Body Voices by (Angus, Scotland poet) Kevin Reid is one of the most delightfully themed chaps I’ve ever read. From its “Preface” of teasing promise to its “Appendix,” where the poet tweaks his importance in the literary body, Body Voices explores [the speaker’s] being—physically, mentally, and socially—through poems personifying individual body parts.
The poems are filled with allegory, punning, and cleverly woven wordplay, guiding the reader on an expedition to corporeal lands familiar yet often under-explored.
In “Brains,” Reid skillfully combines masterful metaphor with physical reality:
I’m a hardback tome bound in bone,
spine-lined and stitched with nerves.
Void of font my volumes in cerebrum read a
testament of human speech and language.
In the wonderfully amusing “Nipples,” Reid wryly observes the existence of the male nipple:
Pocket studs on this male garment;
barely high fashion…
…Once I met a woman
who offered me a pleasing price
just to pinch them.
“Hands” winks at male physicality with a leer,
me with her lower hands and
whispers in my ear,
“You shouldn’t cum here”.
while “Penis” puts it into a coldly biological perspective.
My penis: a wanker,
a sex junkie who often talks piss.
Although witty and celebratory, Reid’s poems do not shrink from the body’s inevitable decay.
In “Veins”, he postulates
We will be the marble in mortals,
the black lace of the decaying corpse.
and in “Hair”, he zings us with the pun
In death we part.
The text of Body Voices is packaged in a beautifully designed soft-white cardstock cover with a royal blue leatherette cardstock insert, and is printed on pristine white paper using Century Gothic font. Cover art (photo by Steven B. Smith) features a haunting, disembodied hand palm–out behind an icy blue crosshatching–a surreal suggestion of the anatomical hors d’oeuvres within. This book is filled with lots of tasty bits. Don’t be late to this table… get your copy and dig in today!