Sex on Toast by Topher Mills (Parthian Books)

Tears in the Fence

Once again I find myself discovering poetry by a poet I’ve heard about but never got around to reading. Until now that is. This book, – a ‘Collected Poems’ more or less, – is a real treat. Written in chronological order these poems represent a lifetime’s work from the pen of a writer who, unusually, writes about manual labour, as well as swimming, politics, literature, unemployment, class, sexual matters and an array of other subjects. These poems are deceptively sophisticated, often rhythmically intriguing, surprisingly moving and complex in the range of emotion and of thinking they deploy. There are performance pieces and some wonderful pastiches including the following which takes a commonly reworked classic and gives it a somewhat new spin:

DIS IS JEST TUH SAY LIEKE

dat I scoffed

duh sarnee

yoo id in

duh freezuh Kumpartmunt

an wat

yooz wuz praps

kraabin

fuh laytuh like

soree yuhno

it…

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