All are welcome at this twilit, visionary carnival: the man whose wife drapes a border-curtain across the middle of the marital home; the black bear with a dark secret; the woman who oversees giant snowballs in the freezer. âMy girlfriend won me in a sealed auction but wouldnât / tell me how much she bid,â begins one speaker; âI hadnât meant to go grave robbing with Richard Dawkins / but he can be very persuasive,â another tells us. The storyteller behind this human tapestry has about him a sly undercover idealism: he shares with many of his characters a stargazing capacity for belief, or for being, at the very least, entirely âgenuine in his disbelief.â In these startling poems, with their unique cartoon-strip energy and air of misrule, Armitage creates world after world, peculiar and always particular, where the only certainty is the unexpected.
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