“Noisesome Ghosts” Clay Thistleton (Blart Books) – poetry review

Clay Thistleton uses fragmentary text incorporating music extracts, transcripts of messages, historical and contemporary reports and references to create a hybrid mosaic loosely based on T S Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. The introduction asserts that it’s a book of “scholarship and of poetry” and swiftly followed by a tongue-in-cheek guide to using the book. These ghosts have a very dry sense of humour.

“The Ghost of Mr Wineholt (1937)” subtitled “in memory of Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)” starts

2019 01 16 extract 01

[text reads: “I felt something heavy/On my chest/ while in bed/ in the new house” all letters “e” and “o” plus the “g” in “something, “ea” in “heavy”, “bed” and the “ou” in house” are in a larger size]

Mr Wineholt, a neighbour suggests, is the former house owner who “gassed himself”. The poem’s narrator tells the ghost she “has rented” the house and tells Mr Wineholt (due to the typesetting, I’ve used an image to reproduce the text),

2019 01 16 extract 1

[text reads “but I am not/ dead girl// & I had to/ – hesitantly -/ point out/ that as he had/ committed suicide/ in the kitchen/ it was fairly likely/ that he was”]

It’s rather eloquent for a five-year-old Sylvia Plath, if the poem’s narrator is intended to be her, and the references to “gassed himself” and “kitchen” feels like a clever attempt to load a piece with more significance that it deserves. It also reduces the poet to her death. Her work deserves better.

Some ghosts are more contemporary, here travellers in Florida (again, due to the typesetting, I’ve used an image to reproduce the text),

2019 01 16 extract 2

The poem starts with the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder which includes the noise of impact and then takes the shape of a small plane as it explores what a flight attendant’s ghost sees,

2019 01 16 extract 2a

The attendant seems to remember the warning given by the flight engineer whose remains he has just recognised. Readers aren’t given the emotional journeys of these ghosts, the poems act as recordings of what the ghosts do or say, effectively inviting readers to fill the blank spaces to create those journeys for themselves.

In “The Apparition of C S Lewis (1963)”

2019 01 16 extract 3

The writer’s ghost appears, appearing to be in good health, but the words spoken are redacted. However, there’s not enough context to guess what the ghost might have said. The words direct the focus on the irony of a ghost appearing healthier than in life.

The poems are not presented chronologically so a poem from the 18th century might appear alongside one that’s more contemporary. “Sendai Possessions: One of Twenty-Five Tsunami Spirits Exorcised from Rumiko Takahashi (Alias) by Reverend Kaneda of Kurihara, Japan” is set after the 2011 Tsunami and earthquake and ends

2019 01 16 extract 4

The observation, “it is very cold// & there are bodies// all around me” is hardly original but its matter of fact tone is a reflection of shock and someone trying to make sense of something completely beyond their comprehension.

In “The Bristol Poltergeist (1761-1762)” one ghost has met their end via bite marks,

2019 01 16 extract 5

2019 01 16 extract 5a

The shape of the text, a sentence presented as an oval, is relevant but also a visual way of distracting from the ordinariness of the observations (“we examined these bites & found on them”, “the impression of eighteen or twenty teeth”, “with saliva or spittle all over them” “in the shape of a mouth very wet”), although it could be argued that the visual provide a pointer to the extraordinary phenomena being presented in passive, scientific record.

“Noisesome Ghosts” is cerebral, rather than compassionate, and its compilation feels like an interesting experiment in danger of taking over its creator. At over 400 pages it does feel too long and is a book to dip in and out of rather than read coherently from start to finish even over several sittings. The time jumps and lack of chronological order give the book the feel that its “Noisesome Ghosts” have interrupted its compilation and disturbed its order. The shaping of text is sometimes logical, for example taking the shape of a plane or using the layout of social media posts, and sometimes appearing to have no logic, for example in “The Ghost of Mr Wineholt” where random larger letters appear, again consistent with the disruption of ghostly figures. It’s a marmite book: it will either appeal to readers or not. If a cerebral exercise in found poems laced with dry wit appeals, “Noisesome Ghosts” is for you.

