Beginning with an extended riff involving the glorified music search engine Spotify and ending with the ongoing and ignored tragedy of European migration, these prose poems [sic] address a range of historic and contemporary particulars including the entertainer/paedophile Rolf Harris, ripoff payday loan sharks, English football grounds, world shipping, the endangered flora & fauna of the British Isles and singer-(not)songwriter Art Garfunkel.
Punctuationless and insistently lower-case, and employing repetition and the list as forms of subterfuge, nothing in LATANOPROST VARIATIONS is quite as it seems. There’s something wrong in every poem which is turned over and over, again and again, so that the whole is effectively a diagnostic report from the back-to-front. The title refers to a topical eye-drop used for the treatment of the chronic eye condition glaucoma which if left untreated leads to loss of sight. This book is a plea not to turn a blind eye.
Not being a doctor himself, the author has no advice except never to forget that on 17 May, 2017, the day Rolf Harris was released from Stafford Prison after a brief internment, Donald Trump announced a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia and a small boatload of migrants awaited rescue off the island of Lampedusa. As one of the poems reminds us: “the men of war are difficult to ignore shaking hands with them does not mean they are not men of war.” Or as another concludes: “thank you art garfunkel thank you after all the eyes are fine.”
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Jeff Hilson wrote stretchers (Reality Street 2006), Bird bird (Landfill 2009) and In The Assarts (Veer 2010). He also edited The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street 2008). He runs Xing the Line reading series in London and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton.
Latanoprost Variations by Jeff Hilson