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GODZENIE by Marcus Slease

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GODZENIE Marcus Slease BlazeVOX [books]

These are not merely some of the most extraordinary lyrics about central European urban realities since the death of the great Polish experimental poet Miron Bialoszewski. They are, simply put, some of the most extraordinary lyrics I have ever read about how to live with disciplined joy in the continual alienation that is urban life. Godzenie is a book about how to live in the midst of hardship by doing the only thing fully possible: reconciling the continual loss of the here with the continuous arrival of a now. So, here at last is the expatriot heir of Bialoszewski. Strange that he should be Irish. Fitting that he should write with a mind as laminar, with a heart as wise, with lines as strange, as his predecessor.

—Gabriel Gudding

‘Word ruptures: watching the words watching the mind write the words write the mind’ - this is an extract from the final section of Marcus Slease’s Godzenie and it would be hard to find a more apt description of his modus operandi as he trawls through the funny, frightening, sexy, sterile, prosaic, surreal, boring, brutal and tender landscape of 21st century post-communist Poland. Slease is in his element as he shows us the ghost in the boat, the loud sausages and the bottomless prayers of a country in a state of flux. A marvellous debut collection.

—Geraldine Monk

The traveler of Godzenie hallucinates from his diamond hotel bed a bestiary of memories while simultaneously tapping into the post-communist Polish now. We encounter the terror and kitsch of a folk subconscious as found in the house of the frog, where we meet Mrs. Vogel to the tunes of George Michael and a whiff of boiled kapusta.

Marcus Slease’s playful travelogue carries us through this foreign landscape in the same breath he also addresses the stranger that is the self, writing a mirror through which we may enter his inner Poland. This reconciliation of the inner and outer might be the godzenie of the title, the alien memory machine and robot heart of a town whose shape on the map is unmistakably human.

—Amy King

In the mind of Marcus Slease, what lies between Ireland and America is Poland, a Poland that turn out to be poetry itself, a land of extravagance and lack, where a poet might go, might live, might write a poetry where sensations rush towards us abrupt and energized, and contraries thrive in a godzenie of the simultaneous. Life in this Poland is fast, curious, subtle, blunt, bodily, complex as hell, and edging relentlessly toward song. In this first volume of the epic of his wandering, Marcus Slease has written an exhilarating book.

—Joseph Donahue


Marcus Slease is a native of Portadown, N. Ireland. He has published poetry, interviews with poets, and book reviews in literary journals in the United States and the UK.

As a member of The Lucifer Poetics Group, he has participated in reading tours in North Carolina, Washington DC, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Atlanta and Philadelphia. He has also performed his work at the La Langoustine Est Morte reading series and the Openned Reading series in London. He is the co-editor of a special issue of Past Simple on avant-garde British and Irish poetry (forthcoming in February 2009).

Currently, he teaches English and literacy to refugees and asylum seekers in London. You can check out his poetry, critical writing, personal musings and multimedia projects at:

Book Information:

· Paperback: 85 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 9781935402497

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