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Chinese Notebook
Chinese Notebook

Demosthenes Agrafiotis

translated by John Sakkis, Angelos Sakkis

Poetry | $17 $15
Buy"an exciting & always surprising venture into the cultivated wilds of poetry"

Composed in a red-and-black notebook that was made in China, Demosthenes Agrafiotis's Chinese Notebook addresses the act of (mis)communication in a world held sway to consumer capitalism and globalization. The conceits of abstraction, fragmentation and disjunction are employed here as a means to an end, as the language of corporate legalese begins to build, through accretion and overlap, into a personal metaphysics. Within these short, spare poems, Agrafiotis demonstrates the ways that language can formulate networks—or, in his words, "ensembles of meaning interacting with the flow of things."

Excerpt ˇ


From Chinese Notebook:

unexploited by lamplight

no appeals

motions become
and the blood
is conducted to sheet music
without passing through vessels

every smile
is challenged
by the statistics of the indigenous

the traces
breed representations.


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About the Author

Demosthenes Agrafiotis
Demosthenes Agrafiotis is an experimentalist who deftly combines poetry, painting, photography, multimedia, and performance with the written poem. He has authored more than 13 books of poetry and essays and exhibited his photography, paintings, drawings, and installations internationally.

About the Translator

John Sakkis is the author of Rude Girl (BlazeVOX Books, 2009) and the chapbooks Rave On! (Lew Gallery, 2010) Gary Gygax (Cy Gist Press, 2008), Rude Girl (Duration Press, 2007), The Moveable Ones (Transmission Press, 2007) and Coast (Dusie Press, 2006). He is the translator of Siarita Kouka's sequence Benthos (Silas Press, 2004). With Angelos Sakkis he translates the work of Athenian multimedia artist/poet Demothenes Agrafiotis, their translation of Agrafiotis's Maribor was published by The Post-Apollo Press in 2009. He received BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Writing And Poetics from The Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University. He lives in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco and works for Small Press Distribution.
Angelos Sakkis was born in Pireus, Greece. He studied design at the Athens Technological Institute and, afterwards, worked for a time as an assistant to the painter Spyros Vassiliou collecting materials for a monograph on Vassiliou's work, which was published 1969. Sakkis immigrated to U.S 1970 and got his BFA San Francisco Art Institute in 1989. His work has been shown in one-man and group shows and is in collections in both Greece and California. Working alongside John Sakkis, he has translated the work of poet/multimedia artist Demosthenes Agrafiotis. He currently lives in Oakland, California.

Advance Praise

For years I have known Demosthenes Agrafiotis, personally & by reputation, as a prolific & esteemed figure in the international literary & artistic avant-garde. Reading him now in a splendid translation, there is no doubt of where he ranks & what his moves are as a poet – an exciting & always surprising venture into the cultivated wilds of poetry & of language as a medium for art.—JEROME ROTHENBERG