I don’t know what I’m talking about, but if I was to suggest that Alice Kinsella has charted a life in this collection of poetry, detailing one individual addressee’s experiences among their friends and acquaintances, I might be on to something. The poems describe companionship, childhood play and more. Teenage love, tree-climbing, and the urgency of returning home from overseas to help a friend who “had a little bit of a breakdown”, to quote Paul Simon, are some of the many images painted.
The verse can be mildly critical of the subject’s ego – one poem explaining how the narrator’s hand has long since rubbed away the touch of the addressee – or the pieces are instructive in explaining how things can be perceived by others.
Nearing the end of the collection, Kinsella laments the loss of the person at the collection’s centre.
The collection’s subject, if he or she were to read it, would do well to take notes.