“Noisesome Ghosts” by Clay Thistleton is available from Bart Books

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“A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache” Charley Barnes (V. Press) – poetry review

BARNES_CHARLEY_A Z-HEARTED GUIDE TO HEARTACHE_V Press“A pocket-sized guide to hurting yourself” sets the tone,

“Step One: Fall in love with someone
who doesn’t know how to love you back.
Tell yourself that they don’t actually lack
the ability to love you, so much as the desire to.
Learn that you are unlovable.

Step Two: Stay with that person.”

It continues to Step Six with suggestions to return to Step Two. It feels like a good friend offering advice over a warming coffee with tissues to hand. That may seem cosy but, like all good friends, it doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the part “you” played in things going wrong. “On trying to not conjure an ex-lover” is a ‘don’t go back to your ex poem,

“and two glasses of wine, by then I’m not saying his name,
I’m chanting it in front of my television,
in the hope that he might manifest post-watershed.
Not that I’d care even if he did,
Every three times, I look over my shoulder”

“A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache” isn’t just a gentle wallow in post-heartbreak territory, “#AmIPrettyYet” looks at trying to get back on your feet and move out of the house again and starts

“When I upload a selfie, captioned: ‘feeling a little vain’,
what I’m really trying to do is ascertain how many strangers
find me fuckable enough for me to leave the house today.’

One poem, although making an important point, feels out of synch with the theme and subject of most of the poems. “An apology for not looking disabled,”

“Elders forgive my disability for wrapping itself around
my central nervous system; forgive it for being broken
down into an acronym that isn’t well-known enough
to be considered a mainstream health condition.
I’m of the hipster generation; I need my malfunction
to be something that most doctors don’t recognise.”

It makes a vital point and is a good poem but doesn’t sit as well as, “Food is an important part of any relationship – Part Three”

“You take my medical history in your stride,
but when my knee buckles again for the fourth dip that day,
I wobble, and the garlic bread I’m carrying
wavers on the paper plate,
heroically, you reach out – to catch the garlic bread.

You’re brave enough to battle a broken nervous system,
but the thought of food wastage has you rushing scared.
Thank you for being there to save my side order.”

The situations appear specific to a certain relationship (even if not real or an amalgam of more than one relationship) yet illustrate scenarios that are universally recognisable. The poems lack self-pity and display a wry humour. They show compassion and capture a contemporary twenty-something navigating her start in life.

“A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache” is available from V. Press.

“All the Twists of the Tongue” Cathleen Allyn Conway (Grey Book Press) – poetry review

All the Twists of the Tongue Cathleen Allyn ConwayThese poems have been formed from articles by Sylvia Plath published in “Mademoiselle” magazine, quotes deleted from her journals and annotations in her copy of the collected Henrik Ibsen plus Aurelia Plath’s responses to letters from Olwyn Hughes and a letter from Madelyn Matthews, a fellow guest editor, to “Mademoiselle” magazine. The voice in all but one of the poems (the one not based on Plath’s work) is recognisable as Plath’s, e.g. “Folk Dance” ends

“little dolly children. Each full breath the children take is
the germs of evil. A very dangerous disease, sins of the fathers.
It is in the blood. You can inherit these things.

Is it imprudent to live your husband’s life? Mine is pompous, smug.
Still like a child in many things. I must cut myself free of this penalty.
Our beautiful, happy home would no longer be punishment.”

It picks up on Plath’s life-long struggles between being ambitious to gain recognition as a writer and societal restrictions as a mother and housewife. She midwived her husband’s writing career and was left as primary carer to their children when he left. She watched him dine with T S Eliot while her own work received mixed reviews and she was seen as a poet’s wife. At Court Green, their home in Devon, she worked to convert part of the garden to grow their own vegetables, figured out they could grow and harvest daffodils and started bee-keeping as secondary income streams to their patchy writers’ incomes; worked to build a secure home yet was left to do it all on her own.

“Falcon Yard” shares its title with the novel Plath wrote about in her Journals, set during her time at Cambridge,

“I have served a purpose.
Not so silly as you think:

bleeding money to buy him clothes,
spent eight months of writing,

typed his hundred poems –
a clear humiliation.

It is a narrow-minded way of looking at things:
ugly raised wrist-scars, no false notes.”

