Sometimes the breakage between physical body and inner essence in the poems is deliberate as in “Dissipate and Obfuscate” where the poet is “learning/ to let my limbs/ float away” or when “The Cost” when “you can leave/ this room/ but have to put/your hand inside--//the mouth closing/ cleaves it” where the cost of leaving this inability to be heard in a room trapped requires giving up the hand (with or without the fire is unstated). Just in these few lines the reader can see consonance at work, connecting in direction the poem will take.
I can interpret the work in many ways but escape into a different realm and the power an unnamed “You” holds over the poet are strongly tied together. Experience by the poet also is a strong element, with strong use of details that highlight a changing reality from the concrete block being carved, to windows, cars, formaldehyde cylinders, clocks, watches, beetles, and much more.
"You" in the poems can be interpreted many ways, being both singular and plural. It can be some unnamed significant other, the reader, God, the devil, or even poetry muse. It doesn’t seem to matter which the reader attaches; what matters is the clear emotion connected to “you” being present.
Fire appears in many ways, as heat over the body, as light from the sky, from city lights, from reflected lights, from matches and fireworks. However, the meaning of fire is very much connected to the poet and his experiences within each poem.
These three elements, fire, you, and escape from the body, connect the collection together as it works its way through dark city nights, through creatures both imaginary and real. Often the poems feel deeply symbolic more in line with the dream world than reality. The reader follows along with the shifts the poet makes primarily due to the language connections and those three elements. I wanted to discover why, but perhaps the journey was the only part the poet could provide concretely, maybe it will take more books to dig out what is the root. Overall, I found the poetry easy to read and follow and a pleasure to read.