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Stuart Blazer's AIX-EN-PROVIDENCE is a queer little chapbook. Beautifully written, evocative and tangible, it defies categorising. Reading the collection, one gets a sense of harmony, of Blazer's confidence in his poetry and himself. Nowhere is there an awkward line, a momentary sense of unease or discomfort. AIX-EN-PROVIDENCE is the product of a working talent. Its quiet charm made all the more appealing by the quirky graphics strewn amongst its textured pages.

Its unsophisticated veneer encases a lightweight pamphlet of only nine poems. Each one as open or as complex as the reader wishes to make them. Take, for example, LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK:

	I used to be financially 
	independent: money
	went one way, I another.
	Since then I've been lucky
	& less of a liar.
The enigmatic second sentence detracts from the humour of the preceding line. A throwaway line becomes suddenly serious. Blazer's use of the ampersand instead of 'and' is consistent throughout the collection. A short cut that doesn't add, but doesn't subtract either; it identifies his style and re-establishes the quirky nature of this book.

One thing I really like about this collection is the variety of voice. From the erotic UNE AFFAIRE DE COEUR, UN PEU PLUS AU SUD (An Affair of the Heart, but a little Lower) to the musing AIX-EN-PROVIDENCE, Blazer's talent is able to transgress a variety of subject matter. The heady emotion of A PERDADOR IN PROVENCE deserves to be quoted in full:

	by your leave
	never leave me
	or go far
	but take me
	where you are
	keep me, lose me
	until this traveller in you
	is lost completely.
These few simple lines reveal one of the most romantic poems I think I have ever read. It speaks to every couple on both a literal and metaphorical level. Blazer captures a humble voice, almost pleading in its tremulous lines. To be the one that it was written for would be an honour.

AIX-EN-PROVIDENCE is a gently unassuming collection. Its very impact, is the lack of fuss it wishes to make. I am glad to have had the opportunity to read some of Stuart Blazer's work. I find him a beautiful poet and one whose work I look forward to seeing more of. I would recommend AIX-EN-PROVIDENCE; it is accessible to both the discerning critic and the poetry virgin.

reviewer: Fionna Doney Simmonds.