It captures the way Plath chastised herself for being blinded by love and forgiving, calling herself stupid; “what a fool one is to sincerely love” is the last line. Plath did know about Hughes’ affairs (not just the one that triggered their separation). “I Have Known for a Very Long Time” gives the collection its title,

“He hasn’t learnt to be deceitful yet in the first look,
but he’ll learn fast. All the twists of the tongue.

I saw this in several sharp flashes, like blows.”

The alliteration and consonance in “several sharp flashes” and its staccato rhythm is apt and utterly appropriate.

The one poem not based on Plath’s work is formed from a letter written by Madelyn Matthews’ to “Mademoiselle” magazine. Matthews was one of the guest editors, a summer internship where girls were brought to New York put up in a hotel and expected to work at the magazine producing articles, writing features and organising fashion photoshoots. In “A Distinguished Point of View”,

“Drank 11am champagne, an exciting glimpse ahead:
how to write an application letter,
get a job, get a man, anything you want.
We wish we could tell you all we learned.”

The ordering of phrases after “write an application letter” suggests such a letter is key to doing the things listed afterwards, a reminder that these young women in the 1950s had a lot of asking permission to do what they wanted. The last line is almost begging for the reader to ask ‘what did you learn?’ so giving the writer permission to tell.

“All the Twists in the Tongue” uses Plath’s words, including those erased by others, to explore her attitude, knowledge and how she faced being a writer, a single mother, a dutiful daughter in a time where women’s lives were restricted. She was the engine in her marriage, enabling her husband’s work and became book keeper and financial planner so they could move to Devon and establish a family home that he left. The poems feel organic, growing naturally from their sources, rather than a clever idea that doesn’t rise from being the sum of its parts. The results in “All the Twists in the Tongue” are far more interesting than the method. I’m usually wary of reading/ watching anything inspired by Sylvia Plath in case the person portrayed isn’t recognisable, but was quickly reassured when reading these poems, which have been written by someone immersed in Plath’s work and determined to let Plath’s own words shine through. Cathleen Allyn Conway’s approach is inventive and considered. “All the Twists in the Tongue” is a striking and rewarding read.

“All the Twists in the Tongue” by Cathleen Allyn Conway is available from Grey Book Press.

“Poems in the Case” Michael Bartholomew-Biggs (Shoestring Press) – book review

Poems in the Case Michael Bartholomew-Biggs“Poems in the Case” contains poems in the framework of a detective story, threaded throughout a prose narrative. The narrative starts with a prologue then breaks into 15 episodes which look at the death of poet Eric Jessop whose body is found by partner George Hamblin. Hamblin provides evidence of Eric’s depression, which, with injuries consistent with a fall from the cliffs where his body was found, leads to the verdict of suicide. “Sharp Objects” is part of that evidence with its final stanza,

“Once a skewer of alarm goes in
the flesh beneath your shirt gets seasoned
with salt and pepper specks of sweat.
Imagined rows of razor gazes
shave away the blushing layers
of your nerve-rich epidermis
into ragged flakes like Parmesan.”

Publisher and poet Stephen Prince announces a posthumous collection of Eric Jessop’s unseen poems, which George Hamblin, a poetic rival, knows nothing about. “Arrangement for Strings” by Stephen Prince opens,

“Jazz and puppetry, she says
are twins. She’s right: harmonic lines
allow as little freedom
as a finger up the spine
or wires through wrists that push or pull you
into false positions.”

The two rivals are booked to run a workshop with sessions taking place over a week at a literary festival. The attendees include a minor actor, a mathematician, a beginner poet with a crush on one of the tutors and a rejected poet in search of answers amongst others. Hamblin rounds off the meet-and-greet session with a poem, “Extra Passenger” where the poet finds himself sitting on a bus next to a passenger carrying a box with air holes, which ends

“I’d shudder if I saw a scorpion’s black scuttle
or striped coils of a snake, an Orwell sewer rat – or worse

a mouse-sized tufted thing suspended
under far too many jointed legs. He smiled
It isn’t in the box he said, holding out his hand towards me…”

Prince, noted as being six inches shorter than his rival and a less convincing performer, counters with his poems, the first of which, “Nothing Outward,” starts with the line, “There was unease sulking in the bass line.” Neither tutor aiming to put the attendees at ease, who are left with the impression they’ve just witnessed “some sort of verbal arm-wrestling”. The workshop sessions proceed with attendees making the most of them although there are some grumblings about the tutors’ feedback. Hamblin, in particular, seems to be dropping into a darker mood; underlined when he makes disparaging comments about the guest reader on Wednesday night. The mood is interrupted when Prince offers a preview of the collection of Eric Jessop’s unseen poems. It turns out they are a collection Jessop had submitted but the submission had slipped, unopened, behind a filing cabinet. He reads one only for Hamblin to declare it’s not Jessop’s work. There’s a covering letter in Jessop’s hand that clarifies he’d been working on the manuscript in secret. Awkward silence follows.

