EXTRIGUE is a shot-by-shot rendering of Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity.

Purchase @ SPD

Like a post-conceptual Pompeii, Shiv Kotecha’s EXTRIGUE archives the rubble of language as forensics. Freud's Little Hans meets Lynch's Mullholland Drive. EXTRIGUE works repetition and perception in order to collapse time. Through his numbered sequencing of the human stain, Kotecha pulls us into an endless present: “345. A FLAME THAT FADES INTO A PHONE A MAN THAT FADES INTO A MAN A LAMP THAT FADES INTO A BOOK SMOKE THAT FADES INTO A HAT.“ EXTRIGUE, outside of self, is the canoptic jar of the now.


Description and counting. Where counting things is also just counting and describing things is also just describing. Things happen and counting and describing happen. What would it mean to make each of these a temporary enjoyment zone? What about the temporary enjoyment zone that somehow happens between these zones? Shiv might know. Or at least EXTRIGUE knows it for him. It is nice of Shiv to set up a little gadget that does this for him and does this for us (if we are lucky). What more could we ask for? What more could we ask of him? Nothing. There is nothing more or left to ask.


EXTRIGUE is a severely empty poem. It might seem to be an exhaustive catalog, but it is rigorously and laboriously blank. It might seem to be procedural, but there is no action. It’s a really good and static book.


“If the items (numbered) in EXTRIGUE resemble Objects, Rooms, and Foods we’ve grown accustomed to in Stein’s Tender Buttons, it is because PAUSE is the tenderest button of them all. She never could have known.“
―DIVYA VICTOR, The Poetry Foundation

Pause is the tenderest button: On Shiv Kotecha's EXTRIGUE“ by Divya Victor