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Throughout these poems, with their roaming sense of first-person, the speakers’ minds are cavernous and echoic, primal and sophisticated, observant and raw, in and out of control of themselves. The effect is unpredictable and thrilling, at once a dark art and an illumination of unease and loss and wishfulness. The collection features disquieting songs of a mutable self alongside poignant elegies, interior journeys and subtle (and not so subtle) ripostes to the legacy of Trumpism – while elsewhere encounters with ghostly feet and tongues of fire consort with riffs on Baudelaire, Rilke and Laforgue. These poems twinkle with mischief and humour, making for a pungent and haunting read. Riordan – a poet whose strong, rippling influence is felt by all in his wake – affirms his reputation at the forefront of contemporary poetry.
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