Adeena Karasick

About the poet:

Adeena Karasick, Ph.D, 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); “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 and Salomé: Woman of Valor CD, NuJu Records, 2020, and Salomé Woman of Valor translation into Bengali (trans. Aritra Sanyal and Paulami Sengupta), Boibhashik Prokashoni Press, Kolkata, 2020. Karasick teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is Poetry Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, Associate International Editor of New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication, 2019 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the 2016 Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking and 2018. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” is established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University. Forthcoming is AErotomania: The Book of Lumenations.

Track 1:

In axes of excess succulent access
of wracked tracks, flexed nexus sequestered, vexed lexis

in the thickness of
history mystery mastery matrices

Come with me
through borders orders laws flaws codes
of urgent perversion.

Come crowded with fluid runes perfumed
and naked, thirsty as plumy flumes 
Come misty vitreous
prodigal and unspeakable in lusty veils
Come holy in shaded legends
of puzzled ardor, martyred

in the curls of coiled cries a chorus of cursed whorls

scorched with countenance
with outlaw fictions, fluid swoons, wounded
in coded collusion


Drape me with wild
rampage, wrought
mementos, re-chérched embers:
we will be riddled in juicy entrées,
we will remember the aching logos
like fragrant trysts
of iffy hysteria

I am a bricolage but cadenced.
Oh yes, a draughter of rused asylum
as the tenets of catered radar
as the torqued courtiers of silly men

How fancy
you are, rhizome,
disguised as love

How fickle
like phonemic fairies
of jouissance
woven gatherer

How grand
our bet of levity
our grafters of cinders
our engines of deceit

And what shadowed abyss
of taut turns is riddled by the flux
of campy anon

And what breathy mambo
of moaning nomads
is frothing in the foolscape of
your wet roulette?

What sluiced verity
What twangy biases
What cooing lurks in the sashay of racy traces

Dear preponderance,
the mounting inertia
of flailing labors bedside
like chaperoned  tenets

I have parsed thee, oh my love,
to a symphony of hollers
in the flurry of riot

Come with me
My livre
Come away
For the langue whet with mouthy repasts
terrains of slang blurred slinging
in the penned err of puffy affect
furtive inertia nourishing debris and fine
gowned figura and rendered gaps
gowned and trendy, vagrant

Come myth me
my livre
campy mélée 

Come, crooked surplus
Succumb, let me harness you

Your viscous lacquer of weighted eros
Your bountiful brooding

like a chimera
of mounting salience
In the curve
of the raucous
In the shadowed fancy
of ranty contretemps

My beloved saunters as a cluster
of confers in the
zippers of giddy engines

How phantomatic
you are my livery,
map of perfumed affects

I have coveted / oh my love, a
tympany of hors-text
A paste of wild parses.
Poesis of sweet disorder

Drown Me

Out of the darkness sans soleil salomé
Out of the madness leila may salomé
as night drenched with martyred ardor mordant (s/w)orders —

Drown me in 
your silted santos s’aint stained santé
of sap dew spit. spirit
Drown me in the
surfeit waters
Waters of hallowed salve
swiveled misery
fêtted d’èspere, asylum
Waters of ravished labyrinths
scorched screams, smashed orbits, the
Waters of radar
moaning filth; sprout sips sprigs thickets
feverish reveries drowning
in the silk steam curtains corridors moist stone slab fingers
fleshy revenance; in the
Waters of roused dawn  —

Bind Me

When to cut is to bind,
take me
and as you come
to the tenet of my house. In the bed that is
spread across this lexicon
bind me

in the splendor of our haunting

bind me to your wrists
to your forearms, your fingers

bind me
with your leather strapped
heritage histories rituals traditions

bind me
with your tableaux fabliaux
of ragged madness
aberrance, labyrinths

bind me
in prophecy, sophistry
as i taste you
all palistrophically erotic and
threaded with hysteria

bind me to your doorposts bedposts

For in my death i taste you
with the paradox of worship.

Yes I Will, Yes Say Yes

And as shadows scream masked
in the fury of decay
yes I will yes say yes i willdance
an au courant bon vivant vampy-amped
nymphy symphony  
an uproarious emporium
of morbid dysphoria

i will dance

7 words in the first verse of the Torah
7 days, weeks of counting of the Omer. Sitting Shiva
7 days shaking
7 species
7 directions in the world.  Visited by
7 guests in the Sukkah, 7 by 7 handbreadths. And dance
7 circles on Simchas Torah
7 holidays, branches and blessings as the bride circles the groom
7 times. called to the Torah.
7 Noachide Laws, notes, seas, spirits, stars
7 days of cleanliness,
of preparation for the construction of the Mishkan in the desert. 
And wind the Tefillin
7 times binding yourself to the Law
7 days of plagues. Of prayers
7 cows and stalks of grain.
7 levels of heaven, continents, sefirot
7 sparks of light,
7 gates of entry for
7 female prophets

And, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest
sprinkled the blood in the Temple
7 times.

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