‘Capital’ is a polyphonic poem composed of fragments of text from unattributed reviews of establishments on Talbot Street, publicly available on Google Maps. It has its roots in Makris’s longstanding interest in the shifts in language use, communication and identity brought about by digital media, and their implication on poetic discourse.
The poem maps the street through the kind of public-private writing prevalent online (the reviews often stray into personal anecdote). Its documentary and fragmentary nature also responds to the early post-Covid conditions, our toggling between ‘real’ and online geographies, and the ongoing uncertainty regarding the navigation of physical environments. The poem offers a representation of our transitive relationship with urban spaces during this period, with our perception of the city as partly digital and suspended in the recent past having been enhanced, something that is reflected in the reviews, themselves slightly out of date or skewed.
Talbot Street was chosen as the site of the poem because it is a street Makris walks regularly after getting into the city centre by train from his home in north county Dublin. Despite becoming a habitual route, the street remained essentially unknown to him, serving primarily as a conduit. It was only through navigating the street on Google Maps that Makris uncovered the wealth of energy, tumult and experience present in its establishments, the street revealing itself in the process as a microcosm of contemporary Dublin and particularly of its overlapping multicultural and transactive-capitalist aspects.
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Christodoulos Makris is a poet working across experimental and hybrid forms. He has published three books, most recently this is no longer entertainment: A Documentary Poem (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2019) as well as several pamphlets, artists’ books and other poetry objects, and has presented his work widely across media and borders. Recent awards, residencies and commissions include StAnza International Poetry Festival (Scotland), European Poetry Festival, The Arts Council of Ireland, and Maynooth University. 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).
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