Then somebody in their whole being, beyond touch, explodes me, a heightening of the senses that sugar, drugs, and cold waterfalls can’t match. That maybe only fear can match. But I do want to believe we can protect each other.
The Nerves subverts the literary approach to sexuality by treating the erotic not as a site of anxiety but of reverie. Set in an imaginary world where our sense memories tell us who we are, Lena Suksi's literary debut is psychedelic, attentive, cinematic and hot. Writing toward sensitivity and ecstasy, exploring touch as healing abandon, The Nerves is charged with desire, devotion, and creative fantasy. Through a series of joyful encounters, Lena Suksi reminds us that pleasure can be abundant, nuanced and that it can heal. Engaging in a queer erotics of language, Suksi’s debut is a bundle of wet atmospheres, speaking to faith in touch.
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"Freaky, sweet, and incredibly sexy, the intimacy of this book feels like sharing a perfume with your new lover, syncing periods, and then remembering with horror that love is a state of anxiety. These poems stir up trouble in a state of ecstasy that 'sugar, drugs, and waterfalls' come close to conjuring. The Nerves is a pillow to hold as you fall asleep dreaming of past or future lovers, it's that gentle dizzy feeling: crush, crush, crush, crush."
- Rachel Rabbit White
author of Porn Carnival
“A cyclical and microscopic search for intimacy that leads back to one's warm touch."
- Sook Yin Lee
author of Shortbus
"In The Nerves, there are portraits, and self-portraits, and big hearts moving through rooms. There are bodies tumbling, squeezing, yelling, holding; there is seduction and vulnerability and, most of all, trust. Suksi's sentences crackle with the pleasure of their own description, each line recreating itself more tenderly and erotically than the one before."
- Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross
author of Drawings on Yellow Paper
Lena Suksi has lived in Toronto for a decade. Their writing has mostly appeared as texts accompanying exhibitions or read at galleries, including at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Cooper Cole, Georgia Scherman Projects, Susan Hobbs, Towards, The Table, and Calaboose. They’ve presented at Doored, Images Festival and Blackwood Gallery.
"The Nerves is a seductive panacea for proliferating what the fields of sex, pleasure, and intimacy can look like as narrative, as a sprawling network of touching... The Nerves manages to anonymize and particularize sensual experience, offering utopia—not as perfection—but as the not-place of possibility. The impossible dream where your 'afterglow' rinses on repeat."
"The Nerves is a bundle culminating in joy. Wink, nudge, you get the picture. Suksi’s flair for the alliterative is a testament to plosives and sibilants best deployed for the subject matter. It’s a book impossible to read without smiling. That it’s written exclusively with gender-neutral pronouns is a definite bonus."
"The Nerves, by Toronto art writer Lena Suksi, is a fervidly psychedelic odyssey of queer eros told in approachable fragments, each one about an imaginary partner, all bodies and genders indeterminate. Its perversity is warm and sweet, almost utopian, free of fear, violence, or insecurity. Is this what liberation feels like?"