The Last House

By Michael Kenyon

The Last House
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Poems of disturbing beauty, examining personal and collective loss.

This is Michael Kenyon's third full-length collection of poems. His poetry and fiction have always been alert to the underside, the angularity of the outcast, those forced by temperament or predilection or circumstance ... Read more


Overview

Poems of disturbing beauty, examining personal and collective loss.

This is Michael Kenyon's third full-length collection of poems. His poetry and fiction have always been alert to the underside, the angularity of the outcast, those forced by temperament or predilection or circumstance to the fringes of middle class life. Here, it is insight itself that pushes the speakers closer to the edge. The world of these poems is dark: Kenyon names and owns our clear cuts, our overpopulation, our fossil-fueled rush to oblivion, the violence embedded in sexuality. This is a book of expanded elegy, clear-eyed, unflinching, amid the wreckage of its loves.

? It is useless to
choose a direction: current must find us.

At last we swim away from each other
to make the storm less jealous, old stars freeze
the water, earthquakes calve an island, and
another me adores another you
inland.
— from "The Stars"

Fiercely elegiac, jaggedly sexual, The Last House stands on the brink of devastation — personal, ancestral, cultural. There is transcendence here, but no redemption: it is too late. But this is also a book about love — protean, violent, perduring — love as the key to reality, even as it mystifies us or tears us apart. These are poems of deep and disturbing vision, sustained by electrifying honesty.

Michael Kenyon

Michael Kenyon was born in Sale, England, but has lived most of his life on the west coast of Canada. He works as a freelance editor, and has a therapy practice in process-oriented psychology and jin shin do bodymind acupressure. The author of seven books, he is primarily known as a fiction writer. In 1991 Brick Books published Rack of Lamb, a collection of prose poems. His work has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines, and has aired on CBC. For many years, he served on the editorial board of The Malahat Review.

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