Thursday, November 12, 2015
In this collection, Hogan muses on topics including relationships, gay and bisexual identity, loneliness and ageing. It also includes a poem about shovelling snow and A Lovelier World in which a dog that
has never caught more
than tennis balls
dreams about 'furrier prey'.
Hogan offers occasional sharp insights as when he meditates on night terrors in Off My Chest
I would rather
see the demons
than suddenly awaken
one day blind
He has skill with rhymes as here in Oh, Wicked One
On the day I should have drowned
in the ocean's lost and found
(though on some occasions it feels as though lines are distorted somewhat by the rhyme.
I particularly liked Hogan's ability to make interesting connections as in Fitting Room when confusion over the labelling of clothing sizes leads on to thinking about the labels he has endured as a bisexual man. Even more unexpected a connection is made in Party Split Ends when shampoo and conditioner are compared to opposing political parties.
And the title? Riastrad is the Irish Gaelic term for battle frenzy. You can certainly sense rebellion coursing through much of this book, and well channelled into verse.
My Riastrad by Kevin Hogan, can be purchased here.