ABOUT THIS BOOK
Margaret Christakos’s ninth collection,
, is a rousing, witty foray into a timely frontier of public spaces, poetic forms, private longings and virtual relocations. With her trademark linguistic sonar, Christakos freshly filters Whitman’s ‘Song of Myself’ through the intimate address of social media where individuals conduct flamboyant acts of lament, protest, erotic self-dispersal and indelible spectacle.
‘These gorgeously measured poems drill down through language to deliver treasure, sex and some of the most incisive observations about networked culture I’ve encountered. A must-read for the smart, the dirty and the connected.’
– Caitlin Fisher
‘Alphabetic dismantling, syntactic play, essaying words backwards and 4words (as she might say), Christakos manifests forensic clarity and telegraphic fortitude in this unsettling work.’
– Rachel Blau DuPlessis
COACH HOUSE BOOKS
Copyright © Margaret Christakos,
Published with the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and
the Ontario Arts Council. Coach House Books also gratefully acknowledges the
support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the
Government of Ontario through the Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit.
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION
Multitudes / by Margaret Christakos. – First edition.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
978 1 77056 361 2 (epub) – 978 1 55245 279 0 (pbk.).
Multitudes is available as a print book:
978 1 77056 361 2.
Inger Christensen, trans. Susanna Nied
Table of Contents
sing th body electric
push words into body.
do those words form a column or spiral?
do those words coalesce as body
into the body they conjure?
push words into mouth.
do those words form a tongue or jetty?
is a probe formed that touches
the tongue it entangles?
push words onto mound of nipple,
onto mounded nipple jewels.
do words circulate as honey, as
tentacles that leaven and stiffen?
are words the door-slab we cross
or the instepping over?
do words think what they want
or rush in, impartial?
fasten words into armpits,
kneebacks, elbow fronts.
do these words moving into view
bulk or break like touch or
are they just its cushions?
do I cock my head sideways
peer along tubal promontories and
at this occult angle drench
my throat in letters?
do I tongue-roll speech?
do I usher words
into corridors we recognize
or do new phrases
fissure the organism?
pack syllables into glands.
deliver glandular phonemes glad to open.
proposition palms moistening
wave words toward portals
as if bright green pennants.
signal presence at the threshold.
do words gush good manners?
do words think about waiting?
can words hold back or off or away
until the body goes rigid and dirigible?
a warm headwind pushes against the body
the way words do.
words form a column or spiral
of headwind, and it is honeyed.
it is tentacled. it is probing.
words suckle the column and
nipple the mound, delve inside ducts
and shovel out insides.
let’s push words into coming.
gnash words into coming, into body.
shove grammar onto parts.
load coming into each.
is it the threshold of coming or
the deep thrash of asking?
I wonder do words have any clue.
I wonder if words hold me
or if you do.
maybe there’s zero here
save our so-green thresholds.
Bitch, bitch, bitch.
erutaN sa elbavol