Dyssemia Sleaze

{Gk dus -, cogn. w. Skt dus -, OHG zur – (G zer), ON tor-} difficult, abnormal, impaired sema sign, mark. Cf. sema, unit of meaning: ie. Dyssemia: (flawed information reception) Sleaze / sli:z/ v. Rough with projecting fibers.


Drawing from a number of differing and often conflicting and dislocatory lexicons, and through the continual questioning and reworking of traditional modes of language structures and usages, this book speaks to how language (a semiotic slough) functions as an economy of ruses, detours, complications; zones of problematization.

Inscribing a "marranic" writing, a writing that is simultaneously revealed and concealed, tentative, indirect, oblique and tortured, Karasick intercalates colloquial uses of language with the esoteric, the neglected and obscure. As both a private and public document, this book plays itself out within a politics of discomfort, exuberance, interference and desire, and language emerges as an ecstatic s/cite of uninhabitable habitance. A phantasmagoric arena of interlocking tunnels, passages, cryptog(r)ammatic networks of complexes and neuroses.

    "…the most remorselessly, exuberantly, excessively `productive’ slaughterhouse of language I’ve gotten mired in in a long while." --WORD

    "Continuing her pop-charged, extroverted and libidinal poetic investigations, Canadian ex-pat Karasick (Memewars; The Empress has No Closure, etc.) here offers her most visually compelling, over-the-top collection to date. A high-end production -- one of the few paperbound books of poetry to boast full-colour, glossy pages throughout -- the book uses photographs, drawings, multiple typefaces, the "open field" spatial accoutrements of projective verse and other kitchen sink-isms to propel words across, under and on top of the page -- and in one's face." -- Publishers Weekly
    "Setting its own rules and boundaries, Dyssemia Sleaze is a delirious cacophony of tongue twisting play and serious exploration of language and meaning . Through this award-winning fourth collection, Adeena Karasick proves herself as a cobbler of complex images, a nimble word-handler who delights in language, who plays hard and who refuses to be sidelined." [Herizons, Winter 2002]


Publishers Weekly, August 14, 2000.

title: Cheesy Dessert: Dyssemia Sleaze Licks the Bowl...
by Maria Damon in XCP 8 (Cross Cultural Poetics] "Authenticating {Dis}location....". Ed. Mark Novak; College of St. Catherine-Minneapolis, 2001.