Consistent with the spirit of its title, Peter Norman’s third collection of poetry unfolds with a bang. The creatures and objects of the world are on the move, in constant gleeful rebellion against humanity. Behind ordinary societal processes, triumphs and tragedies, raccoons snuffle, crows forage, maggots writhe, Mole Men squirm, and even human teeth turn against the nails and knuckles of their owners with ravenous resolve. On top of this, the dead and the inanimate are fighting back; in “Parked Truck, Moosomin SK” the wiper blades and windscreen of the eponymous vehicle have fallen to an explosion of insect carnage described in vivid, cinematic detail. In “Demolition”, the destroyed shingles and beams reshuffle themselves into their rightful places, as if to give the finger to their wrecking crew overlords.
Since 1997, there have been well over 2000 poetry collections published in Canada—counting only the books produced by accredited presses. If, like Carmelita McGrath, you released your last book in 1997 with a small press in Newfoundland, you should perhaps forgive the poetry-reading public if you’re not on its radar. In the interval between To […]