I first came across Philomena van Rijswijk when I read her novel The World as a Clockface, an extraordinary work full of magic, bizarre mayham, and twisted humour as it worked its way clockwise, around the mythical state of Esmania, past a small island to the east called Aotearoa, Antartica, Tierra del Feugo, Paraguay, the Cape of Africa, and back to the Antipodean mainland Incognita. I've never forgotten that wonderful book and have been waiting eagerly for more. So when Philomena offered me a copy of her new poetry book Bread of the Lost came out, I was excited. The book is very sensual, funny, erotic and intense. As with all of van Rijswijk's work, the metaphors are strikingly original and often extended into fantasy. It's a heady and fun collection which I'll be reviewing in-depth shortly. I'll also be interviewing Philomena at The Compulsive Reader Talks. In the meantime, here's a little taste of what I've been reading:
An orphan, chimney-sweep morning-
black ice just turned to smuts
on the macadam and winter-slagged footpaths.
Heading for home under a bled winter sun,
I am sliced in the belly by
flick-knives of hunger.
Alone, in the empty streets, and ravenous,
without food or money,
I decide my hunger
will be my banquet.
I will fill my belly up on a seductive
emptiness. ("This No-day Will Be My Sunday")
If you want more (and you know you do), you can find her at her blog: http://ladyoftheswamp.blogspot.com.au