by Alex Skovron
56 connected prose poems.
An earlier version of Autographs was awarded the Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry in 2005, and in the following year was shortlisted for the Alec Bolton Prize for an unpublished manuscript.
With settings ranging from the world of Noah’s Ark to the Sydney of the author’s youth, but lightly stepping across continents and delving into assorted time frames.
The author catches meanings lurking at the edges of (un)consciousness, exploring time, space, destiny, free will, personal histories, obsessions.
His nostalgic evocations of childhood are not without irony: “Would you call this nostalgia – or fantasy’s tentacles?”
Some recurring motifs: chess, music, cars, recording devices (tape decks, books), numbers …
But the author’s reach extends beyond past, present and future. Touching on contemporary issues (say terrorism, global warming), he transcends them and transforms … sometimes evincing deep feeling, other times seeming irony and detachment. Everyday scenes are transfigured with oblique qualifiers and sudden sleights of hand.
Words fly off, sometimes in fresh coinages, sometimes mysteriously yoked together, but behind the illusions of randomness is a controlling and masterful sensibility.
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