The following morning, neither tutor makes it down to the first workshop and the attendees discover they have to stay a further day whilst police take statements after gathering evidence. Neither tutor survived the night and both deaths could be self-inflicted.

One attendee turns to Jessop’s “Collected Poems” to search for clues.  Was it a double suicide, a murder and suicide or a double murder?

There’s a final twist in the surfacing of Jessop’s unseen manuscript, naturally. From the manuscript, “An Image on the Retina” ends,

“Accumulated hindsight stacks up accusations—
not about our latest wrongs so much
as what we could have been and weren’t. Reflected truth
might show us we were always beautiful
and lovable. And that we’ve wasted both.”

This is no cosy murder-mystery with the workshop attendees invited into the library so the solution can be revealed. It’s very much left to the reader to deduce their own conclusion or turn to consider whether the loss of life was more important and could such a tragedy have been avoided? Was it a love triangle? A poetic rivalry? Jealousy from a lesser poet? Depression plus an excess of alcohol leading to a suicide? A misinterpretation of clues in a discovered manuscript?

The poems are integral to the story, not some bolted-on gimmick to jazz up an idea or to focus the reader’s attention on how the story is told to draw attention away from the plot. The poems are in different voices – fairly easily done for the workshop attendees, but still successfully done for the three main poets – Jessop, Prince and Hamblin – which is harder to pull off because they need to have consistent voices over several poems and the results have to merit the character’s reputations. “Poems in the Case” is successful on two levels: one as an entertaining story and two as a story told through poems that reward re-reading.

“Poems in the Case” by Michael Bartholomew-Biggs is available from Shoestring Press.

“Persona Non Grata” edited Isabelle Kenyon (Fly on the Wall Poetry) – book review

Persona Non Grata“Persona Non Grata” is a poetry anthology to raise funds for charities Shelter and Crisis Aid UK and looks at the roles of outsiders and the sense of not belonging. It covers homelessness, those seeking refuge, the mostly invisible workforce who clean and care and attempts at integrating into society.

Debbie Hall’s “Sonnet for a Homeless Woman Named Beth” suggests how outsiders can still manage a sense of society,

“A ribbon of chain link and razor wire
keeps the freeway at bay, forms a laundry
rack. On the corner, a shuttered market.
Tacked to a telephone pole, a sign:
Will pay cash for diabetes test kits.”

The make-shift laundry rack and sign show a sense of inventiveness and community despite difficult circumstances. It contrasts with Judith Kingston’s “Sostenuto” where the outsider is unable to re-integrate,

“He was my father’s uncle dressed in the skin of a ghost,
his wit muffled under the layers of horror, dulled
by the headstones that were never placed on
graves. Later, he would tell stories, but not now.

Whenever I saw him he wore a suit – his own, but
under his clothes lurked the bleached bones that
rattled in time with the train he was still on, which
could not take him from that place that never left.”

“Ghost” captures the image of someone hollowed out by what they’ve witnessed and the way shellshock and PTSD haunt someone long after the initial trauma. The reference to “suit – his own” suggests someone keeping up appearances and burying experiences. Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar’s “Citizen of a morphing nation” continues the theme of integration,

“Will I have to ubiquitously register myself?
Sit in surveilled booths in gatherings and stadiums?
Would yellow stars be sewn to my lapel?
A tracking band secured around my ankle?

Will my son return home from school
Whole and unbruised as he had left?
Loyalty and sentience, he’ll be asked to pantomime
Else fall prey to slurs and virulent hate crimes”

The questions accumulate an image of someone joining a society she knows she’s not necessarily welcome in; she’s apprehensive and nervous about whether it’s the right decision.

