The Continued Closure of the Blue Door by Vik Shirley (HVTN Press)

Tears in the Fence

Vik Shirley’s pamphletCorpses, which came out earlier this year, was a work of exquisitely macabre humour. Her collectionThe Continued Closure of the Blue Doorcontinues the preoccupation with mortality in its sequence of witty poems called ‘death & the girls’. The first four, which are in unpunctuated prose, chart the zany responses of various women to the unavoidable presence of the grim reaper.

eleanor kept banging on that death was a charmless motherfucker a charmless motherfucker she’d say fairly vindictively this actually wasn’t true but then she’d witnessed him eating pork pie jelly whilst wearing sock garters so no one could really argue

The six ‘death reveries’ which follow are in the form of calligrams, the first in the shape of a coffin, the sixth that of a bottle. The speaker of the poems imagines her funeral, wake, and legacy, but rather than being maudlin these texts…

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