Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 16 August 2010

"Kink and Particle" by Tiffany Atkinson (Seren, 2006)

2 line stanzas6
3 line stanzas3
4 line stanzas3
5 line stanzas1
6 line stanzas1
9 line stanzas1
10 line stanzas1
11 line stanzas1
Misc stanzas36

Her shorter poems aren't the least substantial - I like "Taxi Driver, September 2001", "Autobiography without Pronouns", "Anthurium", and "Re: Venus". I like "The Man Whose Left Hand Thought it was a Chicken" too. The narrators can be plucky, swearing defiantly against fate, drunk again. Elsewhen poems can be puzzling. "Four Poems For" is a struggle for me. Here's part of "Fell" where the meaning's conventional enough, but the internal spaces are strange (I can't believe they represent the jogger's breath patterns, for example)

and be the last thing moving for the blunt
sheep     shear of lark's wing     world made

over    You    weighed down with neither
coin nor key    pay dues in body-salts

Her endings can be quite traditional though. Here's how "Babysitter" ends - "Down through a decade's empty rooms/ your mother's disappointment/ falls in crisp pleats". And "Nine Miles Stationary", about a traffic jam, surprises us at the end with "Lizzie,/ take it as the crow flies, I may have to bury you/ out here, though being on time would still have been/ too late. Lilies, exhausted, on the passenger seat;/ their scent given up on a wreath of my own heat". Similes are understated - "And he's all for conversation./ Though my tongue's a husband in a dress-shop, he does not mind" ("In the one"). All in all, few duds.

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