The last section brings in a note of hope. Ceinwen Haydon’s “Let’s celebrate (after Mandy Coe)”,

“Let’s celebrate –
that badass girl with purple hair,
tattoos and piercings. The one
who helps a tired mum
with her baby, heavy pushchair
and bags of Poundland shopping
to get safely of the last bus home.”

It’s rarely the person in a suit who steps in to help. Ceinwen Haydon’s use of enjambment, keeps the motion of the poem forward and energetic, keeping with the sense of celebration.

“Persona Non Grata” explores the themes of being an outsider on the fringes of society whether through poverty and homeless or the need to seek refuge; people who have been traumatised yet still seek community and company. It’s not a depressing read though, the poets bring compassion to difficult issues and experiences.

“Persona Non Grata” is available from Fly On the Wall Poetry.

“Birnam Wood” Hélène Cardona (Salmon Poetry) – poetry review

Birnam Wood Helene Cardona“Birnam Wood” is a collection of José Manuel Cardona’s poems from the Spanish by Hélène Cardona presented in both the original Spanish and English translations. José Manuel Cardona (1928 – 2018) was a Spanish poet forced into exile in France and worked for the United Nations. His collections include, “El Vendimiador”, “Poemas a Circe” and “El Bosque de Birnam: Antología poética”. The poems in “Birnam Wood” are gathered in three sections, “Poems to Circe”, “The Vintner” and “Other Poems”. “Poems to Circe” are a series of love poems, in “Poem to Circe III”,

“You are not mine either even though I love you.
You are like earth, like the island.
I share you with no one, love, no one.
I cannot say: that is mine.
This island where we love belongs to no one.
I prefer it this way, because love
Is that language or fire or scattered
Universe in vine everywhere.

Flesh is subsequent, the very embers,
What one looks for and loves and composts.
Fleeting truth of an opaque moon
Cruelly scratching the burning bramble,
Awakening to the mystery of hands,
The touch of the mouth and kiss.”

The original Spanish:

“Tampoco tú eres mía aunque te amo.
Eres como la tierra, como la isla.
Con nadie te comparto, amor, con nadie.
Yo no puedo decir: aquello es mío.
Esta isla donde amamos no es de nadie.
Lo que se debe a alguien no es do uno.
Y lo prefiero así, porque el amor
Es cual lengua de fuego o universo
Desparramado en vid por todas partes.

La carne es lo ulterior, la brasa misma,
Lo que se busca y ama y estercola.
Fugitiva verdad de luna opaca
En arañzo cruel de zarza ardiendo
Despertando al misterio de las manos,
Al tacto de la boca y a los besos.”

Themes of longing and belonging echo throughout the sequence echoing the sense that someone you love does not belong to you but longs to be with you. My Spanish isn’t good enough to comment directly on the translation, it’s clear that the rhyme scheme has not been used but the English translation does use assonance on the softer, longer vowels as a substitute. The poems in the middle section have a more contemporary feel such as, “Tom Smithson Dead in his Garret”,

“They fear seeing you wake at some unearthly hour
to go toward Wall Street and tell
.                the sausage makers
that it is beautiful to dictate commercial letters
.                to the blond typists,
but even more beautiful to wander the banks
.                of the Hudson.”

“Temen verte despertar a deshora
para ir hacia Wall Street y decir a los
.             fabricantes de embutidos
que es hermoso dictar cartas comerciales a
.             las rubias mecanógrafas,
pero más hermoso vagar por las riberas del
.             Hudson.”

As beautiful as work is, the restorative nature of landscape is far better. These poems are evocative with a balance between specifics, “Wall Street” “Hudson”, and general images, “commercial letters” “blond typists”, so the reader is given a sense of place but still has space to become engaged. Nature comes to the fore in the sequence, “From the Euxine Sea”,

“It was at times the jasmine, then the rose
and the fields of rockrose and lavender
at times the hyacinths, the broom
and at other the iris.
Inhospitable city. Seafaring
love with no other horizon or banner
than the debris of shipwrecks fluttering
like a torchlight.”

“Fue a veces el jazmím y otras la rose
y los campos de jara y cantueso
y a veces el lirio.
Inhóspita ciudad. Enomorado
mar sin otro horizonte y estandarte
que el resto de naufragios palpitando
como una luz de antorchas.”

