In the first poem, "First and last swan", the persona begins by saying "First swan I remember/ was a match", then sees a lone (suspected widowed) swan. Ducks and a heron try to befriend it. It ends "Is it not a swan's job/ just to be, to be there,/ light against the dark?", returning to the Swan=match idea, and deterring anthropomorphic interpretations - the swan's as likely to be a poem.
"Scaffold" is an interesting companion piece to "Taking down the scaffolding" by Jean Sprackland (from "Sleeping Keys", 2013)
Two stuntmen on a forty-foot tower
... They know the risks, how much they can subtract/ without collapse
... What love you need/ to dismantle the structure you're standing on!
Any scaffold's a dangerous/ construction.
... so practised they hook/ us like circus performers
... They've reached that pinnacle/ of art, making the difficult look/ easy-peasy
"49 Northumberland Street" is all plot for me - "I pass it every day ... I'm sure I once heard bagpipes playing/ but it may have been a trick of the fog ... I dream about it all the time ... I know if I want to live/ I must keep my bowler hat on/ and knock at the door of 49 Northumberland Street/ with my umbrella". Here, and in general, there are too many line-breaks, and maybe too many words.
- Angelina Ayers (Antiphon) ("In the title poem, I can hear the words being spoken, but again, why so much exposition")
- Matthew Stewart ("Syntactic simplicity is just as capable of ambition and is even more dangerous as its opposite number ... Hamish Whyte dares to walk simplicity's tightrope in this pamphlet")
- Rishi Dastidar (Sabotage review)