British poet Luke Kennard has collected a number of glowing descriptions of his poetry – ingenious, innovative, clever, entertaining, “one of British poetry’s brightest lights,” and funny, among them. After reading Cain: Poems, his latest collection, I would add “playful” and “a dash of mischievousness.”
The Cain of the title is the Cain of the book of Genesis in the Bible, the man who killed his brother Abel because he was jealous of the favor shown by God to Abel’s offering. God didn’t smite Cain down for his crime, but he did put a mark upon him and sent him into permanent exile and wandering. The Biblical account doesn’t mention what the mark was, but it must have been noticeable.
In Kennard’s poems, Cain shows up one day at the poet’s front door. The poet has lost his faith and his marriage in the same week, and turned to the solace of beer – a lot of beer, wine-strength wheat beers, in fact. The poet hears the doorbell ring, and there’s an inflatable life-sized Frankenstein doll, behind which stands Cain. (I can’t imagine that the inflatable Frankenstein is Cain’s mark, but it does raise some interesting possibilities.)
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.