Sunday, January 13, 2019


For Michael Wex
Said the lexicon to the dialect:
Fu*kin’ idiom

Sometimes this poem feels like it’s
not the brightest candle in the menorah

that it was behind the door when the brains were being given out

That it operates like a wise person
At night.

And even though it’s 
all pulped up and pressed with polemical discord,
producing itself through performative memory and politics establishing its own force and affect 
of lived and embodied agency enabling a paradox of tam, timbre socio-cultural cues 
of ornamentation

like a messy meisse
finding its margins

it’s wearing its Talmudic lenses
waving its big yicchus

and groaning under the weight of its reference.

And though its schlepping its mental furniture
sometimes it’s doing so not well
knocking a teakettle --

And through a hetero-erotic outpouring
a perfect cleaving of the letters
secretly entwined in
a polyglotal heteronomy  --

Some of these words are already
of blessed memory.

Saying, may all your truths fall out –
But one.

And may it ache fiercely.

This poem, itself a translingual
spliced, polysemic undead dybbuk

all transubstantiated with
accents and inflections 
of radical necessity

and is complicit in its own undoing.

And if you don’t mind me saying so,
these letters look good for their age;

all dressed up to be messed up,
they are dropping their load.

This poem has a burden to bear:

And like no shtuppeh before the chuppeh

says, don’t eat it
before you read it.

*NOTE: Re title, in Yiddish a fukher is a fan


Gone is the lustre that lies longing through the shuttered gates
of sunwashed rubble, the gauged paste of narrowing displacement

girded in the burl
of skinside swirl

through the
sprig of ripe

What can one see
in the picketed moor of loomed spool?

as lapsed apt porous spur slips
in the purring epoch. ellipse

So, lick the funicular
jiggling particulars sucking the sky
slick with ripped scripts of pulsing d’éspere

For, in the cathexis of unbalance
we are smashing hard
through prurient piers pierced logging shadows
in the flickening reflow / slow-stop swerve

of bursts, bands, bridled signals


And could it be a happy assonance
in the contiguous torrent?
These huddled borders screaming
against your skin fortressed by
weeping thresholds’ precipice.

So pass through me in the folded fancy
of cracked madness

You say pirate  
I say pirouette

contoured in shivering silhouette’s
wet arrêt / softened kisses’ brackets
pastures, pulsing
sleepless through
scarred triggers

Pass through me fleeced
in the nonce /
sensors of
fissured swarms

All framboissey-faire and
schikered up in the whet wait what?

Druthers by another other --

    Sometimes the poem grows like an onion.
                                                               And sometimes I wish it a sweet death --

  A truck filled with sugar should run over it.

You can’t live on light alone.

Adeena Karasick is a New York based Canadian poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of ten books of poetry and poetics. Her Kabbalistically inflected, urban, Jewish feminist mashups have been described as “electricity in language” (Nicole Brossard), “proto-ecstatic jet-propulsive word torsion” (George Quasha), noted for their “cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory” (Charles Bernstein) "a twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick's signature ‘syllabic labyrinth’” (Craig Dworkin); “one long dithyramb of desire, a seven-veiled dance of seduction that celebrates the tangles, convolutions, and ecstacies of unbridled sexuality… demonstrating how desire flows through language, an unstoppable flood of allusion (both literary and pop-cultural), word-play, and extravagant and outrageous sound-work.” (Mark Scroggins). Most recently is Checking In (Talonbooks, 2018) and Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), the libretto for her Spoken Word opera co-created with Grammy award winning composer, Sir Frank London. She teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is Poetry Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, 2018 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the 2016 Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking and 2018 winner of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” is established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University. 

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