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  • By Laura Roberts
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Review from Black Heart Magazine" As reviewed by our writer, James Sinclair, online at Breathing is an unthinking reflex, until you draw a breath and find you can’t. Human contact can induce a similar sensation of having thought hijacked by primal reactions that can bring a moment to its clearest point. This is Humphrey Astley’s poetry. Astley mostly uses women as pivot points for male reflection on types of human interactions in his book, Women As Tender. These “women as tender” help buy or sell, or sometimes simply rattle like loose change in car seats, experiences that help render these connections. Despite this, he rarely uses crass emotional manipulations where someone might say “I love you” as s/he fucks you in all ways. He deals in a finer manipulation. In “Zeugma (Such an Amazing)”, Astley unwinds a lovely afternoon between comfortable lovers; as the woman prepares for the stroll she clears her throat of cocaine. His use of smudging... More > disturbing and juxtaposed imagery is delicate in execution, and wonderfully wrought. When he does use crasser language (“retard bitch” and “dick”), which is a perfectly fine way to describe such things, it has less impact. This is not because dick or cock or fuck are poorer substitutes or don’t evoke feeling, but it is because Astley can make you feel those words without actually using them. But then he defies that by proving that the delight of (crass) language is relative, “Who are the happy, and what the fuck is their problem?” It is an excellent question to ask with a well placed fuck. This collection is one to visit again. I would never deface a book by ripping out a page (and those who do: stop it!), but if I were to sin, I’d rip out “Possession” to fold and read for later, occasionally fingering it in my pocket.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Rain Over Bouville
August 28, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.18 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
4.25 wide x 6.88 tall
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