Fever Hammers by Iain Sinclair (Face Press)

Tears in the Fence

Fever Hammersit probably doesn’t have to be stressed is a peculiarly strong and resolute title for a collection of prose poems. The general effect of reading through this I thought was that the writing is crisp, accomplished and taut and there is an abiding tough mindedness, making few concessions, driving it along.

Sinclair presents the material in three clearly delineated presentations, red, yellow and blue, each with a charged and resonant epigraph. The first is from William Faulkner’sLight in Augustspeaking of ‘a ghost travelling half a mile ahead’. I don’t know that I can entirely marry this up with the general progression of the text, but it is pungent and affecting.

The titles of the pieces actually draw on and reflect the material of the text. The first piece is ‘Dogs on the Lawn’ and this reflects a turn of phrase in the piece itself,- ‘The dogs…

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