JOANNA BOULTER: THE HALLUCINOGENIC EFFECTS OF BREATHING
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UK ISBN 0 9540913 5 3
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This page last updated: 11th December 2007.
|JOANNA BOULTER: THE HALLUCINOGENIC EFFECTS OF BREATHING|
The first poem in this collection, A VISITATION opens:
How to respond? when an angel comes tobogganing whee down over the arch of a rainbow ... ... this one has skied down out of heaven to perch precarious as a rocket in a milk bottle, ready to explode the everyday. ...and exploding the everyday is what Joanna Boulter does with her poems. More of this fallout can be found in the poem IN CELEBRATION OF THE HALLUCINOGENIC EFFECTS OF BREATHING where
round the corner the pavement is in shadow there are shops and more people outside the door of the greengrocer's are crates with things stacked up on them carrots parsnips leeks celery ...In SPRING TIDE the poet is stuck in a traffic jam between Millom and Egremont caused by a flock of sheep:
one suddenly flung sideways and plunged into that inches-wide gap, eyes rolling glared at us through the windscreen then upped with her neat black stockings and hupped over the dry-stone walling. Instantly she was followed. A tsunami, creamy-crested, broke across our bows.I don't know if hupped is a printer's error for hopped or if it was intentional — perhaps a serendipitous typo that the poet decided to keep. But such is the flow of the poet's words that it really doesn't matter.
Whilst many of the poems here are sheer fun, a few delve into more sinister things. A particularly creepy poem is RECONSTRUCTION where the poem's persona takes on the role of the victim in a Crimewatch reconstruction:
and I'm wearing another girl's skin: and my skin is crawling, feeling his eyes on us.There are many excellent poems here but one of favourites is LAMENT FOR SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT
Poor puss, trapped in the limbo of your tenth life, that cat-flap hinged between existence and oblivion, alternative universes bounded by a box,It is quite amazing how many poets have been inspired by this scientific parable. Joanna Boulter's poems live in that paradoxical world that is both reality and unreality at the same time and she isn't afraid to allow her readers to decide. This is one for the front shelf of the bookcase.
|reviewer: Mandy Smith.|