in the poem / of the world / there once / was a map / of the map / composed in / the likeness / of a poem
In this riddling and seeking book of poems, Edward Carson navigates the emotional, often contradictory intelligence of the heart and mind. In three interrelated segments, whereabouts powerfully charts the tight emotional spaces between thinking and language, beauty and perception, love and the polemics of self and other.
Taking on cartographic distortions and dynamics of the map metaphor, "thereabouts (or the mapmaker's dilemma)" playfully confronts the quandaries of personal navigation when the wants and needs of the esemplastic mind are forever devising new places to be. Exploring the brain, its neurons, and serpentine synaptic connections, "hereabouts (in fourteen scans)" advances a poetry of rhizomic communication capturing networks of thought and feeling that spring from both conflict and caress. Within a relationship's countless masquerades and revelations, "whereabouts (the lovers' discourse)" invites the reader to eavesdrop on a series of intimate conversations wherein lovers argue and act out their richly populated inner lives, addressing issues of gender, pleasure, communication, control, and sex.
Edward Carson is the author of Look Here Look Away Look Again, Knots, Birds Flock Fish School, Taking Shape, and Scenes. He lives in Toronto.
"Activated by synaptic metaphor, Edward Carson's whereabouts is love poetry by way of neuroimaging. Embracing the 'harmonics of the brain,' the poet breaks down the world sense by sense, delivering a fever dream that is part map, part destination. whereabouts is a welcome addition to the tradition of science poetry." Jim Johnstone, editor of The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry
"whereabouts is a fiercely intelligent, brilliantly beautiful book. Using the sonnet as muse, Edward Carson creates a journey and landscape of language unencumbered by convention. Cartography merges into neurology, revealing patterns of beauty and calculation – a poetic corpus callosum – connecting the intellectual to the emotional, the analytical to the erotic. Carson has in whereabouts created a collection to be not so much read, as experienced." Andrea Thompson, author of A Selected History of Soul Speak and Over Our Heads
"In whereabouts Edward Carson's remarkable poems form a network of synaptic connections that put a mind into question and reveal a mind in the act of questioning. In these poetic maps and countermaps, thinking is unmoored from conventional thought and reimagined as an 'atlas of emotions,' as 'a weather / of its own making.' These are poems to get lost and found in." Adam Dickinson, author of Anatomic
"Edward Carson articulates what can only be characterized as a meticulous neuropoetics. Simultaneously cerebral and carnal – on occasion even bawdy – these poems map what we experience moment by moment in a machine code of thoughts and feelings that the mind makes of the flesh. No organ is sexier than the brain, and Carson affirms intimacies deeper than zeros and ones. whereabouts may get your baud rate up, but don't lose track. In this electrochemical romance, Carson has flowcharted a schematic for the praxis toward which lovers aspire and kiss after kiss attain." John Barton, author of Polari
"Here are poems that locate and connect as they map an exploratory route through the brain and the heart. Linguistically rich, exacting and sophisticated, they illustrate the underlying principle of interconnectedness – the closeness and the gap. Edward Carson's whereabouts is a pattern-seeking network of elements that hum and buzz the dialectic, that map as they make." Catherine Graham, author of The Celery Forest and Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric