Chinese Notebook

Chinese Notebook

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Author: Demosthenes Agrafiotis 

Translators: John Sakkis and Angelos Sakkis

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2010)

Composed in a red-and-black notebook that was made in China, Demosthenes Agrafiotis’s Chinese Notebook addresses the act of (mis)communication in a world held sway to consumer capitalism and globalization. The conceits of abstraction, fragmentation and disjunction are employed here as a means to an end, as the language of corporate legalese begins to build, through accretion and overlap, into a personal metaphysics. Within these short, spare poems, Agrafiotis demonstrates the ways that language can formulate networks—or, in his words, “ensembles of meaning interacting with the flow of things.”

"For years I have known Demosthenes Agrafiotis, personally & by reputation, as a prolific [and] esteemed figure in the international literary [and] artistic avant-garde. Reading him now in a splendid translation, there is no doubt of where he ranks [and] what his moves are as a poet––an exciting & always surprising venture into the cultivated wilds of poetry & of language as a medium for art.

–Jerome Rothenberg