“On the Count of None” blurs the lines between message and tone

On the Count of None

Allison Chrisholm, 68 pgs, A Feed Dog Book, anvilpress.com, $18

Surreal and succinct, Kingston poet Allison Chrisholm’s first full-length collection of poems is sure to impress and inspire creativity.

A shapeshifter of sorts (or maybe just a Gemini), Chrisholm experiments with form and tone throughout the collection, showing off her expansive repertoire of form — some poems span only a few lines, while others border on prose-poetry.

Blurring the lines between message and tone, Chrisholm often makes use of familiar pop culture motifs. Most notably, she features a poem for each of the star signs, adopting the tone of Western astrological forecasts quite successfully — I can attest that my horoscope was scarily accurate.

Darkly witty and deeply moving, The Count of None is a prime example of when bold writing pays off.