Of their recent pamphlet publication, he remarked that 'the poems have to do with a series of historical battles (all beginning with the letter "B" as if to suggest a missing Baghdad), from post-Agreement Ireland to George W. Bush's America, in which horses or mules played a major role. Intercut with these battle-scenes are accounts of a battle with cancer by a former lover, here named Carlotta, and a commentary on the agenda of what may only be described as the Bush "regime'". "Horse Latitudes" refer to the area 30 degrees north and south of the equator in which sailing ships tend to be becalmed, in which stasis (if not stagnation) is the order of the day, and where sailors would throw horses overboard to lighten the load and conserve food and water. The poems present us with fields of battle and fields of debate, 'in which we often seem to have come to a standstill, but in which language that has been debased may yet be restruck and made current to our predicament'. The collection weaves between popular song and riddle, between haiku and densely compressed narrative.
It engages the public sphere on equal terms with the most intensely personal elegiac material - 'the fifty years I've spent trying to put it together' - all within the same fiercely vigilant optic, and in a language of inspired happenstance.
Publisher: Faber & Faber