By turns garrulous and gnomic, playful and foreboding, tender and raucous, these poems plumb our daily contradictions and divided natures. Treading a taut line between bemusement and despair, they tiptoe through the unexploded ordnance of time. Like the compost pile invoked by its title, this book throws off the heat of transformation: a shoplifter’s onion tumbles through the Spanish Civil War only to surface in a California chicken farm; a cream-coloured Persian kitten provokes a reckoning with Viagra; a café menu in Phnom Penh redeems the inventor of the AK-47. These are poems that dissolve the distinctions between heartbreak and humour, politics and pets, mortality and the taste of a single strawberry, revealing our inner and outer worlds as – thrillingly – one and the same.
About the Author
Murray Reiss has lived on Salt Spring Island, B.C., since 1979. His first book, The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild (Hagios Press), won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for the best first book of poetry published in Canada in 2013. His poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States, and short-listed for a number of prizes and awards. His chapbook Distance from the Locus was published in 2005 by Mothertongue Press. Reiss brings his poetry to life on the stage as well as the page as a Climate Action Performance Poet and founding member of the Only Planet Cabaret.
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