The scents from flowers counteract the coldness of the city but not sufficiently to stop dreams of escape and perhaps return from exile. The theme of love returns in “Four Orphic Sonnets”, in “Forgotten Amidst White Lilies”,

“Search for my heart with a shield
and find it in bloom, fully opened
for sorrow grown and ripened
like a bitter fruit of mild weight.

The wait smells of Moorish courtyard
and the night of guitars and my heart
wakes like a wounded bull.”

“Buscadme el corazón con una adargo
y lo ballaréis abierto, en flor granado
para el dolor crecido y madurado
como una fruta agraz de suave carga.

Tiene le espera olor de patio moro
y guitarras la noche y se despierta
mi corazón herido como un toro.”

Hélène Cardona has successfully balanced providing a literal translation with retaining the spirit and language of the original. English is limited in rhyming words but the translator has substituted part-rhymes and sound-patternings in their place. The translations in “Birnam Wood” don’t feel like translations but poems in their own right, which demonstrates the attention to detail and ability of the translator.

Full marks to Salmon Poetry for including both the original and translation on facing pages so both can be read alongside each other; costs often make this prohibitive.

“Birnam Wood” is available from Salmon Poetry

“How to Wear Grunge” Ruth Stacey (Knives Forks and Spoons Press) – poetry review

grungecover“How to Wear Grunge” is an unconventional exploration of life on the cusp of adulthood. It eschews nostalgia and becomes a search for a young woman named Carey Hunter who is assumed to be a long-lost friend until the tone of the search turns darker. Carey is introduced in “Her Name”,

Address: Somewhere familiar, cold snap in the air, city buzzing,
guitar music playing, lyrics aim & circle: theme gloom/not gloom.

Voice: Growl, low, high, light, whispered, bellowed, impossible
to describe. Butterfly made of paper, caught in the draft.

Eyes: Fox coloured. I’m certain, fox-russet, copper.”

There are already hints at the unreliability of memory: the address is not remembered but the music is and the eye colour shifts. Carey could be any young twenty-something dreaming of being a singer, trying drugs, whilst not yet ready to settle into the nine-to-five. She didn’t survive but is a reminder of a past life in “Lecture to Myself”,

“Keats knew the power of an unrequited thing
& you could say this is second-hand electric love
yes, you fall in love with people             you crush
intensity of falling    chest compressed beneath the  weight
crushing the real her away dust in the air
truth                 she reminds you/me of a period of time
hippy wall hangings & live bands
smokes, pills, music             when nothing/everything hurt”

The poem becomes fragmentary as memories do with white spaces to linger in. It evokes a time of experimentation, first loves and crushes, and a time when dreams still felt possible. The title poem is a warm reflection on a sense of community,

“with friendship bands
with familiarity & comfort
            burying under jackets for a hug
            clothes smelling of weed & baccy
with recognition in a crowd
.               the same orange jumper
.               green striped tee
.               so clothes were our bodies
with no care for glamour”

It poignantly remembers that sense of searching for a tribe and wearing clothes as markers of recognition. Some mementos survived, “Describe a Picture No One Else Has Seen” is a photo of her laughing at a forgotten joke,

“Her hair is long, straight, heavy bangs, red: the colour of a copper
plate, buried for 2000 years & then dug up from a barrow … polished
so it burns bright. Her eyes are green. Specifically,
the colour of a piece of plucked sage.

Wait, you said her hair was the colour of burnt wood.

Green?

A darkness threads through the good times. “The Worst Thing” concerns a girl who “loves to read and he has no books” and the unnamed he who “loves to force her”. It’s years later she is pushed to admit she was raped by him.

“Gretel’s Crumbs” is a reminder of the girl at the heart of the collection,

“Carey Hunter would always seek
.             the next thrill, something to wipe
away the memory of that loss          seek
& find love street                    hate street
.           any club, any building, she could
score, she had a gift”

Although dead, her presence still haunts and is re-gifted with a life of sorts in “(un) real woman”

“create a character on the role-playing game
with her name so she can kick the shit out
of the monster who got in her way”

“How to Wear Grunge” is an atmospheric capture of young adult yearning, youthful mistakes against the soundtrack of a subculture remembered with fondness but not nostalgia. This is no hagiography but a forensic examination of a life stopped short but not forgotten.

“How to Wear Grunge” is available from Knives Forks and Spoons Press.