“This poem lingers and moves like slime mold across language in patterns similar to Allemann’s Babyfuckerand Krasznahorkai’s Animalinside, taking the “corpse of words and mix[ing] words with words” to summon language as an alchemized, feral mixture brewing below the surface of an absurd politics. André conjures a devotional to the breakdown of the border between mind and body in a world where the most resonant gesture against an overwhelming violence is the shoe of Muntadhar al-Zaidi spiraling through time, space, and media towards the idea of G. W. Bush’s blank and inscrutable masks. Power functions on the world stage as language degenerates in poetry: here is a poem about dogs giving head to head; here is a poem reminiscent of your own powerless and beautiful life.”
A placeless atopia is occupied by a canine society and an enslaved, disembodied head, which it impregnates to subsist. Narrative is replaced by a perverted resemblance as dogs become words, genitals stand in for the bodies from which they hang, and the differences between orifices of the body are negated. In this world of dominance and submission, power is unable to gain stability as regimes rise and fall in terrifyingly short pulses. Understandably, this is not a book that will tell you what you already know. As Amandine André writes in her preface, the book depicts “a hermetic world, an isolated logic and isolated rhythm, a domination.” André’s writing is as circuitous as it is rhythmic, and her thought as impenetrable as it is crystal clear. This translation by Kit Schluter and Jocelyn Spaar, with an afterword by the former and original illustrations by the latter, introduces the work of this important Marseille poet into English for the first time.