Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Riastrad by Kevin Hogan

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.