Between gilgul and galgal, logos and gematria, Irene Koronos’ fourth volume of the Grammaton Series, holyrit delivers a spectacular juxtapoiesis of textual and sonic probes— fragrant ellipses, fragments and eclipse, where all that is sacred, secular, savage and ex-static explode as sparks of light reminding us how the letters themselves are the building blocks of creation.
And if “mysticism” is that which does not fit into the system; that which cannot be absorbed, holyrit presents itself as a “mystical” act, performed through exile and fluidity and virtuosic fluxuriance.
Irene Koronas’ declivities, Volume III of her Grammaton Series, along with ninth iota (The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2018) and Codify (Editions du Cygne, 2017), seals her position as one of the most ingenious, experimental innovators of our era. She is a postlanguage, hyper-minimalist écrivain, melding the aporias of a posthuman poesis with an orthodox spiritus. With Koronas’ grammaton the Western Canon replaces its internal organs with algorithms. Memed and burrowed, tropes in declivities form matrices comprised of such disparities as gematria, the fibonacci code, hagiography, Ecclesiastes and “in her anaphora action sacrifices popeye” and “bars apocrypha in tube sprockets.” Her “hypernic glaze skims off blanc.”
Siphoning from a trajectory of experimental literature and poetics from Dadaism to Algorithmics and beyond, the Koronas grammaton is fashioned from a panerotism reconciling the disequilibrium encoded within the hyperlinks of a retromanic pleroma and a feminine clinamen. By excavating the figurations of Rimbaud, Dickinson, de Sade, Bataille and many au courant experimentalists, declivities relegates identity and gender to funerary antiques in a reliquary. Dexterity, agility, finesse and hilarity resurrect the zombies of confessionalism, unleashing stanzaic androids and gynoids so innovative in their multiplicity as to secrete glossolalia from postdata holy writ, creating the grand poesis for the 21st century.
—Daniel Y. Harris
Irene Koronas’ ninth iota explains why humans want to craft something like civilization. It’s not just that the uncivil can be fearsome — it’s that they make many recoil. If you’ve already smashed those rose-colored glasses, the better to see, these poems won’t repel and may even amuse you. But those still lingering (and preferring to linger) in the dimness of the cave may look at these poems with suspicion—that wouldn’t be the poet’s fault. Koronas did her job in order to write these poems: she studied and analyzed human history, including naturally its myths. The result offers unique insights with erotic charge as a bonus.
—Eileen R. Tabios, author of MANHATTAN: An Archaeology and HIRAETH: Tercets From The Last Archipelago
Irene Koronas’ poems carefully splinter and refute our expectations in visceral minimalist fragments of desire, perversion, myth and magic. The carefully cleaved phrases accrue into strange moments of fascination, startling us with their re-imaginings and verbal dissections. Double axe facts and a high image rate mimic and re-invent our inner worlds and dreams. This is language to chew and digest, poetry to ponder and provoke; is the language of then and now and tomorrow. Let this artist/writer be your embroid tutor while there is still time to learn.
—Rupert M. Loydell, author of Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and Editor-in-Chief of Stride
With a surprising number of unknown and obscure words, Irene Koronas’ hurls chalky men / into the underworld // of mother repeats’ and, in poem after poem, creates an erotically charged, posthuman version of ancient Greece. Her language undercuts desire for the mimetic.
—Nathan Spoon, author of Doomsday Bunker and Associate Editor of X-Peri
In Codify, Irene Koronas’ seminal, post-language collection, “cochineal bugs” wait for their “theologic vigils” in a carved minimalism, which will prompt the gifted among us to replace their internal organs with algorithms. The poems in Codify are scalpels arranged by the nodules of some posthuman gematria. 6, 13, 22, 16, 8, for example, suggests a lottery or the fibonacci code as seen by a midget with a monocle travelling the Einstein-Rosen Bridge on a unicycle. Koronas is a dead serious parodist, “hope or no hope/secretes a virgin,” but she’s also writing wisdom literature like a posthuman Ecclesiastes. “She doesn’t/stand God,” and “snort praises/a fatal cross,” bear witness to the future of poetry, beyond confession and retweeds. Codify is invention.
—Daniel Y. Harris, author of The Rapture of Eddy Daemon and Editor-in-Chief, X-Peri
I am amazed by Irene Koronas’ profoundly moving sculpting of language. Some of this writing is so visceral that it left me gasping.
—Jonathan Lyons, author of The White Noise Album and Co-founder, Cicatrix Publications
With her full-length volume, Codify, Irene Koronas has achieved nothing less than a poem that is a model for the material it is made of: in this case, a panerotism that moves beyond the sphere of the interpersonal to a caress of all things, all objects, as embodied, as encoded, everywhere. Eros and poetry, never far apart, are here as they ought to be, together as one. Koronas puts the soul into the flesh and the subject into the object leaving her reader free to experience and to reconcile the disequilibrium encoded in her distinctive short-stopped lines. Sometimes plaintive, always exulting, Codify is an epic paean to erotic love.
—Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Editor, E·ratio Poetry Journal