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.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

"Neptune Blue" by Simon Barraclough (Salt, 2011)

I didn't like this half as much as his earlier Los Alamos, Mon Amour - it has the earlier book's weaknesses (no knock-outs) without enough of its compensating strengths (entertaining, amusing imagery; snappy phrasing). There are also commissions and series - rarely, in my experience, a good sign. The poems in the series are sometimes contiguous (as in the planets sequence) and sometimes not (as in the dog and heart poems). Only "Saturn" and "Neptune" of all these poems seem worth it. Saturn is the "Solar system's undisputed supermodel ... Snapped from every angle by NASA's paparazzi"; "sixty satellites and counting. Saturnine werewolves howling for a night off"; "They sent a crew in a Bakelite spaceship ... to lower a stylus onto your discs". Poems like "Pizza heart", "Celeriac heart" and "Mercury" aren't ready for publication. I've doubts about several of the non-series poems too. I found "Logos" interesting, but only for its prose content. A shame, because "We'll always have CGI Paris" was a fair enough start.

Other reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment