Poetry City continues east with a stop in Montreal

April 25, 2014

As National Poetry Month draws to a close, we only have a few more stops on our Poetry City tour. Today's poem finds us in La Belle Province, in Montreal to be specific, in a addition to a few other geographical locations. From award-winning poet Nicole Markotić, "Not Christakos Hieroglyphs" is featured in her latest collection, Bent At the Spine, published by BookThug.

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As National Poetry Month draws to a close, we only have a few more stops on our Poetry City tour. Today's poem finds us in La Belle Province, in Montreal to be specific, in a addition to a few other geographical locations. From award-winning poet Nicole Markotić, "Not Christakos Hieroglyphs" is featured in her latest collection, Bent At the Spine, published by BookThug. 


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Notes about “Not Christakos Hieroglyphs” from Nicole Markotić

“Not Christakos Hieroglyphs” operates as a response to Margaret Christakos’s poem, “Not Egypt,” in her book by the same title (Not Egypt). In my poem, I overtly references three cities: Montréal, New York, and Belgrade (and even mention Turkey), but, in fact, am truly referencing the city of Toronto via a slanted comment about the Kensington area cafés. Inside that line hides a very subtle allusion to Calgary (which also brags a Kensington café area) in that I first read the Christakos book in one of those Calgary cafés. I remember reading Margaret’s poetry as if eating their texture, as if inhaling the “Alexandria not Egypt” bounding through her pages. Just as Christakos’s protagonist-viewer roams and imagines, so too does my reader-self transpose and envision the city where such poetry is possible. I wanted to respond to her palisades of poetry with corresponding poetry arcades: match her city by city, and to fabricate new language from her words. Her character aches near Montréal, inside her vagina; thus, “my clitoris chimes” to resonate with her images and to respond erotically to poetry so crammed with sensual icons and mirages. The city – Toronto, New York, Calgary, Belgrade – resounds within the oasis ellipses: dusky light and urban gutters and sleeper-trains overflow from one poem to the next, parachute from one anachronism to the subsequent tongued border.

About Bent at the Spine

Bent at the Spine offers a 'pronoun'-ced frolic where the "you" is a disconnected third party - the reader is left in the position of an eavesdropper, or a listener, or a karmasurplus author. Its relentless interrogation resonates at an invigorating pace: cultural difference, different bodies, diffident accents, deafening rhymes. Sometimes rapturous, often vulvy, the poems audaciously teach "you" how to read them, allowing the last-minute-cram-session to be a delving, a plunging, a repeating discovery.
 
About Nicole Markotić

Nicole Markotić is a fiction writer and poet who has published two novels and two books of poetry. Her first novel, Yellow Pages: a Catalogue of Intentions, was a prose narrative about Alexander Graham Bell. She has also published two books of poetry, Connect the Dots and Minotaurs and Other Alphabets, and a chapbbok, more excess, which won the bpNichol Poetry Chapbook Award. A former resident of Calgary, she now teaches English Literature and creative writing at the University of Windsor. Dr. Markotić specializes in the subjects of Canadian Literature, Poetry, Children's Literature, Disability in Film and Disability in Literature and she wrote a critical book on disability in film. She is also the Managing Editor of the chapbook series, Wrinkle Press.

Want more Nicole? Check out what others are writing about Nicole:

rob mclennan's blog // Canadian Literature // Straight.com // Matrix Magazine

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Want more poetry about Quebec? Check out our Poetry City Pinterest board. And see the rest of our NPM Poetry City poems here.

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Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


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