Adam Thorpe's fifth collection finds purpose in the discarded, the secretive, the failed. Juxtaposing creation and destruction, hope and grief - a small boy deep down a lead mine; an unlit, nocturnal path set against the 'insomniac' motorway; industrialised apples against wrinkled windfalls - his poems argue for bewilderment and 'the slight bruise of doubt'.
Whether walking an abandoned road or considering a friend's suicide, his poems remind us of our abdications, of our collapsed relationships with nature, with history, with ourselves.
There are, however, all the vestiges of connective tissue - memories and mementoes, sudden, miraculous leaps of beauty. The book is full of such traces, delicate and fugitive: the poet's grandmother retrieved through her ninety-year-old bookmark of rose petals; the unvoiced suggestion of his mother's voice on an answerphone; the memory of a vanished native chief in a Canadian mountain's shadow...