All the Lifters

By (author): Esther Mazakian

All the Lifters is a searing exploration of female sexuality told in a new hyper-charged poetic language. Spanning from childhood to adulthood, Esther Mazakian captures the intensity of obsession and desire in a distinctive voice that singes across the page as quickly as thought, following its strange and electrifying associative leaps from memory to reflection to immediate sense experience, synapse by synapse. This unforgettable debut collection encodes private cruelties, seduction, and the nightmarish reaches of psychic pain in a language so visceral and fresh that Mazakian’s readers cannot help but to take note of the arrival of a remarkable new voice.


Esther Mazakian

Esther Mazakian was born in Israel and shortly after moved to Toronto, where she has lived ever since. Her poems have appeared in several Canadian journals including, The Malahat Review, PRISM International, Event, and The Fiddlehead. Her poetry was an Editor?s Choice in Arc‘s 2002 Arc Poem of the Year Contest and was winner of Prism‘s 2004 Earle Birney Prize for Poetry.


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Excerpts & Samples ×
Bear This Brilliance Inside Orthopaedic chair, books stacked for weeks untouched but rifled-looking. A polar hibernating headiness sealing her in her master’s hands. He was gone and she was yawing, her balancing fingers thawing a crust of ice off the top of his desk—she bore this hermitage inside like the pristine words he’d written, eerie hieroglyphs across these apartment walls, classics carved into cranial bone. Out the window a silent ischemic darkness and her own italicized face, his spy- eyes on her metaphorically but still ablaze and on her fate, a spooky tree just bared for winter. from: Little Mouldy Explosions In Their Daily Humidities How Like The Sight Enormous and blackballed from the bird world ages ago adjusting her skinny legs her skinny head falling back onto the bed that kept her so far from the floor, kept her insomnia afloat. Her lips tight as an old woman’s beak snapped shut in defiance after a hundred years of silence, her eyes bigger than the brain in her head on in the night like lights, lights on every night while she was showing the same show— from: Spring Storm Thanks to a blustery disruptive wind, rain fell sideways and hit the porch in clean intervals, as though on a timer. Racing to the bedroom to shut the window, she witnessed lightning strike the tree next door, a giant limb crack, drop, the cable line loosen, swing. October. And her mind drifted to last spring when she turned thirty officially traded places with her father. A knack for saying the wrong thing, she rode a liquor rampage like a twister lasting weeks, flew at people in floods of disorder, ululent— from: All The Lifters Time was he’d lift her into the air and toss her, making her laugh for the camera. And she loved falling into him, the neat fit of him that was not her mother. So thrilled falling into him, her arms would lift, lift with a fear pure, groundless, and her body would tremble with panic, delight at the sight of his face out of time, coming in, going out, coming in to her, her wet mouth open in a V— She’d fallen into his life by accident. So she learned to remember everything, learned early about the women he picked up, how to capture their faces before they were gone. To be a woman, his to toss in the air, unafraid, free, free, free-for-the-taking.

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84 Pages
6in * 6in * .23in


October 01, 2006


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Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

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