Breathing Plural by Em Konig


This book’s queerness is queer in structure, not just content. It queers edges rather than flirting with centres (there is flirting in it, by the way). It’s unstable, multiple and accessible in the way you can read it anyway you like, backwards, upside down, pick ‘n’ mix. You only have to open it to see that. In it, form disrupts the normal, the expected, sanctioned ways of reading, and disturbs hierarchies of long and short, front and back, as well as top and bottom, dare I suggest, in various senses. König places poetry’s upside-downness literally on the page. These effects haunt the book through iteration, erasure and doubleness as its words multiply, diminish and spawn across and around the pages.

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“This generative and fluent (even effluent) work also traverses bodies, inside them as well as outside, from permed hair to arsehole, wet spot to herpes blister, as well as through grounds and positions, over terrains as diverse as a club, a bed, an outback town, a London street, the Adelaide suburbs, the banks of Karrawirri Parri (the Torrens River). It’s a book you can do things with and one you can also do things along with. You could read it in self-isolation, on the bus, during sex, or on a walk, say, by the Torrens. It’s a book you can make into another book, taking apart its language as König does, to see how it fits, falls, fucks, tumbles and mulches with other things. Try it.”—Jill Jones

Breathing Plural by Em Konig
Epilogue BCB