Attoreview: Patricia Lockwood – Balloon Pop Outlaw Black


The cartoon reaches deep into a pocket, deep into a hole in the pocket, into “hammerspace”, and retrieves a huge pair of scissors. His mother, who lives there, hands him what he needs. Touches the tips of his fingers.

A few of the poems in this, Lockwood’s first collection, are highly prosaic, long-lined stanzas stretching out over many pages, puntuated by what seem to be subsidiary poems within the body of the larger poem. There are a number of shorter poems here too, but the longer pieces make the strongest impression with their deep Whitman / Ashberry-esque explorations of surreal premises that use intelligence and humour to co-opt and dissect the conceits of received wisdom, cartoons, storybooks and schoolbooks, pursuing the implication of things like what it is to be an ink drawing, or what it would mean to live inside a whale, to profound conclusions. These poems are weird, unsettling, confident and beguiling. There are no poems here that directly speak of lived experience, but in her deep consideration of bizarre scenarios Lockwood unearths resonant emotions that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Highly Recommended.

Buy Balloon Pop Outlaw Black from Octopus Books.


Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in i would like to recommend these people's writing, lines I wish I'd written, Me and my opinions, poetry, reviews

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About Adam

I'm a dad and the author of the poetry collections The Third Fruit is a Bird and Not Quite the Man for the Job, the novel Man Bites Dog and the short story collection Heroes and Civilians.

Bookings for public appearances can be made through Booked Out Speakers Agency

This website was created on Dja Dja Wurrung land.
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ta-wit ta-woo
Quelle Grammage!
on days when i’m pretending to work at home and avoiding the housework it’s nice to know the TROLL BEWARE sign is only a 15min walk away. i wrote a poem today with a line in it about jazz-handing a gap in reality and I am very proud of that line indeed oh yes. Just a bunch of heroes hangin’. work in progress
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