John Upton, Embracing the Razor (Puncher & Wattmann)
A long-ago episode of the TV soap Neighbours featured two much-loved little dogs, named something like Stella and Pooch. When one of the dogs escaped to the dangerous street, the distraught dog-minder ran out his front door and fell to his knees in his driveway. As the camera pulled back and up he put his hands to the side of his head and cried out in Brando-esque anguish, ‘Stellaaaa!’ (Just in case a reader needs it, here’s a link to the cinematic moment being parodied.)
John Upton wrote a more than 130 episodes of Neighbours between 1985 and 2006, and I like to think he was the one who poked that hole in the soap wall for a silly shining moment. He’s written a lot else, for television and the stage, but this is his first book of poetry.
The book is in four sections: ‘Grief’, a narrative sequence about death and…
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