In the middle of moving, eye operations, edits and essays, this happened:

The Arctic by Don Paterson, Faber & Faber. 2022

 I know plenty of poets from Dundee; the vernacular lends itself well to all things musical, mythical and magical but nothing compares to the clever parsing of Paterson.  ‘Women in Movies in the Eighties’ where the man is always the main protagonist and the woman’s behaviour can only ever be psychotic or compliant – always referring to the man.  It’s fitting that ‘To His Penis’ is written in the phonetic.  An ode that almost, but not quite, rivals the ‘Atheist Prayer’:  ‘How great you are, my absent god!...since were you to exist…Then so might I.’  But the best is the Covid poem, or ‘Easter 2020’:

‘and they don’t know essential’s Latin for gets paid jack shit and hero’s Greek for you go first and take the fucking hit and no one knows the body count if we don’t show the chart – now let’s all get the taps back on before the riots start.’

I could read ‘The Arctic’ every day.

 GB84 by David Peace, Serpent’s Tail, 2004

 The one book that should be on the school curriculum and isn’t (of course).  Worth the mental gymnastics, this is the counter-narrative to the Tory/Blair propaganda and the possible causes of why we’re not sitting staring at a big black hole. It also suggests a way back to civic society…

 The Patient by Tim Sullivan, Head of Zeus, 2022

 I can’t get enough of DS George Cross. It’s like reading The Curious Incident of the Dog as a police procedural.  Love, love it.  It’s got all the realism of a police procedural and so many laugh-out-loud moments rooted in truth and great observation.  Dark and funny, I’ll be reading more DS Cross books.