In the universe of this exquisite collection, Paul Brookes merges desire and menace, the nature of aging and hidden despair to show the wonders of the human experience filtered through several varieties of darkness. Brooks is too cagey to fully tip his hand, but repeated readings of these poems reward the reader with new and sometimes breathtaking epiphanies. “Life is boring when there’s no edge to it,” one of his characters observes. This is a truth in which Brookes delights. You – yes, you — need to read this book.
Jeff Weddle, author of Comes to This and Heart of the Broken World
Brookes is a good poet but you must read all parts of his sequence poems to get at his genius that weaves in and around each stanza and leaves you in slack jawed awe. His words are often sexy, humorous, clever, surprising, multi-layered and mysterious, sometimes at the same time.
“His blood keeps their house lubricated and his steady rhythm beats through their working day.” In another poem, “Longiforum lilies attract askance bees to their sacred perfume chimneys.” There is brilliance and beauty here but always “a swan’s wing away from brokenness.”
Author of Blue Rooms, Black Holes, White Lights
Another fabulous read by the indefatigable Yorkshire poet, Paul Brookes. This time with his singular style and and acute insight into the human condition, Paul takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life drawn as we observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. In short, Life with all its pathos and ethos. She Needs that Edge is well worth your time and pennies.
Jamie Dedes, poet and editor of “The BeZine” and “The Poet by Day.”
“Bake Off” featured in Picaroon Poetry, issue 11. Many thanks Kate.