Gudgeon’s first poetry collection is a quirky valentine to irreverent readers, full of stark and pretty imagery, wry quips, and glorious bursts of vulgarity. Its foci include human foibles, Canadian eccentricities, and, always, copulation:
There is small gravity inside you; I
spring across your moonscape, pin your wrists
above the bed. You bite my chin and we
celebrate a darkness colder than love.
Interspersed with such moments are frenzied trips into clever, expletive-ridden territory, or into broad, sardonic criticisms of heteronormativity, culture, and identity:
Canada is a peacekeeper’s bullet,
a priest’s love child,
a barren cow, a moose calf learning to walk
It pokes fun at world leaders—a poem that renders Trump a kind of reverse prophet is particularly scathing (“I have come to annihilate worlds….don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”)—and fellow poets, trading between indictment and semi-cruel affection. This is a collection that metes out unfiltered bits of hard reality without compunction.
Michelle Anne Schingler
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