Here we are in September, the meteorological start of autumn, having lost the spring and summer to a plague. Cancelled holidays abroad morphed into the media’s favoured soundbite, the staycation, where beaches and beauty spots, areas of the UK with low infection and death rates, were overrun by thousands of stir-crazy people, desperate for their customary dose of sun, sea and sand – and for a view of anything except their own four walls. Understandable but unprecedented. The outcome wasn’t pretty by anybody’s standards with tons of litter, barbecue wildfires, human excrement, thousands of cars blocking tiny villages and jamming single track country lanes and so many pleasure seeking bodies vying for a square inch of seashore that social distancing was rendered impossible. From coronavirus to coronamadness.
One Suitcase that would have been welcomed everywhere is Kevin Reid’s stunning new pamphlet of the same name. I had the privilege of being able to enjoy a staycation during the worst of the lockdown with Kevin’s remarkable pamphlet and I can recommend it.
Kevin Reid’s poems view the world from an angle which renews and revitalizes the everyday. Here pigeons have ‘tones of stone’ and ‘the devil in your feet’. These are tender poems alert to the way the objects that surround us can summon our greatest losses. ‘Woven into the wire / your twigged words twitch’ one speaker notes before turning to ‘Your easel; / a girl in a white dress, her unfinished wave’. Careful and evocative, Reid’s lines shimmer with the unspoken. John McCullough
Suitcase by Kevin Reid is available via 4Word or directly from the poet at a cost of £5.99 plus p&p.
NB – Kevin is hosting an online launch of Suitcase on Saturday 5th September 7-8.30 Details can be found here: