Steven Zultanski reading from Agony at the 2012 BookThug Fall Launch

Agony is the first in a trilogy of long confessional poems. It uses semi-rigorous mathematical and logical constraints to view the author’s life and body, telescopically, as little bits of time and space. Everything written here is as true as possible – that is to say, pretty true. The poem writes autobiography as a refutation of autobiography, and elevation of the self as a self-effacement. Love pops up as a theme quite a bit. So does self-mutilation, etc. And there are a lot of numbers.