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November 17 , 2010

Collected Contraptions


Peter McCarey's first full collection, comprising work from his five pamphlets, is an exhilarating journey on the U-bahns and runways of language: In a matter of hours / they can take you anywhere'. Collected Contraptions opens with water, rain and shadows; the inscription of the singer's mark' from the lost language of the Indus Valley civilisation shines from a Shakespeare sonnet; we are caught in a sci-fi spaghetti Western; a shady Czech smuggles a golem and a robot into pre-massacre Rwanda. Language shape-shifts, reinvents itself, before going on another road trip where stories are recited backwards and fast forward. Last is Tantris', an epic of intricate narrative whose message couldn't be more simple: Don't go: don't let the morning/ Turn your head with her shivering, thin grace.'

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