmewars (Talonbooks, 1994), and The Empress Has No Closure (Talonbooks, 1992), as well as 4 videopoems regularly showcased at International Film Festivals. All her work is marked with an urban, Jewish, feminist aesthetic that continually challenges linguistic habits and normative modes of meaning production. Engaged with the art of combination and turbulence of thought, it is a testament to the creative and regenerative power of language and its infinite possibilities for pushing meaning to the limits of its semantic boundaries.
Her writing has been described as “electricity in language” (Nicole Brossard), “plural, cascading, exuberant in its cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory” (Charles Bernstein) “a tour de force of linguistic doublespeak” (Globe and Mail) and “opens up the possibilities of reading” (Vancouver Courier). She is Professor of Global Literature at St. John’s University in New York.
Composed in the style of Facebook updates or extended tweets, This Poem is an ironic investigation of contemporary culture and the technomediatic saturated world we’re enmeshed in. Mashing up the lexicons of Gertrude Stein, Loius Zukofsky, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, the contemporary financial meltdown, semiotic theory, Lady Gaga, Jacques Derrida and Flickr streams, “This Poem” a self-reflexive romp through the shards, fragments of post-consumerist culture. Both celebrating and poking fun at contradictory trends, threads, webbed networks of information and desire, and the language of the ‘ordinary”, it opens itself with rawness and immediacy to the otherness of daily carnage.
A deeply satiric archive of fragments, updates, analysis, aggregates, treatise, advice, precepts, echoes, questions, erupting in a voluminous luminous text of concomitance. divergence, dis/integration and desire.
A serial poem that textually proceeds in the tradition of such poets as George Oppen, bpNichol, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer committed to the shape of a life lived with the lyric irony of textuality; taking on the search for definition punctuated with strong incursions of eros, pleasure, terror and social networking. —AK
By Adeena Karasick
And in the rapturous apertures
of perspicacity (purse capacity),
of its bootstrap boobietrap of ear-tickling
hyper-inflated speculative frenzy
This Poem just wants a “happy ending”
like a ring-a-ding swinger
foursquare tech ticker, fecund licker
elbowing its way through a persnickety
kwik-pic sticky dictic,
and wants to lick you immeasurably,
your vesicles and crevasses, lick the lips of your
pixilated proxy, paroxysms of purring tragedy
wants you to smack it
up against its inky-vexed lexis,
mixological excess, slide down
its rumpy pumpy amped-up optates,
jacked clad cock of the walk ecto-flecked vectors
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