Risk of Skin
Last updated on 2013-11-29
About the Book
Risk of Skin
Five years since his stunning late debut, patricides, David Pollard returns with a volume showing explosive, protean diversity. Clearly taking up from there, this second collection marks a kind of gimel, the early polyphonic way of showing how harmony enriches by dividing into different voices. Styles here bounce off each other as if fighting for possession.
A stone-setting of obituaries, history (particularly revolutionary) and Pollard’s familiar creativity/death nexus, enriches this more peopled collection. The exploration of painting and particularly music is a Pollard keynote. It is this inner-part voicing, so intent in Pollard, evident in his readings but shouting between the singular line breaks, that marks his uniqueness.
Open to Oppen, but engaging with Keats’s circle in his large end-sequence, Pollard reveals a playful historical imagination. It’s in a wholly epistolary sequence with spare, accessible language infused with Pollard’s insights. It’s also an ideal place to access Pollard’s world, over-spilling with sad, individual nuances: a drastic re-visiting of his very honed language.
Many poems here are about death – in general, of god - Nietzschian and Christian crucifixion. Above all, of the death of the poet’s father and the absence of the dead for those left behind and even the absence of god. All of these interact and ride Pollard’s ever more poignant – and frantic - mastery.
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