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Throughout most of her first collection, Evie Christie’s poetry is masterfully calculating and focused. In “Twenty-Fifth Birthday Suit,” Christie manages to catapult us through her origin, her present and future with all the frightful deadpan she later uses in “Zombie Love,” which livens up the collection with an unexpected turn and philosophy about zombies’ true appetite. “The Properties of Loss” evokes road kill, unstable weather and urban atmosphere. “There is a Place in Trois Rivieres” uses synthetic coconuts and its predecessor, the synthetic lawn chair, and pits them against the raw human experience of trapped and released memories. These poems are an endearing feat, a peek into the tattooed mental plateau of the artist. Whether its “Bones of our Habits” or “To

Wake up Alone, Corrupt and Queasy,” these poems are read best in the mercurial way in which they were germinated. Discover each one slowly, and stumble upon a nostalgic tomb of a depraved suburban love wreck.

The poet is not identified as a “poet” in these poems, which benefits us all. The best thing about these poems is that Christie refuses to sustain the stereotype of Canadian poetry, or the lame image of the tortured and underrated poet. Christie is clearly in favour of torture, poets or otherwise.

In Gutted there are no remains, just dramatic and engaging emblems, sour wafts of cruelty, fully developed abandon and Olympic-quality regret, a miserable postcard of a worn-torn life and the confident rejection of hope. (Nathaniel G. Moore)

by Evie Christie $16.95, 71 pgs, ECW Press, 2120 Queen St. E., Suite 200 Toronto, ON, M4E 1E2

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