From the outset, this collection of poetry makes no apologies for being a very personal work. Writer of the Toronto punk history book Treat Me Like Dirt as well as a poet and author in her own right, Liz Worth creates a haunted exploration of sex, booze and street life in this small, 60-page book. Choosing to work in free verse, rhyme and rhythm are rare in Worth’s poetry, except for the odd alliterative phrases that surface throughout. This lack of gloss feels intentional, evoking a feeling of confessional privacy usually hidden away in the back pages of a diary.
Part IV delves into the more intriguing parts of Worth’s spookily beautiful world where her pain and hurt are spelled out in their most eloquent turns, writing: “ I fake a landscape of transience, shrug off honesty” and “The room woke up backwards, in the grip of a tight black dress.” As well, each chapter starts off with some very stunning illustrations of ecclesiastical farm animals and bloodied hearts sprouting horns. After spending some time with Amphetamine Heart, I came to appreciate Worth’s efforts, but ultimately I left the work feeling an added layer of polish might have taken this little book so much further. (Dexter Brown)
Liz Worth, 60 pgs, Guernica Editions, guernicaeditions.com, $15