By Grant Loveys
ECW Press, $18.95, 68 pages
Grant Loveys is an accomplished Canadian writer. In 2011, he was recognized for his short fiction as the winner of the Cuffer Prize. His first collection of poetry, Our Gleaming Bones Unrobed, is a powerful reminder of poetry’s ability to bring our lives sharply into focus. He asks us to make space in our busy, hectic lives for questions like “What is this existence?” and “How am I a part of the universe?” In a world that increasingly caters to and insists upon instant gratification, Loveys’ work forces us to come to terms with the existential dilemma that is human life. He does so in a loving and tender way, and yet he does so without excess saccharinity or sentimentality.
“When the Doctor leaves we let a moment pass, sitting stone still in a room filled with knives
She looks down at herself, closes her hand over her right breast gingerly, as if it might sink razored teeth into her palm’s flesh
My body is a treachery, she says. Like two bombs bolted to me. It’s like I’m being framed. I can feel it digging me up, salting the earth.”
Our Gleaming Bones Unrobed revels and delights in the amazing grandeur and power of life while also embracing the fact that it is unforgivingly hard, difficult and dirty. In a culture that eschews and hides from the realities of life, Loveys’ memento mori is desperately needed.
Reviewed by Jonathon Howard