...very impassioned, multi-layered, tonally varying and complex, funny, outrageous, goofy, pausing at just the right moments and other times spilling all over the place. Karasick's work is very carefully constructed... but to me, more than most poetry i hear in this city, maybe any, it gives the effect of "language scooped up as raw thing" out of depths of being, etc., what i like to call "pondwater" or primordial soup, analyzed close up filled with a plethora of fascinating tiny beings conspiring to create even more complex life forms… (Nada Gordon)
…Literally a mother as well as a mother of invention, Karasick seems to have conceived every conceivable permutation as she proceeds to give us an exhaustive survey of heightened language. [Using] sound across syntax, The Arugula Fugues are the interplay of meaning across conventions for sequencing…consistently and constantly remind[ing] us it is the body which resounds, stickily, though syntax may bring "finials" and flourishes to ground…
Through the full scale of sound effects, including stress patterning, song sampling, and remixing…Karasick has relaxed into her facility.
Doubtless Adeena Karasick's most accessible – and to my mind best – work to
date, The Arugula Fugues are a joy to read. As psalms for a multi-ethnic, multilingual community of readers bound by belief in the primacy of language and the efficacy of invocation, they trip through the labials of many cultures combining the act of creation/invocation with an almost shamanistic musicality.
The result is a process of hymnology wherein the notion of the fugue as a polyphonic composition, constructs and permeates a verbal feast.
…Packaged in full-mouthed, delicious syllables, glorious glossals, frolicking fricatives used to send up current cultural iconographies as well as to invoke a multitude of feasts and traditions, tastily, Karasick's Arugula Fugues fill the mouth with a mélange of exuberant erudition and votive vocatives.