from ‘this is no longer
entertainment’— Christodoulos MAKRIS
(I hadn’t heard of Munroe’s plea)
MAKRIS reads from the text
(following the Amsterdam installment of the VITAMIN D Dostoyevsky Wannabe readings)
this is no longer entertainment is formed entirely out of untreated anonymous or pseudonymous text found in the open comments section of media websites and other digital platforms. It was composed through a process of immediate, instinctive selection and reframing, which is inevitably modulated by the author’s interests and emotional temperature. The poem’s composition roughly covers the period 2014-2017; a period marked by a range of notable social and political shifts and events.
In its use of avant-garde compositional methods as parallels with experimental documentary filmmaking practices, this is no longer entertainment borrows from and extends the documentary poetry tradition. It is a poetic exploration of public-private language and multiple/shifting personas enabled by digital technologies and communication, and their effect on social discourse and the broader political climate. Cumulatively, the juxtapositions of the primary material consider mutual influences and intersections between themes like (mis)-information and error, the diffusion of authority, pop/celebrity culture, identity politics, the rise of nationalism and others.
The rolling composite voice on show in Makris’ this is no longer entertainment realizes a more complex relationship with polyphony than the page alone can allow. The experience of reading these texts can’t help but engineer a little bad detective work on the part of the reader; we’re accustomed to wading through a myriad of multi-authored opinions as we stroll a heavy thumb through the roll-call of comments that accompany any video, article or op-ed we encounter on screen, and the panoply of voices hidden behind Makris’s verse linger as spectral voices behind the text. Simultaneously elsewhere and imminent, on the page it is almost as though this is no longer entertainment is in conversation with its sources; toying with the degree of disassociation involved in shadow reading digital text fields, the mind can’t help but err towards an effort to identify where these ideas stem from. Hearing Makris read from the text is a different experience all together. Delivered in his staple flat and unshakeable timbre, the poem becomes a little joke on possession. A play with both the ghosts behind the poetry and with sense of a passing ownership of the perspectives on offer as they interlace behind a first-person vocality. An “I” built out of an acreage of text fields. The editors would like to thank Levina van Winden and Menno van Winden for the temporary loan of a coffee table and an apartment to record Makris reading from the work. The book is available for purchase here.
— D.J.J., 2020
Christodoulos Makris has published three books of poetry, most recently this is no longer entertainment (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2019) as well as several pamphlets, artists’ books and other poetry objects. He has presented his work widely across media and borders, with recent awards and commissions including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, StAnza Festival, European Capital of Culture, and National University of Ireland Maynooth. He is the poetry editor at gorse journal. “In work that is at times radically experimental, and always alert to the capacity of language to remake the world, Christodoulos Makris seeks ways to break open the lyric space of the poem to alter the ways in which language operates in the public realm” (Lucy Collins, Irish University Review).