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Description - Breathing Plural by Em Koenig

Koenig's queer decomposing shows us that our self-composition is more than simply identity. Who we are is part of 'we' as well as 'I'. This is a book you can do things along with: read it in self-isolation, on the bus, during sex, or on a walk, say, by the River Torrens. It's a book you can make into another book, taking apart its language, to see how it fits, falls, fucks, tumbles and mulches with other things. Try it.

'As I write this, fires are burning out of control on Kangaroo Island and all along the east coast of Australia. Lives, homes, half a billion animals: gone. As I write this, I am awaiting a blood sunset, the kind that filters the land through a lens of pink, helping everything to complement the colour of my acrylic nails. As I write this, citizens of the USA (and the world) are holding their collective breath awaiting retaliation from the Iranian army in response to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. As I write this, I can tell the three avocados in the fruit bowl beside me will all ripen tomorrow morning. As I write this, I am wondering if I can afford to renew my gym membership and what will happen to my body if I don't.

As I write this, I question the necessity of a poem - written on and with and for atoms, spoken through waves - combustible, ephemeral, biodegradable. Each poem in this book exists in two forms, both inhabiting a unique state of decay or decomposition (perhaps re-composition?). How you choose to engage is entirely up to you. Read this book back to front, front to back, upside down, right way round. Start at the beginning, in the middle; breathe it in one word at a time. Use it as a doorstop, as Tinder, as rolling paper - but read it first if only to revel in its potential/futility.' - Em Koenig


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