Agents Orange, Yellow, and Red

Adam Dickinson

                                       2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (serum): 1.304348 pg/g lipidYou are either for chlorineor for the plague.Right now is the cleanestwe have ever been, and for thisyou must love aerial defoliantsor you love communism.Under the bandage of this one-industrytown closing ranks around staplesof forestry and fish, the woundis wide-eyed and headstrong.Through the clearing, freshwater carpblink past the graves of missionarieswho introduced them to the New World.Northern rivers are warmedby the paper mill’s piss, which,like making the world safe for democracy,slowly leaked into my childhood, yellowingthe lipophilic paperbacks of myadipose fat. You are for pulpor for poverty. You respectthe Constitution or you stareat the ground lost in bankruptciesfor herring gull beaks or blurredembryos in cormorant colonies.Every erected media platform reducesthe problem of war to a problemof tint. During the Orange Revolution,Viktor Yushchenko was poisonedby government agents who haywiredhis food with dioxin. His face flaredinto pages of acne. You are eitherfor the red or the white blood cells,for the tops of trees, or the bottoms.

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Adam Dickinson is the author of four books of poetry. His latest book, Anatomic (Coach House Books), which won the Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize from the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada, involves the results of chemical and microbial testing on his body. His work has been nominated for major literary prizes in Canada including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, and Polish. He has been featured at international literary festivals in Canada, Europe, and the United States. Along with Claudia Rankine (USA) and Valzhyna Mort (Belarus), he was a member of the jury for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize. He teaches English and Creative Writing at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

cover of anatomic

Toronto , Ontario

"Adam Dickinson is a wild doctor and a Romantic scientist. With actual blood, sweat, and tears he has written an essential Anatomic poetics."
—Peter Gizzi

"Adam Dickinson doubles down on poetry's tendency toward interiority as he takes the concerns of the poem all the way down to the cellular level. This is a book about the body's intimacies, its toxicities, about the histories that it carries within it. It's a book of lyric and a book of meaningful despair."
—Juliana Spahr

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