Man with Bombe Alaska

Loosely memoir-shaped and peopled by those close to the poet, Kate Behrens’ second collection, Man with Bombe Alaska, travels between London, Turkey, Italy, Spain and the English countryside. The poems also map paths between states of mind and place or person, not to pin down experience with conclusions but for unexpected beauties, openings.

Images are laden with metaphor but stand for themselves, at times with the kinds of heightened awareness arising from sudden shock. Behrens’ language explores points of convergence where abstractions that seem to transcend the world merge with finely wrought detail in ways that release deep affect.

A very haunting, emotionally fraught and entrancing collection’—Adam Piette

Man with Bombe Alaska

Look, but it’s doubts’ flashes only
dying inside a chilly woman  –
yes, she’ll pass on the huge bombe,
dribbles of burnt jam, as he considers
what’s blown over on his side
with conscientious stabs,
everything disfigured and froth…

She’d dip a spoon in his new-mint eyes
for their many drunk cherries,
though deep in the cool of them
an unhappy spike of sweetness
trips her up and into the Ladies
to monitor hurts, preserve what remains
of a lipsticked reserve mother blew on her brain,
a fudged u-turn to always rely on,
now cheap strawberry fool in the glass
after Champagne, the shared bill’s last proof
that she’s a stupid cow,
less human than his dazzle…

From reviews of Kate Behrens’ first collection, The Beholder:

the range of emotions she takes us through is indeed considerable’—The North

a genuinely compelling artist has entered our midst’—Eyewear

Man with Bombe Alaska
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